by Dr. Russell Boyd
Although I’m not familiar with all the intricacies of a clean sheet airplane design, I like to imagine a group of really intelligent people sitting around a table at Cessna, discussing aerodynamic principles, marketing concerns, and financial constraints surrounding a new design.
I imagine they put their collective thoughts together and eventually come up with an airplane. Engineers study the projected useful loads, range, speed, and stall characteristics. Thanks to modern computer systems, they can analyze systems, crunch data, and make predictions like never before.
Despite all these advancements, Cessna still employs test pilots. Concepts originated in the board room are just theory until they are actually tested in flight. The only way to absolutely know the limits of a new design is to have a test pilot push the airplane past those limits. Through this rigorous process, they build a better airplane.
CJP started as something of a “clean sheet” design just a few short years ago. The design was based on solid principles, and put forth by its engineers with lessons they had learned from involvement in other organizations. The proof of concept was a hit, and we have been testing the limits of the craft ever since.
As expected with any test flight, CJP has uncovered some pleasant surprises along with our fair share of glitches. We always enjoy success, but opportunity lies in the challenges we encounter. We continue to turn past lessons learned into a stronger CJP going forward.
Over the last year-and-a-half of this process, it has been our privilege to have test pilot Colonel Jon “Huggy” Huggins at the controls. As he moves on to new adventures, we wish him the very best and sincerely appreciate all that he brought to CJP during his time with us.
As we bid farewell to Huggy, I would like to thank Cheryl Hardy, the board of directors, CJP members and the corporate partners who have stepped up in support of our organization. CJP’s greatest assets are its members and supporters and everyone seems to sense an opportunity to revive the esprit de corps that makes CJP great.
CJP’s greatest assets are its members and supporters. We are moving ever forward while remembering our roots as an organization dedicated to enhancing your experience as a Citation Owner/Pilot. We aim to refocus our efforts to provide group advocacy, enhanced educational opportunities, improved safety, and an enjoyable forum to share your passion for flight with like-minded pilots.
This refreshed energy will be brought to life October 19th-23rd at CJP’s Annual Convention in New Orleans. Make plans now to join me at the beautiful Roosevelt hotel. There is no place quite like New Orleans and no better place to be than with all your CJP friends in the Big Easy this fall.
In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy the miracle of flight and unique privilege of piloting your own Citation as often as possible.