Cessna Highlights Product Enhancements at 2006 Citation Customer Conference

Wichita, Kansas, May 30, 2006 – An enhanced vision system (EVS) for Citation Excel/XLS operators and an Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS) for CJ1 and CJ2 aircraft were among the product enhancements introduced to more than 400 Cessna Citation operators at the annual customer conference here hosted by Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.

In addition to product enhancements, Cessna also detailed several new programs designed to enhance flight planning and maintenance for all Citation operators, developed in response to feedback from operators at past conferences.

“The most important aspect of the conference is our interaction with the customer, the critical feedback from the operators – we call it the Voice of the Customer,” said Art Warren, Director of Citation Customer Support. “We have always worked hard to listen first, and then provide solutions our customers say are important to them, whether it is an enhanced hardware system, a software improvement, or a change in how we do business. Chances are we developed the solution in response to feedback from one of our previous conferences.”

Two of the new solutions presented this year are the enhanced vision system and the flight information system.

The EVS, produced by Max Viz, is available for all Excel and XLS operators though a Cessna Service Bulletin. The system, EVS-1000, uses a fuselage-mounted, infrared camera to greatly enhance situational and terrain awareness at night or when visibility is less than optimal. The image is viewed on an additional display on the Excel or XLS instrument panel.

Like most of the other products and services offered by Cessna, the EVS is available through both the company owned service centers and the global network of factory authorized service centers.

The Rockwell Collins IFIS offers flight crews a variety of information such as electronic charts, airspace information, navigation updates, and real-time weather as an integrated part of the Pro Line 21 avionics suite, with data presented on the standard Cessna Citation multifunction cockpit display.

“Most computer-based flight planning and support systems require the flight crew to load information such as electronic charts, airspace information, and navigation overlays on to a separate platform like a laptop or hand-held device. Our IFIS presents the same information integrated with the FMS, and offers real-time XM WX Satellite WeatherTM to the flight crew as part of the normal flight display,” said Dave Luckert, Manager of Advanced Citation Modifications. “It provides more capability for the flight crew without having another device in the cockpit to keep up with.”

The Rockwell Collins IFIS is also available through a Service Bulletin modification at Cessna’s global network of factory-owned and authorized service centers.

A topic of interest at the conference was Cessna’s new tailored maintenance plan – CESPLAN. Working either with a standard maintenance plan or in conjunction with an MSG 3 maintenance schedule, CESPLAN outlines and schedules maintenance operations to minimize impact on an operator’s specific flight operation.

CESPLAN works in conjunction with Cessna’s long-standing computer-based maintenance tracking system – CESCOM – which tracks some 1500 maintenance items for operators. Cessna also has launched CESNAV, an electronic publication solution for operations manuals, checklists and electronic calculators.

“Our customers are becoming more ‘wired’ in every part of the world, and online systems, or computer-based maintenance and operational systems, are the most efficient and cost-effective methods of supporting aircraft,” said Tom Grace, Manager Citation Service Information. “But unlike other businesses that have given over to computer-based customer support, we have also greatly enhanced our people-to-people interface capability. We have added field service engineers to our global network, and we have strengthened our repair engineering force for cost-competitive, immediate support. We have strengthened the dedicated Citation Support Teams – teams dedicated to each of our models to ensure each customer has a person they can call any time for immediate attention to their needs.”

Warren said that winning awards for the best customer service in the industry last year was a proud achievement, but feedback from the customer conference spawned new ideas for even better customer service.

“We are certainly not resting on our laurels. The (Pro Pilot and Aviation International News) awards, coming from the global operator community, are great praise indeed, but we will always strive to do better,” Warren said. “The only way to become the premier customer support supplier is to continue to raise the bar in taking care of the customer.”

Source: Cessna Aircraft Company
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