Sunday, June 29, 2008

Getting to know the Citation X

I have completed my first tour of IOE (Initial Operating Experience) and it was so nice to get into the real airplane. Of course, every successful flight begins with a good preflight, so here we go...
Yup, that's our airplane way out there on the ramp. This is Florida, mind you, so that walk across the ramp undoes my recently completed shower and subsequent primping.

We check the outside, and we check the insides of the outsides, and then the inside inside. There are many panels to be opened up and examined, to include one that the captain I am flying with is standing up in. His legs are to the left.
Once we are through checking out the airplane, we can get it towed closer in. This particular airplane has an inoperative APU or Auxiliary Power Unit (isn't that what I wanted the Citation X for?), so we will have to adapt. An APU usually powers up the aircraft in two ways. First, the APU is started by an electric motor, with power supplied by a battery or external power source (ground power unit). After the APU accelerates to full speed, it can provide a much larger amount of power to start the aircraft's main engines, either by turning an electrical generator or by compressing air.
APUs also have several auxiliary functions. Electrical and pneumatic power is used to run the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems prior to starting the main engines. This allows the cabin to be comfortable while the passengers are boarding without the expense, noise, and danger of running one of the aircraft's main engines. Electrical power is also used to power up systems for preflight checks.

Since we don't have our APU, we get towed closer to the hangar so we can take advantage of the GPU, or ground power unit and their Huffer cart, an external engine that creates large volumes of pressurized air used to start large gas turbine jet engines on some types of aircraft. The captain has been flying this airplane for more than ten years and has never had to use a Huffer cart. I guess this makes me a bearer of good luck. Well, anyway, at least it was good training.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lynda, I'm Bobby Hayes, I ran across your blog while searching for some Citation X photos for my project. My company released a Citation X for Flight Simulator in 2004 and we are preparing to release a version 2.0 of the aircraft with fully functional fms and all real world aircraft features. Our aircraft model was based on the actual Citation X you have pictured. I've in and out of that aircraft many times over at the Cessna Citation Service Center in Orlando. Here is my blog space,
    and our commercial website:
    I don't know if you use flight simulator but it proves to be an excellent training tool for many of our real world citation x pilot customers. If you have flight simulator and would be interested in participating in our beta testing please let me know.
    Best of luck with the 'girls with wing' efforts, it's terrific!