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Me & My Aircraft: Operators could use more range and speed but praise 525 series short haul economy
Arab Wings provides a wide range of services from medical and emergency evacuation to long haul private charter but its Citation 525 is favoured for shorter charters.

Arab Wings provides a wide range of services from medical and emergency evacuation to long haul private charter but its Citation 525 is favoured for shorter charters. This is consistent with the feedback from other operators of the Citation series: the 525 (CJ1), the 525A (CJ2), the 525B (CJ3) and the 525C (CJ4). Many of the respondents to EBAN's survey put increased range at the top of their wish list.

"The 525 is a powerful and economical option for short trips," says Arab Wings' Capt. Jerman. "It cruises at an altitude of 41,000 feet, above most weather, and yet can use smaller, regional airports, to save ground transportation time. With enhanced safety options, it offers privacy and workplace amenities for up to five passengers."

Head of maintenance, Abdullah Mahmoud Alrowaythi, says Arab Wings is happy with the availability of spare parts and maintenance but would like more support on the avionics side. Alrowaythi adds: "We'd like the manufacturer to continue to improve the efficiency of the braking system but generally Arab Wings is very happy with the CJ1."

Capt. Jerman says one of the best aspects of the CJ1 is flying with the latest generation of avionics and technology but he points out that the range is more limited than he would ideally like.

Joerg Ramsauer of DJT Aviation GmbH, which operates a CJ2 is unhappy with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability, particularly the landing performance, but satisfied with the value of an aircraft which is popular with clients. The most desirable upgrade, he adds, is a second PFD.

DJT Aviation is headquartered in Graz, Austria, but has a base in Cannes, France, and operates private charter to destinations around the world.

One CJ1 operator, which reports it is satisfied with maintenance support, says: "We would be far more satisfied if we had a Cessna owned and operated service centre in UK. But we are very satisfied with operating capability and value. The best aspect is its ability to go almost anywhere in Europe and its low operating costs but it could do with an extra 40 knots in speed."

Another survey respondent, whose company operates a CJ2, is very satisfied with maintenance support and satisfied with dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. Verdict: "The best aspect is the operating cost index for private operations but the worst thing is that the real range is about 100-150 nm less than book performances. The most desirable upgrade is Collins package in new models with FMS Collins 3000 and new capabilities in the Pro Line 21 system."

Jetcircle's Werner Kohler gives a similar satisfied or very satisfied verdict on the CJ1 and CJ1+ but says: "A few nautical miles more on the range would help a lot." Another respondent agrees but says the best aspects are the operating cost and flexibility.

Manuel Campos de Almeida, who works with a CJ3, says that the manufacturer has not eliminated problems. "The lack of cockpit space and the need to simplify Pro Line 21 are issues," he says. But he is satisfied or very satisfied, with the main-tenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability.

Dessyslava Boyadjieva of Avio Delta Ltd, which operates a CJ1+ and a CJ2+ is satisfied with the aircraft's economy, maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability but would like the "small" passenger cabin made larger. The CJ3 cabin reflects this feedback.

Another respondent was unhappy with the maintenance support but satisfied, or very satisfied, with the dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. But the complaint was that: "The cockpit windows are not electrically heated. The system works via bleed air and is very noisy and quite complicated. The most desirable upgrades include APU, hi-speed internet and Espresso machine."

Hans Hegelund of Papier Mettler, which operates a CJ3, is very satisfied with maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability as well as satisfied with value. He feels that the price is the worst aspect but, unlike some others, is happy with the range.

Another "very satisfied" operator of the CJ3 is Marcus Abeln of Helitrans AS who says: "The Proline 21 cockpit with the IFIS 5000 integration is superb. You have all the info you need at the touch of a button. It doesn't get any better than that. But the worst thing is the cabin heating on the ground at low outside temperatures with engines running." He adds: "It would be good to get an electrical heater that would run on ground power or on an engine generator when on the ground. This is not available as yet. Also getting CJ4 windows in the CJ3 would be perfect as well." He says this would eliminate wind noise from the bleeds and help window defogging. Verdict: "Overall a complete aircraft in its class."

Dr M Samek of Samek Flugzeugvermietung GmbH, which operates a CJ1, is unhappy with maintenance support but satisfied with dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. He adds: "The best aspect is the quiet cabin and the worst is cruise speed if flying longer distances."

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