Continuing a refreshment cycle of its legacy aircraft that began last year with the King Air 360 and 260 and in February with the Citation CJ4 Gen2, Textron Aviation on Monday announced interior upgrades to the M2 and XLS+ light and midsize twinjets at NBAA-BACE. “We’re trying to accelerate upgrading all existing products,” Textron Aviation president and CEO Ron Draper told AIN. “We have such a broad product line up, we feel you need a mix of new aircraft as well as bringing nice performance, interior, and other enhancements to existing products.”
Inside the flight deck of M2 Gen2, Textron Aviation has added three inches of legroom in the copilot’s position. In the cabin, entry threshold materials have been improved for durability and maintainability, including the side-facing seat that folds down.
In the past, M2 operators and their passengers have used that seat for luggage stowage, which over time wears on the leather-covered seat, said Christi Tannahill, senior v-p of customer experience. With the top half of the seat folding down in the M2 Gen2, the backside has been reinforced with a hard surface.
Other improvements in the M2 Gen2 cabin are redesigned sidewall ledges, a mix of more durable flooring, including wood and carpet; ambient accent lighting; illuminated cupholders; and wireless charging and USB-A ports at each cabin seat. USB-C ports are also available in the aircraft’s club seating area.
Additionally, there are four new cabin designs available on the M2 Gen2: mist, driftwood, ebony, or cashmere. “We’re seeing as the market continues to work into a backlog scenario, a lot more of our customers are doing fully customized airplanes as well,” Tannahill told AIN. “Usually that’s just been on the larger jet products, but we’re seeing all the way to the M2 and turboprops that a lot of people want to customize their airplanes.”
Deliveries of the M2 Gen2, priced at $5.85 million, are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022.
For Textron’s top-selling Citation 560XL, upgrades on what will now be the XLS Gen2 are more extensive, starting with a lighted airstair door. Beyond that, a new entry curtain has been added for protection from inclement weather and improved acoustics in flight, and Textron Aviation has added a high-power outlet to the refreshment center. A new pedestal seat design with individual controls and an optional quilted pattern is intended to maximize passenger comfort in the XLS Gen2.
In terms of cabin technology, the XLS Gen2 features an intuitive wireless cabin management system with a touchscreen moving map monitor as well as wireless charging and USB-A and -C ports that are available at each seat. Other upgrade options on the midsize jet are a forward, fold-down couch for passenger baggage stowage and in-flight access, and a Bongiovi speakerless surround sound system.
Also, Textron Aviation is offering what Tannahill called a new “eco-sustainable” interior for the XLS Gen2. “As we continue to invest in the sustainable world, this is very important,” she said. “A lot of our European customers fly this airplane and that’s important to them as well.”
The eco-sustainable interior features “rapidly renewable textile materials” that have been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), including leathers that are 100 percent organic and biodegradable and veneers that are approved through the Forest Stewardship Council. Tannahill added that the carpets, too, have to pass an environmental air quality standard. “So every aspect of the airplane really incorporates that sustainability piece,” she said. “A lot of our materials and designs use these processes as well.”
The XLS Gen2 is priced at $15.5 million and deliveries are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022.