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XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Wed, May 31, 2006

Cessna Highlights Product Enhancements At Citation Customer Conference

EVS, IFIS, CESPLAN In The Spotlight

An enhanced vision system (EVS) for Citation Excel/XLS operators and an Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS) for CJ1 and CJ2 aircraft were just two of the new product enhancements introduced to more than 400 Cessna Citation operators at the annual customer conference in Wichita, KS last week.

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."

Cessna representatives told ANN that two new solutions presented at the 2006 meeting 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 EVS-1000 (below) uses a fuselage-mounted, infrared camera to enhance situational and terrain awareness at night, or when visibility is less than optimal. The image is then 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 company owned service centers, and the global network of factory authorized service centers.

Cessna also highlighted the Rockwell Collins IFIS, which 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 Weather 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.

Another 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. "... 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."

FMI: www.cessna.com

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