Cessna seized upon the frankly unmissable opportunity to make a major announcement at this year's Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida. There it announced that its luxury single-pilot aircraft, the Cessna Corvalis TTX, has entered production. The new aircraft, proclaimed by Cessna to be the "world's fastest fixed-gear aircraft," will replace the old Corvalis TT.

The four-seater aircraft is powered by a turbocharged, fuel-injected, six-cylinder Continental Motor TCM TSIO-550-C engine which maxes out at 310 hp, granting a maximum speed of 235 knots (435 km/h). The aircraft has a usable fuel capacity of 102 US gallons (386 liters) allowing a range of 1,250 nautical miles (2,315 km) at economy-cruise speeds. With a certified ceiling of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) - Cessna claims the TTX is capable of flying over pesky low-altitude weather systems.

We gather the most notable feature of the TTX is an optional de-icing system known as FIKI - Flight Into Known Icing, which provides a claimed 150 minutes of icing protection with minimal effect upon the TTX's performance. Cessna positions the feature as a potential money-saver, preventing the need to reschedule plans in the event of... known icing, presumably.

Perhaps more fundamental is the upgrade from the TT's avionics suite. The TTX includes the Cessna Intrinzic avionics suite, powered by the Garmin G2000 system and incorporating Garmin's GTC touch controls via a 14.1-inch high-def display. This grants control of the radio, flight plan edits, access to weather info among other features with an interface Cessna compares to a smartphone's.

"The TTX program has been moving steadily along through various certifications and testing phases," said Cessna's TTX business leader, Terry Shriner. "The production lines have begun the bonding processes on the all-composite TTX fuselage, as well as commencing work on the wing skins and internal components."

Varying paint designs and cabin interiors will be among the options. Deliveries are expected to commence by the end of the year. Pricing is not yet clear, though for reference the TT (sales of which have stalled of late) could be had for US$644,500 back in 2010.

Source: Cessna