Cessna Citation Ascend test program soars ahead as second flight test article successfully takes flight

Textron Aviation announced the successful flight of its second Cessna Citation Ascend flight test article (P1) as certification momentum builds for the newest Citation business jet. The milestone flight follows the Ascend prototype, which completed its first flight in 2023 marking the P1 aircraft the first conforming production flight test aircraft. The Citation Ascend business jet was unveiled during the 2023 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), and the aircraft is expected to enter into service in 2025.

The initial flight of P1, piloted by Michael Bradfield and Maurice Girard, lasted 1-hour and 24-minutes, reaching a max altitude of 13,500 feet with a max speed of 308 knots. The aircraft will be used for the flight test program, primarily for systems testing, including propulsion, human factors, environmental control and avionics.

"Today’s successful flight of the second Citation Ascend test article marks another achievement for the program, and thats a testament to the many great employees involved with this project,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering. “The aircraft has continued to perform well through the phases of testing, and I continue to be confident in the programs momentum and in our skilled team members who make it possible.

The Citation Ascend flight test certification program is expected to complete certification testing with the two test articles – the prototype and P1. To date, the program has accumulated more than 400 flight hours.