Textron Aviation Inc., 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 Inc.“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.”