Cessna Citation Ascend Test Program Flies Second Aircraft

The second Cessna Citation Ascend test aircraft takes off.
Photo Credit: Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation marks a further milestone in the development of the Cessna Citation Ascend business jet. The manufacturer has now carried out the successful first flight of its second test aircraft, P1.

This achievement builds on the momentum gained from the Ascend prototype’s maiden operation in 2023.

P1, designated as the first conforming production flight test article, signifies a significant step towards certification for the Citation Ascend.

Unveiled at the 2023 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), the Ascend is expected to enter service in 2025.

Cessna Citation Ascend: P1 Test Flight

The P1’s inaugural flight, piloted by seasoned aviators Michael Bradfield and Maurice Girard, lasted approximately 1 hour and 24 minutes.

The aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 13,500 feet and a top speed of 308 knots. P1 will play a crucial role in the flight test program. It will undergo rigorous evaluations of various systems, including propulsion, human factors, environmental controls, and avionics.

“Today’s successful flight of the second Citation Ascend test article is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our incredible team,” said Chris Hearne, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Textron Aviation.

“The Ascend continues to impress throughout the testing phases, and I have unwavering confidence in both the program’s momentum and the skilled team members who make it all possible.”

The Citation Ascend flight test program aims to achieve certification with the two test articles – the prototype and P1. To date, the program has accumulated over 400 flight hours.

Second Cessna Citation Ascend test aircraft on climb.

Performance and Operation

The Cessna Citation Ascend is a culmination of Textron Aviation’s commitment to fulfilling customer desires for peak performance and exceptional comfort.

Inspired by the highly successful Citation Latitude and Citation Longitude, the Ascend boasts a modern design and a host of luxurious amenities.

Passengers will appreciate the spacious cabin featuring a flat floor that enhances legroom and provides flexibility for personalized configurations.

Flight deck of Cessna Citation Ascend

The Ascend is equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines, promising exceptional fuel efficiency and increased thrust.

Additionally, the aircraft incorporates cutting-edge Garmin G5000 avionics featuring the latest software and hardware, including auto-throttle technology.

For enhanced ground operations, the Ascend features a Honeywell RE100 [XL] Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) approved for unattended use.

Cabin interior of Cessna Citation Ascend

Cabin Interior

Textron Aviation prioritizes passenger and crew comfort in the Ascend. The cabin boasts 19 standard USB charging ports and three universal outlets, ensuring everyone has easy access to charging throughout the flight.

The standard seating configuration comfortably accommodates nine passengers.

The manufacturer currently boasts a range that includes everything from business jets, turboprops, and high-performance pistons, to special mission, military trainer and defense products.

With the successful flight of P1, the Cessna Citation Ascend program moves towards type certification. It also brings Textron Aviation a step closer to delivering its goal of a best-in-class business jet experience.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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