The Cessna folks from Wichita told the folks attending EBACE in
Switzerland that the Citation Sovereign production assembly line
(as seen yesterday, below) is nearing completion. Of the 17
stations that make up the complete line, 13 are fully operational.
The remaining four stations will be completed as the first aircraft
is ready for the next position.
Currently, Sovereign serial numbers 003 through 012 are in
various stages of assembly. New production tooling and lean
manufacturing processes have been used to establish the assembly
production line. The new tooling takes advantage of sophisticated
product handling systems and vacuum conformal holding fixtures. In
essence, this tooling allows Cessna to build Sovereigns from
the exterior shell inward, versus building from the interior
components to the exterior shell.
The company says that its new tooling, combined
with lean manufacturing processes, "...will result in a consistent,
high quality product being delivered to customers with shorter lead
The Citation Sovereign program is expected to complete FAA
certification by the 4th quarter of 2003. Currently, three
conformed Sovereign aircraft are in the flight test program and
have accumulated over 1200 hours in 600 development and
certification flights. First customer deliveries will take place in