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Cessna updates Sovereign jet, restarts Corvallis piston production


The newly redesigned Sovereign business jet gains range, a newer cockpit and distinctive winglets, among other improvements announced at NBAA this week. The midsize jet, which could already fly some transcontinental legs, now has a 3,000-mile range, thanks in part to new Pratt & Whitney engines and winglets that reduce drag. The aerodynamic improvements mean the new Sovereign will also be able to use shorter runways. The cockpit features the Garmin G5000, a souped-up touchscreen glass avionics suite similar to what’s available in Cessna’s piston aircraft. And in a separate announcement, Cessna said it was restarting production of its high-end turbocharged Corvallis TTX single-engine piston plane. Cessna bought the Corvallis line from bankrupt Columbia Aircraft several years ago, moving much of the aircraft’s production from Oregon to Mexico. But the recession took a particularly heavy toll on the high-end piston market, and Cessna had stopped making new Corvallis planes as its dealers struggled to sell the planes. The new TTX, which was announced at Sun ‘n Fun in April, will cost about $750,000 and will cruise at up to 235 knots.