Cessna: First Corvalis TTx production flight test a success

Cessna Aircraft announced that the company completed the first production flight of its TTx, formerly called the Corvalis TTx, on Saturday.

The company is in the midst of dropping the Corvalis name, a Cessna spokesman said.

The single-engine composite airplane took off from Cessna’s Independence facility.

The pilot took the airplane to 17,000 feet and to a speed of 245 mph.

“The TTx performed exceptionally well,” Brian Steele, Cessna’s business leader for the airplane, said in a statement.”The TTx is a nimble, top of the line airplane. It’s the world’s fastest fixed gear, single engine piston aircraft in production.”

Cessna announced last year that it had begun production of the TTx, an upgraded Corvalis TT.

During its development, test pilots made 275 flights and logged 339 hours in the air, Cessna said.

The plane can reach a top speed of 270 mph and has an operating ceiling of 25,000 feet. It can cross the country with one stop.

Cessna halted production of the carbon-fiber composite Corvalis, formerly called the Columbia, in late 2010 after problems were found at the company’s Chihuahua, Mexico, facility, which builds the fuselage components and wings.

The entire environmental system in Mexico, key to working with composite materials, had to be redone.

Now, the humidity, air pressure and temperature are controlled through use of a continuous monitoring system, company officials have said.

Assembly of the upgraded Corvalis – the $734,000 Corvalis TTx – restarted in October.