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Citation XLS Handling

Old 16th Mar 2013, 20:58
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Citation XLS Handling

Hi,

What is the XLS like to fly....handling characteristics and just generally as
a bird to fly!


Your thoughts much appreciated.

Thanks.
dareen is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2013, 22:49
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I have more than 1000 hrs on that, but that is the only business jet I have flown, so not much room for comparisons.

Not as pleasant to fly as you would think. Still good, do not get me wrong, but not great.
It clearly should have had double wheels (see Citation III/VI/VII): during the take off roll and landing roll with wet runways you would like a more stable feeling.
Due to the movable stabilizer the initial climb is a continous fight with the trim: you need to use some strenght to keep it there. Forget to use two thumbs to fly the damn thing in the beginning of the climb out. The tail takes forever to move to the "cruise" position.
Do not use FLC change with AP on, unless you want your pax to vomit all over the cabin, which tends to piss off the hosties most of the time.
Good climb performance, but keep in mind that 430/450 most of the time is useless to reach, provided that you can get there (depending on ISA and weight).
Due to the straight wings it comes down like a brick in descent: if you need speedbrakes you really have ****** up the descent planning (or ATC has).
During approach... not as easy as a CJ I am told, not as speed stable at least.

For the rest... enjoy! It is still a brilliant plane to fly.

Cheers!
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Old 16th Mar 2013, 23:41
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I agree with some of the above in part... There is a trick to flying the departure so it's not a fight... Off the top of my head it was pitch up to 17 degrees, achieve 160 kts, and as you select flaps up let the nose drop to accelerate... That takes away all the fight.. It's easy.. But I haven't flown it for over 5 years... I loved it. I agree it could have done with double wheels, but honestly it's fun to fly, sporty, stable, predictable, huge baggage hold, external toilet service, single point refuelling, decent range... It's reliable, forgiving and as that size of jet goes, it's roomy and quiet.
410 is standard, 430 common, 450 less often. I did London - Athens with 6 pax so the range is not bad.
It is draggy, it's one of the only aeroplanes I have had to add power in the descent!
All in all, a good, honest, easy to maintain and fly jet.
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Old 17th Mar 2013, 11:48
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I used to fly the XL/XLS for more than 3 years. Have also been rated on ERJ145 and now on Falcon 2000EX EASy. I liked the XL/XLS! The flightdeck is a bit small and it feels by far not as nice as an airline like flightdeck like the ERJ145 or the Falcon, but you still have 3 nice screens. I never had trouble with the moving stabilizer! If you have to fight against it, you are doing something wrong. As the previous poster wrote, stay slow and clean it up at 160 KIAS. If you do not want to accelerate during this phase, just hold the yoke with one hand and move the trim wheel with the other hand to the appropriate position for after the cleanup/stabilizer movement. I you do this a couple of times, you will memorize that right amount of trim wheel movement required. Never had any trouble with it. I liked the excel, because it has LOTS of room for baggage! I once managed to stuff 15 bags into it (not too heavy, of course). It is not true that the XL/XLS is the only plane that needs additional thrust during descent. The Falcon 2000EX EASy also needs a bit of thrust to maintain 340KIAS/M0.83 during a 3 degree descent. That's why many crews descend at an angle of 4 to 5 degrees, that will be idle most of the time. Same on the XL/XLS, about 4 to 4.5 degrees will do the trick, while still giving you some tolerance to decelerate if required by ATC. On the ILS you can ride it down clean at 160 to 180 KIAS stable in idle power, no need to add flaps until late on the approach. You may have to use speedbrakes shortly to bring it down to your requested KIAS, but then it will keep it at 160 to 180 KIAS without speedbrakes. Shortfield takeoff is great! Landing takes a bit more discipline, because you have two wheels only, hence limited braking capability. If you are on speed and bring it down on the zebra, you will have no trouble on a short runway. In Cannes we could stop it half way down the runway (when it was still allowed). So, yes: the XL/XLS has a somewhat messed up tail/stabilizer. But apart from this it is a friendly aircraft for both the crews and the passengers. I'd buy one if I needed one in that sector.
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Old 17th Mar 2013, 12:18
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When I say fight I don't literally mean it...
But it is a fact the XLS is not as docile as other planes in the initial climb phase.
With the trim set slightly forward than the central position (still within the limits for TO of course) and the appropriate speed you can minimize the effort, but the manual trim is an option only if you seat on the left... the manual trim is only on that side, and if you are the FO you really are not in a good position to use it while handflying. The electrical trim is not very fast.

The baggage hold I agree is great: we regularly fly 6 people, each with golf clubs and baggages, with no problem whatsoever.
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Old 18th Mar 2013, 12:25
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Hi Dirk, of course I understood how you meant "fight" and I tried to "overdraw" this in my statement I flew the Excel from the right and from the left seat and I did not really have trouble reaching the manual trim wheel from the right side. It is, of course, muuuuuch easier from the left seat, I agree.
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