Cessna Aircraft, in a relatively quiet ceremony on Monday, rolled out the first production unit of the new Citation X upgrade at its Wichita, Kansas manufacturing facility. A crowd of some 200 Cessna employees hailed the rollout and CEO Scott Ernest claimed that the 8- to 12-passenger twinjet, with a top speed of Mach 0.935, is the fastest (though not yet certified) civilian aircraft in the world. (The certified Gulfstream G650 has a maximum speed of Mach 0.925.)
“Speed is the reason for flight,” Ernest explained. “It was true for Clyde Cessna in 1927. It’s true today [and] the Citation X is the perfect aircraft for customers wanting to move faster, be more efficient and get where they need to be more quickly than ever before.”
The increased speed is not the only improvement for this flagship of the Citation fleet. The upgraded Citation X provides a longer cabin and more range (3,242 nautical miles) than its predecessor. Translated into practical terms, the X will fly nonstop between city pairs as far apart as New York and London. In the cockpit, the X’s Garmin G5000 integrated avionics feature three, 14-inch primary displays and four touch-screen controllers for data entry and systems control.
Cessna expects certification of the upgraded X later this year and customer deliveries to start “shortly thereafter.”o