Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, this month celebrates 50 years since the inaugural flight of the first Citation jet, the Cessna Citation 500. Today, the Citation family represents the most-popular line of business jets with more than 7,500 aircraft delivered worldwide amassing more than 35 million flight hours. These impressive machines are renowned for their ability to combine reliability, efficiency and comfort with advanced technology and class-leading performance.
“From that first Citation flight 50 years ago and through every Citation model produced since, our business jet programs are deeply rooted in the combined efforts of our employees, our suppliers and our customers,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO of Textron Aviation. “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 unrivaled 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 September 15, 1969 from the company’s Wichita facility.
A hallmark of the company has always been responding 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,” Draper said. “We are building on our history as an industry leader and investing in the future to continue to exceed customer expectations.”
The Citation series of business jets has evolved to offer an unmatched range of capabilities, systems and options that allows customers to expand their business reach.
The current Citation business jet family consists of seven models with seating from 7 to 12 passengers. We’ve set the standard for the small jet market. The Cessna Citation M2 is transformed for 21st century operations, while the Citation CJ3+ and Citation CJ4 share the Model 500 design heritage. Cessna Citations continue to lead this segment, with over 5,000 light jets delivered worldwide, offering customers the broadest range of products on the market.
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. All offer transcontinental range, enhanced technology in the cabin and cockpit and superior performance.
Textron Aviation’s newest innovation, the Citation Longitude, is designed to elevate passenger expectations in the super-midsize class by delivering the quietest cabin, a lower cabin altitude (5,950 feet/1,814 meters), 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, 6-foot tall flat-floor cabin with amenities that maximize in-flight productivity.