Quoting from my linkedin profile post;
11 years ago, newly degreed, having emigrated to the US I was working in small engine manufacturing.
Given that I originally trained as an aircraft mechanic I thought ‘why not work for the company that makes those little propeller planes?’, which I was familiar with from my student summer jobs doing oil changes and 50 hour checks on the airfield at Denham.
So, I applied for a job at Cessna in Wichita, having never heard of Catia, the Citation X, DO-160, or having ever read a Mil-spec – BUT I knew what ‘Skydrol’ was, having learned how to build hydraulic systems (among other things) aged 17 at Brooklands College on my GNVQ course.
As luck would have it, I didn’t end up working on the little propeller planes like the 172s and 152s I knew, but the world’s FASTEST business jet.
On my first day, my new manager Jeff led me to the flight test hangar and introduced me to ‘proto’, N750CX, a plane I would later make two test flights on – I was staggered. It looked like a rocket ship.
I became a systems engineer in the team supporting hydraulics, ECS and landing gear for the Citation X/650 – these planes launched my systems engineering career.
It’s with great nostalgia and sadness then that I read the Citation X production is coming to an end, I owe it a lot!
Of course, for our ‘grassroots SST’ project, the plan was to modify a Citation X which we would use as our starting point – a used one would do. Now it will be the only option… we will have to pick from the approx 300 or so still in service!