“The Citation Longitude sets a new standard in the super-midsize segment, not only through the aircraft’s design and performance, but also in the way we are manufacturing it,” commented Textron Aviation Integrated Supply Chain Senior VP Ron Draper. “We’re incorporating a number of new and innovative fabrication and assembly techniques that will improve processes, reduce the number of parts and provide excellent quality and precision that will aid in the overall maintainability of the aircraft.”
According to a company statement, new technologies include monolithic machining where major assemblies are milled from a single piece of metal rather than assembled from smaller pieces, reducing the number of parts and resulting in more precise tolerances for easier assembly. Vertical tooling is also being employed and expanded on the assembly line of the Longitude. First utilized on the Citation Latitude, the vertical tooling stations provide enhanced ergonomics for employees and make more efficient use of factory space.
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“We are able to move more quickly from concept to delivery with a high-quality product that we know will exceed the expectations of our customers,” added Draper.
The first Longitude flew in October 2016 and to date, the flight test program’s four aircraft have accumulated more than 550 hours. A fifth aircraft will join the flight test program this summer, and the aircraft is expected to officially enter into service by the end of the year.