By Rob Finfrock
The world’s largest family of light business jets recently achieved a significant milestone, with delivery of the 2000th aircraft within the C525 model family. CJP Director Marc Dulude received the landmark aircraft, a CJ3+, during a ceremony in early June at Textron Aviation headquarters in Wichita.
Dulude, who previously owned a C525-based Citation M2, lauded the expanded flight envelope of the CJ3+. “The M2 is an absolutely amazing machine in its own right,” he said. “The CJ3+ builds on that by flying higher, faster, and much farther.”
In particular, he cited the CJ3+’s higher cruising altitude as a key reason for making the transition. “The ability to fly at FL450 puts you above almost all weather, with reduced winds when heading westbound, and ATC tends to give you direct routing a heck of a lot more often,” Dulude continued. “The increased range also provides a lot more choices on where to take on fuel, and where to stop on the way across the country.”
Dulude said he wasn’t aware that his aircraft would be the 2000th in the CJ line when he finalized the purchase at the end of last year. “I believe fabrication of my plane started just after mid-January, and I got the call shortly after that my plane would be the 2000th,” he continued. “I’m very excited to be a part of this milestone and look forward to continuing a strong relationship with the company.”
Textron Aviation’s full line of Cessna Citation jets is the most popular family of business jets ever produced. More than 7,000 Citations have been designed, manufactured and delivered to customers around the world since the original Model 500 was certified in 1971, with close to 35 million total fleet flight hours.
The first Model 525 CitationJet was delivered in 1991, with successive models building on that aircraft’s performance and single-pilot operational capabilities. Overall, the CJ fleet – including the current production Citation M2 (C525), Citation CJ3+ (C525B) and Citation CJ4 (C525C) – has reached nearly five million total flight hours.