CitationJet first flew 20 years ago


The Cessna CitationJet made its first flight 20 years ago

On the 29 April
1991, pilots Bob Leonard and Bob Carnahan took off from Wichita’s
Mid-Continent Airport, reached an altitude of 10,000
feet and checked handling and trim characteristics, engine response and more. Powered
by two Williams-Rolls FJ44 advanced turbofan engines, the CitationJet was the
first business jet to use a true natural laminar-flow wing. These features
allowed for a roomier cabin, faster speeds and more range than the original
Citation 500 and its replacement, the Citation I. The acquisition and
maintenance costs of the six-passenger, T-tailed CitationJet attracted many
first-time Citation owners.

“The price and
the performance of Williams International’s all-new FJ44 series advanced
turbofan engines allowed Cessna engineers to create an entirely new generation
of light business jets with the CitationJet,” said Jack J. Pelton,
Cessna’s chairman, president and CEO. “The CitationJet was a success from
the moment it was announced at NBAA in 1989 and was instrumental in Cessna
today boasting 6,100 Citations, the largest fleet of business jets in the

“Many of the
concepts that made the CitationJet an impressive breakthrough influenced the
development of future Citations, such as the Citation X and Citation
Excel,” he added.

The CitationJet
prototype was eventually joined by other pre-production aircraft for the
certification program. FAA certification was achieved in 1992 and deliveries
began in 1993. The CitationJet rapidly became one of the world’s most popular
light jets and inspired an entire family of aircraft (the name was shortened to
CJ): the CJ1, CJ1+, CJ2 and today’s current production versions, the CJ2+, CJ3
and CJ4.

Cessna delivered
359 CitationJets and today the CJ series fleet has surpassed 1,450 aircraft.