Tue, Sep 15, 2009
The Aircraft Was Named For 1948 Triple Crown Winner
Time flies when you're having fun ... flying. Cessna Aircraft
Company is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the maiden flight of
the Citation, the first airplane model in what has become the
largest fleet of business jets in the world.
On Sept. 15, 1969, pilot-in-command Milt Sills and co-pilot J.L.
LeSueur flew the first prototype of the Cessna Citation from
Wichita's Municipal Airport (now Mid-Continent Airport). The one
hour and 45 minute flight was a significant milestone in bringing
the company's first business jet to market. Flight testing
continued until certification in September 1971, followed by
deliveries in January 1972.
Cessna had unveiled a mockup of the aircraft in October 1968,
originally calling it the Fanjet 500. The concept was to offer a
growing population of business travelers an aircraft that was an
easy transition for twin-engine turboprop pilots and a quieter,
simpler, safer and less expensive option than other business jets
on the market. At a price of about $695,000, the Citation offered a
maximum cruise speed of 349 knots true air speed in a
six-passenger, pressurized, turbofan-powered business jet with
short takeoff and landing requirements.
Days before the prototype's first flight, Cessna settled on a
more distinctive name for the jet - Citation - to evoke the
extraordinary combination of abilities that propelled the
thoroughbred racehorse by the same name to win the elusive Triple
Crown in 1948.
Cessna has now delivered more than 6,000 Citation variations
worldwide and operates eight domestic and one international
Citation Service Centers. There are also six domestic and 29
international authorized service centers. Current production
Citation models are: the Mustang, CJ1+, CJ2+, CJ3, XLS+, Sovereign
and Citation X. The Citation CJ4 is in flight test and will enter
into service in 2010.
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