By Rob Finfrock
A significant date in Citation history recently passed without much fanfare; in fact, it’s likely it wasn’t even on your calendars, although it’s very likely that CJP wouldn’t exist in its present form were it not for the events of April 29, 1991. That was the day when the first-ever Model 525 CitationJet took its maiden flight.
The CitationJet reimaged the single-pilot Citation I/SP for the modern era, offering improved EFIS avionics and an efficient, laminar flow wing design intended specifically for the owner-flown segment. Featuring two Williams FJ44-1A turbofans rated at 1,900 lbs of thrust apiece, and an 11’-long cabin, the CitationJet offered a truly advanced mix of power, efficiency, and passenger comfort, all in one of the easiest jet aircraft ever for a single pilot to operate.
Those traits have continued through the seven additional CJ variants certified since the original CitationJet. Cessna has delivered more than 1,800 Model 525s to date, approximately 37% of the entire Citation model range, making the CJ line the best-selling light jet series in the world according to a report by Corporate Jet Investor.
Today, the Model 525 lives on through the current-production M2, CJ3+ and CJ4. While those newer variants tend to attract most of the attention today, the original CitationJet remains a highly attractive choice for business professionals seeking an inexpensive entry to the owner-flown light jet segment.
So, the next time you see a CJ sitting on the ramp, even if it isn’t yours, you may want to pat its radome or wing, and softly say “Happy Birthday.” We won’t tell.