Textron Aviation Inc. recently delivered the first two Cessna Citation Latitude aircraft configured for flight inspection missions.
The aircraft were delivered to Kanematsu Corporation and will be owned and operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) to ensure the integrity of instrument approaches and airway procedures that constitute the national airspace of Japan. A third aircraft is anticipated to deliver in early 2021.
“We’re proud the JASDF selected the Cessna Citation Latitude, the best-selling midsize jet, in support of its flight inspection mission,“ said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “When the JASDF needed a modern aircraft with low direct operation costs for an enduring mission, it chose the Cessna Citation Latitude.”
Fitted with UNIFIS 3000 Flight Inspection System equipment from Norwegian Special Mission (NSM), the aircraft will provide flight inspection missions through the periodic evaluation of navigational aids, such as flight procedures and electronic signals, to ensure they are safe and accurate. The aircraft will be operated by the Flight Checker Squadron, a JASDF unit based at Iruma Air Base in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo.
“Flight inspection has long been a vital part of providing a safe air transportation system making instrument flight possible and safeguarding passengers and aircrew,” said Gibbs. “The Latitude’s long range, large cabin and class-leading performance ideally suits it for the flight inspection mission.”
The Cessna Citation Latitude (Model 680A) is a 2,700 nmi (5,000 km) range business jet built by Cessna. It was announced at the 2011 NBAA convention, the prototype first flew on 18 February 2014, it achieved FAA certification on June 5, 2015 and first deliveries begun on August 27.
The aircraft keeps the Model 680 Sovereign wing, twin P&WC PW306D turbofans and cruciform tail, but its clean sheet stand-up circular fuselage has a flat floor. This new fuselage is kept in the later Cessna Citation Longitude.