October Aircraft Highlight - The Citation Family- Part 2

Longitude, the latest Citation is expected to enter service at the end of 2018.

Longitude, the latest Citation is expected to enter service at the end of 2018.

In Part 2 of our feature on the Citation business jet family we explore their mid and super-midsize offering including the Citation III, Excel, X, Sovereign, Latitude and new Longitude. Long focused on the light jet category, in recent years much effort has been spent by Textron Aviation in developing increasingly larger aircraft. The Citation family of jets come under Textron’s Cessna aircraft banner. Textron bought Cessna in 2014.

The Citation Midsize Jet Lineup

Citation III/ VI/ VII

Citation VII mid-size jet. The original Citation III marked Cessna’s first departure from light jets.

Citation VII mid-size jet. The original Citation III marked Cessna’s first departure from light jets.

Produced from 1983 to 1992, the Citation III is a midsize jet that typically seats 6-8 passengers and can travel roughly 2000 miles. Through subsequent upgrades the aircraft became the Citation VI and Citation VII, the latter featuring more powerful engines. With a cabin height of close to 6 feet, the Citation III was a major departure from first generation Citations that have cabin heights of less than 5 feet. This and subsequent upgraded versions marked Cessna’s first foray into midsize cabin jets with extended range.

Citation Excel and XLS

The Excel was developed in the mid 1990s as a replacement for the Citation VII, although with a slightly shorter range of around 2,100 miles, designed to slot in to its product line between its light jets and its super-mid Citation X. The Excel’s cabin interior is similar to that of the Citation VII however the Excel sports a larger baggage compartment. First deliveries were made in 1998. The upgraded XLS and later the XLS+ were first delivered in 2004 and 2008 respectively.

The Sovereign+ is distinguishable from its predecessor by raked winglets that provide greater range.

The Sovereign+ is distinguishable from its predecessor by raked winglets that provide greater range.

Citation Sovereign

In 2002 Cessna delivered its first Sovereign, a stretched and highly upgraded version of its popular XLS+ aircraft. Retaining the basic cabin profile of the Excel series, the Sovereign features a longer fuselage with seating capacity for up to 12 people in a flexible design, although typically configured with 9 seats. Capable of flying coast to coast across North America, the aircraft has a range of over 3,600 miles.

The Citation Super-Midsize Jet Lineup

Citation X and X+

Citation X+. Sleek. Designed for speed.

Citation X+. Sleek. Designed for speed.

Developed from the Citation VII design with some significant modifications, the Mach.935 Citation X is currently the fastest business jet on the market. Commonly referred to as a super-mid jet due to its weight class (although the cabin of the Citation X is actually closer to that of a midsize jet), the aircraft has a range of roughly 3,700 miles. Its speed characteristics enable some trans-continental trips to be cut by up to an hour over other jets in its class. The aircraft was partly an attempt by Cessna to challenge the status quo and it succeeded in producing a bold and innovative design. Uniquely recognizable, the Citation X is a radical departure from previous jets in the Citation line. The aircraft features a swept wing more common to ultra-long range jets, and large engines that appear out of proportion to other aspects of the air frame. The Citation X was produced between 1996 and 2018. The Citation X+ has upgraded engines and flight deck, and standard addition of winglets.

Citation Latitude and Longitude

Citation Longitude interior.

Citation Longitude interior.

The latest super-mid entries in the Citation business jet lineup are the Latitude and Longitude. While sharing some similarities with the Sovereign these aircraft are very much a clean-sheet design. Both feature a true stand-up cabin of over 6 feet in height and 6.4 feet wide. They offer continental and international range of 3,100 miles and 4,000 miles respectively. The Longitude can be configured for up to 12 passengers, however both aircraft typically seat 8 people.

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