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15th of September 1969

The first aircraft in what would become a long line of business jets made its first flight today in 1969. The Fanjet 500.

The Fanjet 500 prototype


The Fanjet was developed by Cessna as part of a drive, independent of each other, by several aircraft manufacturers to develop a competitor to the newly developed light business jets, the Learjet 23 and the Aero Commander 1121 Jet Commander. The Aero Commander 1121 Jet Commander later was rebranded and marketed as the IAI Westwind).

The Fanjet program was announced in October 1968 and one prototype was built and test flown. It was designed as an eight-seat business jet that would be capable of operating out of smaller airfields.

A second prototype was built and first flown on the first of July 1971, the program and been renamed and the aircraft was now marketed as a Citation 500. The Citation 500 differed from the original Fanjet 500 on several points;

  • Longer forward fuselage

  • Relocated engine nacelles

  • Larger tail

  • more dihedral on the horizontal stabiliser

The test program continued and on the 9th of September 1971 the FAA certified the Cessna 500 Citation, the first Citation in a long line of business jets. Over the years different versions of the Citation would be developed, the first one being the Cessna 500 Citation I in 1976, it featured;

  • Increased wing span

  • Higher weight limitations

  • P&W JT15D-1 engines

Over the years many versions would be developed:

  • Cessna Citation I / I/SP

  • Cessna Citation II/SII/Bravo

  • Cessna Citation III/VI/VII

  • Cessna Citation V/Ultra/Encore

  • Cessna Citation X

  • Cessna Citation Excel/XLS/XLS+

  • Cessna CitationJet/CJ series

  • Cessna Citation Sovereign

  • Cessna Citation Mustang

  • Cessna Citation Columbus

  • Cessna Citation Longitude

Specifications for the Cessna Citation I; General characteristics

  • Crew: Two (One pilot on I/SP)

  • Capacity: 5 passengers

  • Length: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)

  • Wingspan: 47 ft 1 in (14.35 m)

  • Height: 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)

  • Wing area: 278.5 sq ft (25.87 m2)

  • Empty weight: 6,631 lb (3,008 kg)

  • Max takeoff weight: 11,850 lb (5,375 kg)

  • Fuel capacity: 564 US gal (470 imp gal; 2,130 L) usable fuel

  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-1B turbofans, 2,200 lbf (9.8 kN) thrust each

Performance(above 28,000 ft (8,500 m)

  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.705

  • Cruise speed: 357 kn (411 mph, 661 km/h) at 35,000 ft (11,000 m)

  • Stall speed: 82 kn (94 mph, 152 km/h) (CAS)

  • Range: 1,328 nmi (1,528 mi, 2,459 km) at 41,000 ft (12,000 m) (45 min reserves, 1,562 lb (709 kg) payload)

  • Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,000 m)

  • Rate of climb: 2,719 ft/min (13.81 m/s)

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