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Thu, May 08, 2003

Citation Sovereign Line Gearing Up for 2004 Deliveries

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 times."

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 early 2004.



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