Textron Aviation launches Citation CJ4 Gen 2, XLS Gen 2, King Air 360

GENEVA—Three Textron Aviation aircraft are on show for the first time at EBACE: the Citation CJ4 Gen2 and XLS Gen2 business jets and the Beechcraft King Air 360 turboprop, an upgrade of its legendary King Air 350.

Since the last EBACE in 2019, the company announced the King Air 360 in August 2020 and updates to both jets in 2021.

More recently, the Citation XLS Gen2 received FAA certification and the first aircraft was delivered in early May. Textron Aviation will make its first delivery of the variant to a European customer here at EBACE.

With strong demand since the start of the pandemic, Textron Aviation has built up a healthy backlog, notes Christi Tannahill, senior vice president of customer experience, during a visit to the static display. Longer lead times allow customers to customize their interiors, and they do.

The upgrades to all three aircraft are the result of meetings with customers, Tannahill adds. Clients met in three sessions. The first time the company listened to customer feedback. He then built a model from the results and came together to meet again, she says.

This led to great attention to small and large details, such as cup holders to accommodate a variety of cup and water bottle sizes, changes to kitchen drawers, a removable tray for catch spills, an expandable stone counter, and a fold-down seat with durable material on the back of the seat to hold extra luggage securely.

The XLS Gen 2 includes interior connectivity, an optional speakerless Bongiovi audio system, customizable wood veneer pattern inlays on the tables, customizable quilting patterns in the seats, and other elements.

Quote XLS Gen2. Credit: Mark Wagner/Aviation Images

The XLS Gen 2 on display at EBACE features an “Eco-friendly interior”, featuring sustainable, eco-friendly woods, leathers and materials, such as composite wood veneers, 100% wool and silk carpeting and more features.

Eco interior
The eco-friendly interior of the XLS Gen 2. 1 credit

Leather is considered a durable material because it has a long life and is easily repairable and cleanable, said Textron Aviation interior designer Shelby Page, speaking next to the plane at the exhibit. static.

The plane’s beige and green interior is a nod to sustainability. Plus, he flew to EBACE on sustainable aviation fuel.

The King Air 360, meanwhile, has undergone a number of technology upgrades as well as a cabin redesign and passenger comfort improvements.

A key feature of the King Air 360 cockpit is the addition of Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle, which automatically manages engine power from take-off through climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing. The addition reduces rider workload and helps prevent overspeed or underspeed and overheat and overtorque conditions, the company says.

King Air 360. Credit: Mark Wagner/Aviation Images

The aircraft features a cabin altitude of 5,960 feet at a typical cruise altitude of 27,000 feet, more than 10% lower than the King Air 350i.

The King Air 360, which seats up to nine passengers, also includes a digital pressurization control that automatically programs cabin pressurization during climb and descent.

The King Air on display features custom built cabinetry, bulkheads and side ledges, new seating and a new interior scheme with sliding work tables, standard power outlets, USB charging stations and a private rear lavatory.

The King Air 360 entered service in November 2020.

The Citation CJ4 Gen 4 light jet, meanwhile, features an additional lighted step to the stair lift that makes it lower to the ground for safer entry into the aircraft, complete with a handrail and a light that shines a customizable logo on the floor.

CJ4 Gen 2 Citation. Credit: Mark Wagner/Aviation Images

Inside, the cabin features new seating options, improved lighting in the pockets, sidewalls and floor, and in the cupholders. The aircraft is equipped with two skylights in the lavatory for natural lighting as well as an option for a new vanity and lavatory sink.

The refreshment center has been redesigned with drawers that can accommodate a 10 lb. ice bag, dedicated pilot storage and other amenities.

“With the CJ4 Gen 2, we focused on a design that improves passenger comfort with an elevated cabin to match the performance capabilities that Citation 4 owners already trust,” says Tannahill. “Technological developments have allowed us to introduce new design elements. A first for Citation light jets are CoolView skylights and a vanity option, which give our customers the feel of a big jet with light jet performance capabilities.

The main cabin area features side-facing seating with a single fold-down seat, a two-seat fixed sofa and a two-seat folding sofa for additional storage if needed to secure personal effects in flight.

It also features an enhanced wireless cabin management system with an integrated media server to allow streaming of preloaded audio and video files, access to XM Satellite Radio and viewing of moving maps.

Textron Aviation delivered the first CJ4 Gen2 to European private jet charter company DALaviation Switzerland in May 2021.

Kevin A. Perras