Cessna Citation Longitude

Textron Aviation’s largest aircraft to date is also its quietest. Now in service, we examine what makes the Longitude a strong contender in the super-midsize sector. Words: Alud Davies

Cessna Citation Longitude

Textron Aviation’s largest aircraft to date is also its quietest. Now in service, we examine what makes the Longitude a strong contender in the super-midsize sector. Words: Alud Davies

ASK ANYONE who has had the chance to fly on a Cessna Citation Longitude how the flight was, and the first thing they will generally remark is just how quiet it is inside the cabin. Textron Aviation is rightly proud of the work it has performed to keep the cabin as quiet as possible, which involved multiple rounds of noise dampening measures, followed by a final round of soundproofing. The result is a cabin which, when measured against other aircraft in the same category, is two decibels quieter than its nearest competitor.


Textron Aviation’s work is all the more impressive as the company took the fuselage from its Cessna Citation Latitude, stretched it and strengthened it. Part of the strengthening was focused on the rear fuselage, which unlike the Latitude, has a high-sweep T-tail. The result is an aircraft that can carry a maximum of 12 passengers, three more than can be accommodated in the Latitude.

Inside the cabin, the Longitude shares the same flat floor design as the Latitude, making it a stand-up cabin, even for passengers 6ft tall. In its usual configuration the Longitude is arranged in a double club layout, with two sets of two chairs facing each other in front, and another set of two chairs facing each other behind. Other layouts are available, including one that swaps one set of facing chairs for a couch.


Although Longitude customers can customise the interior of their aircraft any way they want, Textron Aviation does offer a designer collection of standard interiors. This collection includes a variety of colour palettes and textures to appeal to a broad range of design tastes. Customers can select sleek black leather seats, or a light seat, dark accented or a high contrast look. Also included is a crisp taupe option, and the warmth of earthy tones with inviting textures.


The Longitude is not only the biggest aircraft that Textron Aviation has built, it is also the furthest flying. When the Longitude is fully loaded, it can fly nonstop from New York to London, Paris to Dubai, or from Singapore to Melbourne. When loaded lightly with only two passengers, the Longitude can fly further, making city pairs like New York to Munich, Beijing to Helsinki, and Sydney to Singapore possible.

However, the Longitude that is delivered is not the version that was originally announced in 2012. That Longitude was due to be powered by a pair of Safran Silvercrest engines, which would give it a maximum range of 4,000nm. But in 2014 the company decided it would take the Longitude back to the drawing board, following customer feedback. The aircraft that emerged a year later would swap the Silvercrest engines for a pair built by Honeywell, and a 500nm range drop. Textron Aviation’s decision to drop the Silvercrest, whether it was for performance issues or for business reasons, turned out to be a fortunate move. The Silvercrest engines are still not certified and have seen the two other aircraft that were due to use the engines cancelled – the larger Cessna Citation Hemisphere and the Dassault Falcon 5X.

Upfront, the Longitude’s cockpit is built around the Garmin G5000 flight deck. Many of the cockpit controls have been replaced with intuitive touchscreens which act in a similar way to iPads, helping to declutter the cockpit. Each pilot has a 14-inch glass display in front of them, as well as a third display in the centre console. These are normally used to display situational awareness, including synthetic vision, which includes NextGen navigation capability. A satellite datalink also provides flight crews with NEXRAD weather, which includes weather forecasts, temporary flight restrictions, winds aloft, and current airport conditions. The Longitude also features a maintenance diagnostics system called LinxUs, which provides a full-time monitoring system and fault-isolation diagnostics. LinxUs provides immediate customer designee notifications with the indicated cause of in-flight events while the aircraft is still in-flight.

Inside the cabin, with the standard double club.

Textron Aviation is rightly proud of the work it has performed to keep the cabin as quiet as possible.

This allows for unprecedented response to aircraft maintenance events. LinxUs feeds data into the Textron Aviation Service App, which allows users to review the last 30 days of faults and submit to 1Call with a single click. LinxUs can also transmit engine service message information, engine performance check data and the CAS message log. Engine data can also be directly transmitted to third party engine trend monitoring services.


Inside the passenger cabin, Longitude passengers can use the Textron Aviation Cabin Management app on their smartphones or tablets to control the entertainment, cabin temperature and the electronically controlled window shades. Passengers can also connect to onboard WiFi for seamless connectivity.

Although the segment in which the Citation Longitude competes is crowded, most of that competition comes from older-generation aircraft, or aircraft that have seen updated versions released. Its price tag of $28.345m places it squarely in the middle bracket in the super-midsize section. But if you’re looking for another validation of just how good the Longitude is, then look no further than NetJets. The fractional operator placed an order in October 2018 with Textron Aviation for delivery of up to 175 Citation Longitudes.

The Longitude in flight, showing off its T-Tail design.

The Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck.

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Alud Davies,
CJI Editor,
Corporate Jet Investor

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Alud Davies,
CJI Editor,
Corporate Jet Investor