Cessna 560XL Citation Excel
[Cessna 560XL (N664QS, c/n 560-5264, 2002), (10/08/2011 photos © John A. Shupek)]
Cessna Citation Excel Overview
The Cessna Citation Excel (Model 560XL) is a 2,100 nmi (3,900 km) American business jet built by Cessna, part of the Citation Family. Announced in October 1994, it first flew on February 29, 1996, certification was granted in April 1998 and over 900 have been delivered. The 20,200 lb (9,200 kg) MTOW jet is powered by two 3,650–4,080 lbf (16.2–18.1 kN) PW500 turbofans, has the Citation V (560) cruciform tail and unswept supercritical wing of 370 sq ft (34 m²), and the Citation X stand-up cabin slightly shortened. The XLS 2004 update had upgraded engines and a glass cockpit and the 2008 XLS+ had upgrade engines again and a revised nose.
With the success of Cessna's high-end Citation VII, the manufacturer saw a market for an aircraft with the Citation X's features but aimed at a more traditional market, where it would chiefly compete with twin-turboprop aircraft.
The project was announced at the annual NBAA convention in October, 1994, and the prototype aircraft took off on its first flight on February 29, 1996. Federal Aviation Administration certification was granted in April 1998, by which time Cessna had over 200 orders for the aircraft. By the time the 100th Excel was delivered in August 2000, an aircraft was coming off the Wichita production line every three days. A total of 308 were built before production switched to the Citation XLS.
The Citation XLS was the first "makeover" that the Excel received, with deliveries beginning in 2004. Besides a glass cockpit based on the Honeywell Primus 1000 EFIS avionics suite, the XLS featured the upgraded PW545B engines with increased performance. It was produced in 330 units.
The Citation XLS+, or simply "Plus" configuration was another upgraded version of the aircraft which began delivery in 2008, with the inclusion of FADEC engine controls, improved PW545C engines, and a completely revised nose design similar to that found on the Citation Sovereign and Citation X. The Citation XLS+ features Collins Pro Line 21 Avionics and a four screen LCD EFIS display as opposed to the three tube (CRT) Honeywell display in the XL and the three screen LCD Primus 1000 in the XLS.
Rather than being a direct variant of another Citation airframe, the Excel was a combination of technologies and designs. To produce the Excel, Cessna took the X's wide, stand-up cabin fuselage, shortened it to about 21 feet (6.4 m) and mated it with an unswept wing utilizing a supercritical airfoil (based on the Citation V Ultra's wing) and the tail from the Citation V. The Excel has the roomiest cabin in its class of light corporate jets and can seat up to 10 passengers (in high-density configuration; typically the number is six to eight in a corporate configuration), while being flown by a crew of two.
To power the aircraft, Cessna chose the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW500 turbofan. The original version had two cockpit configurations involving where the landing gear was on the panel. With the gear on the left hand side, the MFD was moved to the right slightly and both radios were moved to the right of the MFD next to each other. With the gear handle on the right side, the MFD remained centered with the radios on either side. The Excel uses Honeywell avionics and an optional Auxiliary power unit also powered by Honeywell.
The aircraft is operated by private individuals, companies, fractionals, charter operators and aircraft management companies. The Swiss Air Force is an operator. NetJets is also a major operator in the United States offering fractional ownership and charter flights.
Accidents and Incidents
By March 2016, it was involved in five aviation accidents and incidents including two hull losses and seven fatalities.] On 13 August 2014, a Citation 560XLS+ transporting Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos and his entourage in the lead up to elections due in October crashed in the city of Santos, S&atide;o Paulo, killing all 7 on board. This was the first fatal crash of a Citation Excel since entering service in 1996.
Specifications (Citation XLS+)
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