There was much excitement in the aviation community when Cessna first announced its goals for the Citation X – in short, to completely outdo the competing private jets. One of the main goals behind the development of the aircraft was to dispel the common misconception that Citation aircraft were strictly low-speed, economy-driven models.
The move was definitively successful. When the Citation X was released, it promptly broke numerous speed records. As a result of its overwhelming speed, the Citation X team earned the National Aeronautic Association’s Robert J. Collier Trophy, a very prestigious honor. Through continual improvements, including a major overhaul in 2010, the Citation X has remained one of the fastest aircraft on the planet. Faster than any other midsize jet, the Citation X has breathtaking average cruising speeds of .90 Mach. In addition to its staggering speeds, it is surprisingly also one of the most fuel-efficient midsize jets in the world. With unprecedented speed and economy, the Citation X is optimal for travelers looking for extremely fast and efficient transcontinental solutions.
Even considering that the Citation X is the fastest midsize jet in the world, Cessna did not neglect to design a comfortable and luxurious cabin to complete the package. At the time of the aircraft’s release, the Citation X had the largest cabin out of any Citation model before it. Its interior dimensions of 23′ 11” cabin length, 5′ 6” cabin width, and 5′ 8” cabin height provide ample space to relax and stretch out.
Typically seating eight passengers in a spacious executive seating configuration, the Citation X can also carry a maximum of twelve passengers in a higher-density seating arrangement. Introducing a large lavatory, a fully-functional galley, and a spacious closet, passengers will find Cessna took great care to accommodate their needs during the flight.
The Citation X also provides over 80 cubic feet of storage space in a well-heated and properly pressurized baggage compartment, effectively preventing damage to the cargo regardless of external weather conditions. In short, Cessna has designed a comfortable executive cabin to complement the definitively impressive high speeds that the Citation X has become known for.
There are a couple of factors that contribute to the sheer speed of the Citation X. It is able to maintain cruising speeds of .90 Mach due to an extremely effective combination of both painstaking precision in aerodynamic design and the pure power of its Rolls-Royce engines. The Citation X utilizes twin Rolls-Royce AE3007C1 high-bypass turbofan engines, which each produce over 8,600 pounds of thrust. Not only are these powerful engines extremely effective, but they have also been specifically fine-tuned to maximize their performance alongside the Citation X. Additionally, Rolls-Royce’s FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Controls) system provides real-time management of the aircraft’s engines, which allows the operators to prevent excessive wear and tear and damage to the engines. Supplemented by state-of-the-art Honeywell Primus 2000 avionics, the piloting experience is comprehensive, intuitive, and comfortable. Altogether, the Cessna Citation X is an extremely solid midsize business jet that not only excels in all areas, but also revolutionized the industry at the time of its release.
The Citation X truly is the fastest mid-sized business jet available. It regularly cruises at .90 mach. It can fly from Los Angeles to New York in less than six hours, or from Pittsburg to San Diego in four hours flat.
Getting the Citation X to cruise at .90 Mach was no small feat. Aerospace engineers spent months analyzing the jet’s aerodynamic structure with computational fluid dynamics computer technology. The proposed design of the jet was subjected to tests in a wind tunnel, and then analyzed by computer programs to locate the problematic high-drag areas. Subsequently, precision instruments corrected the frame, sometimes to as little as 1/100,000th of an inch. These minute modifications went on for months.
The end result, as already stated, was unequalled speed. It stands to reason that since Cessna spent so much effort on fine-tuning the aerodynamic structure of the jet, little attention would be given to fuel efficiency. But, since Cessna’s objective is to make high-performing, fuel-efficient business jets, the Citation X has a fuel flow of 336 gallons per hour. At the time of its debut, not only was it the fastest private jet, it was also the most fuel-efficient mid-sized business jet on the market.
At the time of its design, engineers all over the private jet industry were being pressured to create more reliable, higher-performing products that operated at a drastically lower cost. Rolls-Royce certainly met the requirements in the creation of the high-bypass AE3007C1 turbofan engine, which delivers 8,600 pounds of thrust. It was later fine-tuned specifically for the Citation X to run at a lower temperature so that the jet could run its engines longer. The engines on the Citation X had the highest thrust-to-weight ratio available at that time as well as the lowest specific fuel consumption for a private jet in its class.
Rolls-Royce implemented the Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) system on the AE3007C1 engine. The system manages the engine’s performance for the pilots so that no damage is incurred through excessive speed or operating estimates. This system makes the pilot’s job a lot easier and greatly reduces engine wear and tear. The engines have fewer obligatory scheduled inspections than other similar engines, and are generally reported to be extremely reliable.
Of course, no discussion of Cessna’s private jets would be complete without mentioning their choice of avionics – in this case, the Honeywell Primus 2000 autopilot/flight director system. This system has five 7×8 inch screens that replace standard analog instruments with a clean, easy-to-read EICAS display. It has a dual flight management system and comes standard with Honeywell GPS. In 2004 Cessna announced that Enhanced Vision System: a useful tool which uses infrared sensors to create a visual for the pilot when flying IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), such as during snow and rain storms, fog, or at night as an option on the Citation X.
The Citation X truly merits all of the excitement and hype it has garnered. It is a versatile jet that can efficiently handle both short trips and international flights, and is unmatched in speed, efficiency and reliability. It isn’t without good reason that Cessna calls the Citation X the “fastest, most efficient business jet ever built.”