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Textron Aviation

Cessna Citation Family



Featured article in African Pilot Magazine May 2024

The Citation is a family of business jets by Cessna that started in 1972 with the entry into service of the first model and more than 35 million flight hours logged since. In the fifty years following the 1969 first flight, more than 8,000 Citations had been delivered by 2022, forming the largest business jet fleet in the world. Cessna Aircraft Co. started building business jets in the mid-1950s and its first bizjet offering was the Fanjet 500, which later became the Citation, named after a thoroughbred racehorse. It was announced in 1968 and achieved FAA certification in 1971. The airplane became an instant success and Cessna delivered 52 Citation 500s in 1972. Following a long list of successful Citation models, Cessna’s Citation X design team won the Robert J. Collier Trophy in 1996 for developing the first business jet to achieve a cruise speed of Mach 0.92.

Until 1989, all Citations were certified to be flown by two pilots. However, that year, Cessna announced the CitationJet later ‘CJ’ for short to provide options for owners who wanted to fly solo. It developed into a series of CJs under the same single-pilot type certificate, the coveted 525 type. Today, Textron Aviation’s 525-series models in production include the M2 Gen2, CJ3 Gen2 and CJ4 Gen2. The initial type-rating training takes about 16 days of ground and flight sessions. While no new type rating is required to swap from one to another, pilots need to go through approximately five days of differences training when moving between models.

The line started with the small Citation I prototype flying on 15 September 1969 and produced until 1985, developed into the 1978-2006 Citation II / Bravo, the 1989-2011 Citation V/Ultra / Encore and the CitationJet since 1993. The stand-up Citation III/VI/VII was delivered from 1983 to 2000; its fuselage cross section was reused in the Citation X/X+ delivered from 1996 to 2018, the Sovereign from 2004 to 2021 and the Excel/XLS/ XLS+/XLS Gen2 or 560XL family since 1998. The Mustang was a Very Light Jet (VLJ) delivered from 2006 to 2017 while the flat floor fuselage Latitude has been delivered since 2015 and the larger Longitude from 2019. Textron Aviation aircraft are engineered to be flexible and accommodating to meet a number of mission specific challenges.

The previous methods of private aviation are evolving and one of the names at the forefront of this technological shift is Textron Aviation. The distinguished aircraft manufacturer has unveiled its next-generation Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 and Cessna Citation XLS Gen2 business jets which are set to elevate private aviation. Both started selling last year, M2 Gen2 entry into service was Q1 2022 and XLS Gen2 was Q2 2022.

Cessna Citation M2 Gen2

The Cessna® Citation M2® Gen2™ aircraft is everything you have been wanting in an entry-level jet. With a perfect balance of cockpit upgrades and a comfortable cabin, both pilots and passengers can now feel at home in the sky. The newest addition of autothrottles in the flight deck gives you control. Perfect for corporate, charter or private use, the Citation M2® Gen2™ jet features enhanced cabin lighting, upgraded cabin technology and a Garmin® G3000® flight deck with touchscreen avionics suited for a single pilot. Two powerful Williams FJ44 engines facilitate a cruising speed of up to 404 knots for serious jet performance. Trips are fast and efficient with exceptional range at 1,550 nm.

This aircraft features a Fresh Air System to keep cabin air clean. This system operates by bringing fresh air from outside into the aircraft through the engines. The engines compress and heat the air killing pathogens and germs. The air is then cooled and enters the cabin as cold or warm air before exiting aft. The M2 Gen2™ jet is equipped with a fully digital autopilot system with many features for added peace of mind, redundancy and reliability. It maximises aircraft performance with precise lateral and vertical navigation guidance for all phases of flight, as well as pinpoint fuel calculations thanks to the addition of the autothrottles. Features such as the Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT), standard Garmin® GWX™ 8000 StormOptix™ weather radar and optional Enhanced Vision System (EVS) camera provides a clear, concise picture of your environment during flight. Like several other members of the Citation family, Citation Jets are certified for single pilot operations. with smart solutions for every circumstance, every mission.

Cessna Citation CJ3 Gen2

The Cessna® Citation® CJ3® Gen2™ takes a detailed approach to your success. Enjoy performance that is powerful, precise and efficient. The CJ3 Gen2 is the perfect combination of range, speed and operating economics supplying you with superior performance in high and hot airports. The flight deck is designed for single pilot operations with the latest Garmin® G3000® avionics and standard autothrottles to power your passion with confident control. The cabin fuses luxurious amenities with eco-friendly textiles, thoughtfully chosen for comfort, elegance and to reduce your environmental footprint. Whether you take a front row seat in the cockpit, or relax in the comfortable cabin, the CJ3® Gen2™ jet is designed for what is possible. The Citation® CJ3® Gen2™ jet innovates conventional wing design with a precise, computer-sculpted airfoil. This design creates an uninterrupted flow of air across a greater portion of the aircraft surface, producing more lift with less drag. This aircraft features the next-generation flight deck. New, standard, fullregime autothrottles with under-speed and over-speed protection significantly improve the management of the Williams® FJ44-3A engines while reducing workload. The latest Garmin® G3000® avionics include easy-to-navigate touchscreen controllers with GDL®60 Datalink, creating more efficient flight plan loading and automatic database updates. These features give you more time with your head up, looking forward and enjoying the blue skies ahead.

The CJ3® Gen2™ jet is equipped with a fully digital autopilot (AP) system with many features for added redundancy and reliability. It maximises aircraft performance with precise lateral and vertical navigation guidance for all phases of flight. Integrating data from the avionics system, the AP is built to inspire confidence while ensuring optimum smoothness and comfort. Features such as the optional Synthetic Vision Technology® (SVT), standard Garmin® GWX™ 8000 StormOptix™ weather radar and optional Enhanced Vision System (EVS) camera provide a clear, concise picture of your environment during flight.

LinxUs® is compatible on the Citation® CJ3® Gen2™ jet when equipped with the Garmin® GDL®60 Datalink and GSR®56 (Iridium® Satellite Receiver). LinxUs® and LinxUs® Air work with the Central Diagnostics Maintenance system (CDMS) and function as a fault-isolation system that monitors the aircraft 100 percent of the time. In the event of an onboard issue, actionable answers are provided in real
time, resulting in faster turnaround to get the aircraft back in the air. LinxUs® – reports issues upon landing with a Wi-Fi connection.

On the inside

Generous windows, a slightly sunken aisle, smart selection of décor and a highclass finish give an air of comfort and space. As always, the high-backed leather seats can be configured in a variety of arrangements, including club seating. Along with sizeable fold-out tables and various connectivity options, the cabin makes for an ideal workplace or dining area depending on the task at hand.

With full fuel, the CJ3 Gen2 has 820lb of payload. A more useful figure is that with a pilot and four passengers it possesses a range of just over 1,800nm, which is again a step up on the M2Gen2’s range. Should the need arise to fill all of the seats and carry eight passengers, the range is 1,356nm.

As impressive as the passenger cabin may be, for pilots the cockpit is every bit as luxurious in both appointments and equipment. New avionics lend themselves to offering a flight panel with an uncluttered look and the Garmin G3000 system which hosts three large LCD screens and two small central Garmin Touch Screen Controllers (GTC) is no exception. A clean centre panel with small, sporty thrust levers are in good company with the sporty control yokes. The seats are easily adjustable in all directions and the windscreen affords a sensational view to the front and sides. There is even an additional push-to-talk switch near the outboard arm rest which is very handy.

Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen 2

In February 2021 Textron Aviation certificated the Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2. With a range that spans the United States and speed that gets you there fast, the CJ4 Gen2 is considered the flagship of the 525 series. Two FJ44-4A fanjets, each producing 3,621 pounds of thrust propel the jet as high as 45,000 feet and as fast as 451 knots. With a full-fuel payload of 1,122 pounds and a take-off field length of 3,410 feet, it is a highly capable machine. According to Textron Aviation, using long-range cruise power, the CJ4 Gen2 has a range up to 2,140 nm.

Exploring the CJ4 Gen2

The CJ4 Gen2 adds a step to the entrance on the bottom and a handrail that folds out from the doorframe. These two additions make it really easy to step into the cabin with the new airstair lights and effect from the logo light that light up the tarmac under the first step. As you enter the cabin you walk into the side facing seats. The airplane has optional the two-seat couch where the backrests fold down and the backside has a nonslip material and attachment points for a cargo net or straps, allowing the space to be used for additional luggage. However, the aft and forward cargo compartments provide 1,000 pounds between them, with 40 pounds of internal capacity found within the larger closet.

Between the entrance and cockpit is the galley, which has a newly designed stone countertop that pulls out to provide more space. There are several cabinets, some of which have drawers and stowaway doors that provide easy access to whatever is stored in the compartments. A small self-serve coffee machine is standard, whilst a high-powered power port that can handle the coffee machine is an option. These can be replaced quickly and cheaply compared with aircraftcompliant coffee systems, which are not only expensive but can also take time to replace. A high-power port is an option, whilst a hot tank is standard.

While bleed air provides heat and pressurisation, the air conditioning is an electrically operated vapour cycle machine. Pilots and passengers who are used to getting cooked on the ground because of insufficient air from an underpowered APU will love plugging into a ground power unit and getting terrific airflow. This Gen2 has two CoolView skylights that provide a pleasant and open feel in that relatively small space. The new optional vanity features stone countertops and several compartments in which to store bathroom necessities. Another useful feature is a handle that folds down from the ceiling for hanging clothes. The lavatory can be serviced from an external port.

Walking through the cabin is easy since the seats and armrests can be pushed right against the cabin walls. The completely redesigned seats are extremely comfortable and swivel to provide optimum positioning. Tray tables fold out from the side walls and there are plenty of power ports (USB and universal outlets) in the cabin and cockpit. Textron Aviation has its own interiors manufacturing facility in Wichita, therefore while the CJ4 Gen2’s seats and six colour schemes likely serve most customers’ wants and needs, modifications are possible.

The second row of seats slide way back, providing at least a foot of additional space between the knees of passengers in the club seats. The seats also recline completely flat, providing a comfortable place to take a nap. The potential for a good sleep is maximised by the new window shades, which can be operated from switches in the cabin or an app installed on a personal device that also can adjust multiple cabin lights. The lights are dimmable, providing a pleasant ambiance. The shades and lights can also be controlled from a panel in the galley within reach of the pilots. The pleated window shades have two sections: one that provides privacy but allows light to break through and one that provides complete darkness in the cabin.


The flight deck

Data entry is made through the FMS and multiple control panels can configure the MFDs and PFDs. The FJ44-4A engines are FADEC-controlled, making starts almost as easy as starting a car and engine management as easy as staying in the green. While the CJ4 Gen2 is certified for single-pilot operations, it can also be used for a two-pilot crew, with full control capabilities and access to the most important systems from both sides. Navigation databases are updated through USB ports that are hidden behind a small access door on the panel. The extensive list of features includes TCAS, XM weather, radar, departure and arrival procedures, taxi diagrams with own aircraft position, systems diagrams and much more. Digital ATIS and pre-departure clearance capabilities are also available.

Landing elevation is automatically set to schedule the pressurisation system for the destination airport in a flight plan. Like most avionics suites these days, Pro Line 21 offers live traffic and weather, as well as full navigation capabilities including departure and arrival procedures. With proper weight-and-balance data, the system delivers the applicable V-speeds for departure to be entered for display on the PFD.

The CJ4 Gen2 has a closed-center hydraulic system, which operates at 3,000 psi versus 1,500 psi in the other CJs. This system enables the modular feature of the speed brakes and allows for the use of multiple hydraulic functions simultaneously. The open center system of the other CJs only allows for one function at a time. The CJ4 was also the first in the 525 series with a single-point refuelling system and an electrically heated windshield, enabled through the aircraft’s electrical system which has two alternators.

The main difference is in the wing. All of the other CJs have straight wings of various lengths based on size, but the CJ4 Gen2’s has a 12.5-degree sweep. In fact, the wing design is closer to that of the Citation Sovereign. Boundary-layer energisers at the leading edges help maintain laminar flow over the wing, whilst two stall strips at the wing root help reduce the stall speed by causing the root of the wing stall first. Like the Sovereign, the CJ4 Gen2 has three speed-brake panels on each side. The design team also incorporated other features from the Citation Sovereign’s wing that allow for slower approach speeds. So, even though the CJ4 Gen2 is a larger, heavier airplane, the VREF speeds are comparable to or slower than the other CJs. With the latest upgrades, Textron Aviation has much to be proud of at the top of the CJ series.


Cessna Citation Ascend

In May 2023 at the EBACE industry conference, Cessna announced an updated model, the Ascend, with new avionics, engine improvements and an upgraded interior featuring a flat cabin floor, enlarged windows and swivelling passenger seats. The Ascend is expected to enter into service in 2025. Whether flying for charter services, personal transportation or corporate flight departments, the Ascend is designed to lead the market in performance and cabin experience.

The Ascend will offer state-of-the-art Garmin G5000 avionics featuring the latest software and hardware, including:

  • Autothrottle technology to reduce pilot workload and provide flightenvelope protection
  • Three large, 14-inch ultra high-resolution displays with split-screen capabilities
  • Standard dual flight management systems
  • Synthetic vision to render obstacles such as mountains or terrain 
  • Cockpit voice and data satellite transceiver to make satellite calls from the cockpit
  • New Garmin advanced weather detection and avoidance technology
  • Second Iridium data radio and CPDLC to support customers with more direct routing between North America and Europe (optional)

The Ascend will give operators versatility and flexibility to accomplish any mission, now and in the future. Customers will also enjoy many of the luxuries found in the bestselling Citation Latitude and flagship Citation Longitude. This is made easier with a common Garmin cockpit, an important feature for customers who operate multiple Citations.

The Ascend will offer Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines designed to deliver better fuel efficiency, increased thrust and longer time-on-pylon. The engines use new materials and technology, including a more efficient highpressure compressor, an enhanced single stage high-pressure turbine module and an upgraded exhaust mixer. The PW545D engines are also equipped with a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), enabling the new autothrottle technology and ensuring they operate at their maximum efficiency and with reduced pilot workload.


Preliminary performance targets indicate:

  • A four-passenger range of 1,900 nm at high-speed cruise power (with an estimated maximum range of 2,100 nm)
  • Cruise at 441 knots
  • Ability to climb direct to 45,000 feet

Design improvements on the aircraft deliver the ability to carry a higher combination of payload and fuel load while retaining access to short runways. With four passengers at high-speed cruise power, customers will enjoy trips such as London City, UK, to Athens, Greece; Helsinki, Finland, to Porto, Portugal; or La Mole, France, to Prague, Czech Republic. The Ascend will include an unattended Honeywell RE100 [XL] Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with self-management and added bleed leak detection. The unattended operation capability of the APU allows pilots to prepare for every flight efficiently, including heating and cooling the cabin with less fuel and less noise.

With a fully customisable interior, customers can select from a range of standard and optional features to best meet their needs. The aircraft will include a flat floor to provide a new level of generous legroom and flexibility for passengers. Textron Aviation designed the Ascend seats based on customer feedback for ultimate comfort, placing passengers in an optimised seated posture. When designing their aircraft interior, customers can even select the level of cushion firmness. The aircraft has a standard seating configuration of nine passengers and will have a maximum seating capacity of 12 passengers. The main cabin seats will feature an electrically controlled release for swivel and tracking on the seat pedestal. Optional seat quilting, footrests and electrically controlled lumbar support make relaxing easy while side-facing seats will feature folddown seat backs to provide additional in-flight accessible storage space. Customers will be able to wirelessly control the cabin lighting, temperature, window shades and onboard entertainment. They can also select an optional Bongiovi sound system. The Ascend will include all-new cabin windows that are nearly 15 percent larger and offer more natural light with translucent and opaque shade settings, wireless shade control and optional lighted window rings to enhance the cabin’s illumination and mood.

To keep customers connected at all times, the Ascend will include standard Gogo US Avance L3 Max Wi-Fi and optional US Avance L5 Wi-Fi. The aircraft also offers Optional Aviator 300 for Wi-Fi and worldwide calling. The Ascend will have power at every seat. With 19 standard USB charging ports throughout the aircraft, all crew and passengers will enjoy access to at least one charging port, first-in-class wireless phone charging and three standard universal outlets.

As part of the best customer experience, the aircraft will include an advanced acoustic treatment system to ensure a calm and peaceful flight, as found in the Citation Latitude. With sound levels similar to that of driving a car down the highway, passengers can engage in conversations, work, or relax in an environment free of distractions. Customers will arrive focused, centred and poised for what is next in the Ascend.


Attractive service and maintenance intervals

The Ascend is designed to improve upon the 560XL series’ best-in-class maintenance intervals. Textron Aviation expects the aircraft to offer the following for customers enrolled in the company’s PowerAdvantage programme:

  • 18-month or 800-hour airframe maintenance intervals
  • 6,000 hours between engine overhauls
  • 3,000 hours hot section inspection


The aircraft also will include more standard equipment to support troubleshooting, such as:

  • An electronic engine chip detector
  • Pratt & Whitney’s FAST™ box for full flight data acquisition, storage and transmission
  • LinxUs and LinxUs Air for in-flight diagnostics transmission

Textron Aviation’s Aircraft Recording System, tracking over 9,000 parameters during operations to support troubleshooting and trend monitoring. Customers will enjoy a trifecta of superior warranties on the engine, paint and interior for elevated peace of mind, including:

  • Five-year or 3,000-hour engine warranty
  • Two-year paint and interior warranties

Finally, the aircraft will include design improvements based on two decades of feedback from customers in the field, such as a new wingtip for cleaner lines and edges, all LED lighting and a pylon work light over the baggage area for easier loading at night. In addition, a new larger cockpit side window creates a modern ramp appeal. The Ascend will give customers more of what they need to keep their aircraft operations running smoothly and efficiently.

Cessna Citation Latitude

The bestselling Cessna Citation Latitude jet features one of the most spacious, most refined cabin environments in the midsize business jet category. At 77 inches, wide, six feet tall and more than 18 feet long with a flat floor, stand up cabin, the Latitude was built for comfort. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D1 FADEC-controlled turbofan engines deliver the Latitude’s impressive performance. The flight deck powered by Garmin G5000™ revolutionises the way pilots access flight data. With just a few flicks of the finger, pilots can take command of the aircraft’s robust navigation, traffic, surveillance and communications systems. In addition, the integrated flight management system provides extensive navigation and flight-planning as well as en route, take-off and landing performance information. Pilots have three 14-inch landscape flight displays, which can function independently as a primary flight display or multifunction display. The displays also function in multi-pane mode, the centre pedestal for PFD control and two additional panels control each MFD. Pilots can customise displays via the touch screen control panels, organising and prioritising the flight data presented.

The Garmin™ Synthetic Vision Technology™ (SVT) system offers a virtualreality view of terrain, obstacles, traffic and runways-everything beyond the widescreen. Using the terrain-altering database, pilots get a realistic picture of what lies beyond the nose of the Latitude. Garmin SVT enhances pilots’ situational awareness by creating a virtual depiction of ground and water features, obstacles and traffic, even in a solid IFR or night-time Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions.

Cessna Citation Longitude

The Cessna Citation Longitude is Textron Aviation’s entry into the super-midsize business jet category with a 3,500-nm range, a mach .84 maximum cruising speed and a maximum cruise altitude of 45,000 feet. This jet sets a new standard in private business travel for cabin efficiency, technology, luxury and comfort. Announced in May 2015, with a fuselage cross-section (77-inch interior width), the same as the Latitude, Textron Aviation announced first delivery in October 2019. The aircraft has a T-tail empennage, area-rule fuselage contouring and 28.6° wing sweep. The engines are the new Honeywell HTF7700L turbofans, each outputting 7,665 lbs of thrust at sea level. The aluminium wings incorporate composite winglets. The comfortable, bespoke interior of the Longitude has class-leading legroom, cabin sound levels that are nearly twice as quiet as the nearest competitor, a low cabin altitude of 4,590 feet at flight level 410 and more standard features than all other competitors in its segment.

The Longitude’s all-glass, state-of-the-art flight deck provides the most intuitive pilot interface ever seen in this class of avionics, the Garmin G5000 integrated flight deck system combines four digital touch-screen controllers and three multi-pane, widescreen displays enhanced with Garmin Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT). Garmin’s SVT shows the pilot 3-D virtual representation of terrain, obstacles and traffic equally well in instrument or visual flight conditions. Critical flight data is displayed in a widescreen view for accurate, easy monitoring and fast troubleshooting.

Operating the Longitude has been simplified with intuitive, full-colour, touchscreen LCD control panels serve as the pilot’s primary user interface. Pilots are presented with triple 14-inch landscape WXGA high-resolution displays. Each all-purpose display can function independently as a primary flight display (PFD) or multifunction display (MFD). Two of the four control panels are installed on the centre pedestal for MFD control and two additional panels control each PFD. Pilots can customise displays via the touch-screen control panels, organising and prioritising data as preferred. Garmin’s Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT™) offers a virtual-reality view of water and land surfaces, obstacles, traffic and runways. Using the system’s terrain-alerting database, SVT enhances pilots’ situational awareness by creating a dimensional rendering of terrain features, obstacles and traffic in proximity to the aircraft. Pilots get a realistic picture of everything beyond the windscreen. On the secondary display, MFD capabilities can be divided into two vertical pages. This allows logical pairing of whatever information is needed during any point in the flight sequence. Examples of this include displaying airway charts and approach plates or satellite weather and flight planning simultaneously.

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