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Cessna Citation X

I remember my first glimpse of the Cessna Citation X, just as if it were yesterday. I knew it was incredible just by its looks, but little did I know just how impressive it really was! The Citation X, or Cessna model 750, is the fastest, fully certified, civilian aircraft flying with a top cruising speed of 92% the speed of sound! Cessna implemented Computational Fluid Dynamics during the design of the aircraft to identify airflow that approaches and exceeds the speed of sound around structures of the Citation X.

Cessna Citation X

The wings are swept more than any other business jet at an angle of 37%. Every contour and curve of this gorgeous aircraft has been specifically refined to minimize aerodynamic drag that is generally accompanied with high speeds. The design of the Citation X is also very stable at low speeds, incorporating leading edge devices on its swept wings. The Rolls-Royce engines are as equally impressive as the airframe with just over 6,700 pounds of thrust per engine. These engines were intended for military and regional airline aircraft, but have been specifically customized for operation on the Citation X. These incredible Rolls Royce engines give the Citation X the greatest thrust to weight ratio with the least specific fuel consumption of any jet in its class. Most other business aircraft must sacrifice airspeed to achieve long range flight profiles, but the Citation X can maintain Mach .82 or greater and still complete flights across the Atlantic ocean. The Citation X is still faster with less fuel consumption when the cruise power is reduced than all other long range cruise airspeeds of the same class aircraft, and will land sooner. All of this impressive power is amazingly quite, both from within the passenger cabin of the Citation X, and from outside the aircraft during takeoff and departure climb out; considerably less than most other business aircraft.


Cessna Citation X

The performance is virtually unmatched with cruising speeds around 600 miles per hour. The Cessna Citation X is capable of traveling 3500 miles with a fuel reserve enabling a landing at an alternate airport within 230 miles if necessary. The Citation X can cross six time zones without refueling. From Palm Springs, CA, the Citation X has enough range to fly to Hawaii, Columbia, Alaska, and even the Kangerlussuaq Airport in Greenland. With the optional winglets, the Citation X has the ability to increase the range another 200 miles and allow for even greater airspeeds. The Citation X will climb at 3,650 feet per minute from sea level and reach a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet. The pressurized cabin will remain at 8,000 feet while the Citation X is cruising at 51,000 feet.

With a full load of fuel, the Citation X will carry 1,369 pounds of people and baggage, and has a seating capacity of 9-12 seats. The passenger cabin is usually configured in a twin club arrangement, with ample leg, head, and shoulder room for all passengers aboard. The cabin dimensions are very unique with ample room for all. A complete refreshment center is placed in the right hand, forward section of the cabin. The seats are very wide and plush with dense pillows that recline completely for napping. The cabin stretches 24 feet with full stand up capabilities. The Citation X has ample closet and storage compartment space forward and aft, with a flushing toilet, vanity, washbasin, and plenty of countertop space in its lavatory. The baggage compartment will hold just as much as a typical minivan and the compartment is pressurized and heated, while some business jets have baggage compartments that are not. This enormous baggage area reduces clutter and congestion in the cabin of the Citation X.

Cessna Citation X

Cessna practices quite an impressive safety philosophy. During testing of the Citation X, the airframe is subjected to five times the stress imposed on the airframe during the standard lifetime of the aircraft, and the landing gear is also subjected to five times the stress during a normal lifetime of landings. Cessna reports that Citation X’s have traveled the distance to the sun and back with one million landings. Compared with other Cessna business jets, the Citation X spends the most time airborne on a daily basis. Cessna has produced 310 Citation X’s since 1996, and won awards with respect to the aerodynamics and airspeeds achieved by the Citation X. Cessna estimates the Citation costs $6.79 per nautical mile to operate or $3185.24 per flight hour considering all operational costs.

Needless to say, I find the Cessna Citation X even more impressive than the first glimpse I had of her, and will always remain concrete in my memory.

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