Cessna Aircraft Company announced it has completed initial ground engine tests on the Citation Longitude’s Honeywell HTF7700L turbofan engines, paving the way for first flight of the prototype aircraft in the coming weeks. The test verified the functionality of the engine start, fuel system and auto-throttle as well as interfaces with the avionics, electrical and hydraulic systems.

“The engine run tests are one of the final major milestones as we prepare for first flight,” said Scott Ernest, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “This step really allows us to prove the maturity of the aircraft and its systems. Following this, we will do a series of functional and structural tests on the airframe in preparation for first flight. The speed at which we are progressing on the Longitude program demonstrates our industry-leading development cycle and affirms our commitment to new product investment.”

Cessna successfully mated the wing and fuselage of the first Longitude in May, just six months after unveiling details of the super-midsize jet, and powered the electrical distribution system for the first time in June.