FAA testing confirms Citation X as world's fastest civilian aircraft
By Darren Quick
November 4, 2013
In the wake of the Gulfstream G650 claiming a new around-the-world speed record for a certified civilian aircraft, Cessna is signaling that the record will be short lived. On its way to certification, Cessna's Citation X recently wound up all high-speed certification flights with the FAA, which confirmed the aircraft as the fastest civilian aircraft in the world.
The Citation X has flown over 1,300 hours as part of its test program that included the high-speed testing regimen conducted in recent weeks involving a collaboration between FAA pilots and Cessna's Engineering Flight Team. This focused on the aircraft's handling qualities, stability and control and maneuverability conditions at high speeds.
"The high-speed testing of the new Citation X was a success," says Michael Thacker, Cessna senior vice president of Engineering. "All responses from the high-speed certification testing were well within the expected performance envelope. While these are the results our engineers fully anticipated, this final round of testing went so smoothly the conditions were completed in fewer flights and hours than planned."
The testing validated the aircraft's maximum operating speed of Mach 0.935, which shades the Gulfstream G650's Mach 0.925 top speed. However, the G650 does boast a significantly greater range of 7,000 nautical miles to the Citation X's 3,242 nm.
Expect Cessna to be looking to steal a few world records from the G650 when its Citation X receives FAA certification, which is expected in early 2014.