Textron Aviation is celebrating 50 years since the inaugural flight of the first Citation jet, the Cessna Citation 500. To date, more than 7,500 Citation aircraft have been delivered worldwide, amassing more than 35 million flight hours.
“From that first Citation flight 50 years ago and through every Citation model produced since, our business jet programmes are deeply rooted in the combined efforts of our employees, our suppliers and our customers,” says president and CEO Ron Draper. “Today's range of Citations, from the entry level Citation M2 up through the Citation Longitude, incorporates our unwavering commitment to value-added innovation, design and production excellence and unrivalled customer support.”
Launched in October 1968 as the Fanjet 500, the new business jet combined the company's expertise as the market leader in producing single and twin-engine general aviation aircraft with its proficiency in producing military jet aircraft. The prototype, rechristened Citation 500, made its first flight on 15 September, 1969 from the company's Wichita facility.
The company says that it has always responded to customer desires for more advanced operational capability and efficiency, and the Citation family quickly evolved with larger aircraft, more progressive technology and enhanced cabin comfort and productivity. That spirit of innovation continues today with more advanced design and production processes.
“The same vision that led to the creation of the original Citation 50 years ago still guides us today,” adds Draper. “We are building on our history as an industry leader and investing in the future to continue to exceed customer expectations.”
The current Citation business jet family consists of seven models with seating from seven to 12 passengers. The Cessna Citation M2 is transformed for 21st century operations, while the Citation CJ3+ and Citation CJ4 share the Model 500 design heritage.
Textron Aviation's midsize business jet family includes the Citation XLS+, the Citation Sovereign+ and Citation Latitude, which is the industry's most delivered model in the category three years in a row. Its newest innovation, the Citation Longitude, is designed to deliver the quietest cabin, a lower cabin altitude (5,950 feet), more standard features and a comfortable, bespoke interior. With seating for up to 12 passengers, including an optional crew jump seat, the Longitude features a stand up, six foot tall flat floor cabin with amenities that maximise in-flight productivity.