A Citation Sovereign managed and operated by First Wing Charter and Management recently underwent a facelift at the company's headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eagle Creek Aviation, the parent company of First Wing, upgraded the business jet by installing Winglet Technology's transitional winglet design.
The transitional winglet upgrade provides the Sovereign with greater operational flexibility along with a 475 lb gross weight increase. The winglet design provides aerodynamic performance across broad Mach ranges and operating conditions. The transitional winglet design ensures the lift distribution of the wing closely matches the optimum lift distribution along the span of the wing, which significantly reduces the induced drag of the aircraft. The resulting drag reduction enhances the overall operational performance and provides performance benefits for the Sovereign.
First Wing Charter and Management, an Indianapolis-owned private air charter operator, recently added the Sovereign to its growing fleet. The type is one of the top-selling midsize private jets on the market. The addition brings the company's fleet to a total of five aircraft available for charter.
“We have been operating private air charter out of Indianapolis for the past 25 years,” says Scott Dillon, president of Eagle Creek Aviation and First Wing Charter. “We are always looking for ways to enhance our fleet offerings for our customers. Now we have two Sovereigns that can easily accommodate non-stop trips to the West Coast, in addition to our other jets that are available for trips across the US. We plan to continue adding to our fleet and enhancing the aircraft we already have on charter.”
The Citation Sovereign features a stand-up cabin, seating for nine passengers, Wi-Fi, and inflight entertainment. The aircraft has a range of 2,500 nm and can accommodate nonstop trips to the West Coast, Colorado and Florida. It was added to the fleet in order to meet the increasing demand for private air travel caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
First Wing experienced a slight decline when air travel was halted in March but recovered with record growth between April and June at more than 75 per cent. Total flying time in June 2020 was more than 40 per cent higher than the total flying time of the fleet in June 2019.
“Over the years, we've seen the demand for private air travel increase, especially in recent months due to the global pandemic,” explains GM Andy Yergler. “More and more people want to fly privately in order to keep their family, friends and colleagues safe and healthy. Some of the benefits of private air travel is travelling only with people you know, operating with limited staff on board and avoiding busy airport terminals. In order to meet the growing local demand, we have expanded our charter fleet and pilot crew.”
The fleet is comprised of number Cessna Citations, including Sovereigns, Excels and a Bravo. The company employs 13 full-time pilots and is hiring for additional positions.
“Our local pilots are some of the most experienced in the industry,” Yergler continues. “We continually meet and exceed industry safety standards, and each of our airplanes are disinfected using EPA and hospital-grade disinfectant prior to and after each scheduled flight. Our customers have continually thanked us for giving them peace of mind when they travel.”