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Cessna Citation I

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Citation I / I/SP
A Citation I/SP
Role Corporate jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight September 15, 1969 (FanJet 500)[1]
Produced 1971–1985[2]
Number built 689,[3] 688 delivered[2]
Variants Cessna Citation II

The Cessna 500 Citation I is a small business jet produced by Cessna, the basis of the Citation family. The Fanjet 500 prototype was announced in October 1968, first flew on September 15, 1969, and was certified as the 500 Citation on September 9, 1971. It was upgraded in 1976 as the Citation I, and the 501 Citation I/SP single-pilot variant was introduced in 1977. Production ended in 1985 with 689 of all variants produced. The straight wing jet is powered by JT15D turbofans. The aircraft was developed into the Citation II.


Netherlands minister Max van der Stoel boarding in 1975

In the early 1960s, the three major American general aviation aircraft manufacturers—Beechcraft, Cessna and Piper–faced a competitive challenge in the form of two newly-developed light business jets, the Learjet 23 and the Aero Commander 1121 Jet Commander, which were much less expensive to buy and operate than previous business jets such as the North American Sabreliner and Hawker Siddeley HS.125.[4] Previous efforts by Beechcraft and Cessna to market small jets had not met with success: the Cessna 407, a proposed civil version of the T-37 Tweet jet trainer, had not proceeded past the mockup stage due to insufficient customer interest,[5] while an effort by Beechcraft to market the Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris in North America had ended with only two aircraft sold.[6] However, the runaway success of the Learjet caused the two companies—which only manufactured piston engined aircraft at the time—to reconsider turbine engined aircraft, and Beechcraft launched two simultaneous efforts: the development of the turboprop-powered King Air 90 and an agreement to market the HS.125 in North America.[7]

Cessna quickly found that its premium twin piston-engine aircraft were uncompetitive with the King Air, which was substantially faster, yet could be flown by pilots with similar skills and licensing qualifications. However, the company also saw a broad gap between the King Air and existing light jets such as the Learjet, which were far faster but also relatively unforgiving to fly, requiring highly skilled pilots and long runways. Cessna reasoned that a market existed for a light jet that was faster than the King Air but similarly easy to fly, relatively inexpensive to buy and maintain, and able to access small airports with shorter runways. This type of aircraft would appeal to traditional Cessna buyers: amateur owner-pilots who intend to fly the aircraft themselves.[8]

In October 1968 Cessna announced an eight place business jet capable of operating from airfields accessible to light twins. The Fanjet 500 prototype first flew on September 15, 1969. By then its unit cost was $695,000,[1] $5.77M today. The renamed 500 Citation had a relatively long development program with a longer forward fuselage, repositioned engine nacelles, a larger tail and more dihedral to the horizontal tail. It was FAA certified on September 9, 1971.[9]

In 1974, thrust reversers became optional, and in 1976, the gross weight was increased by 1,000 pounds (450 kg) to 10,850 pounds (4,920 kg).[10] In early 1976, the wingspan was increased from 43.9 to 47.1 ft (13.4 to 14.4 m).[11] The enhanced 500 Citation I was introduced later in 1976 with the higher gross weight, improved JT15D-1A engines and the increased span wing. Speed and range were enhanced, the aircraft's service ceiling increased from 35,000 to 41,000 feet (11,000 to 12,000 m), and the cabin pressure at altitude was increased from 7.6 to 8.6 psi (52 to 59 kPa).[9][10] Many of the original Citations, of which 349 were produced, were upgraded with the new engines.[12] The 501 Citation I/SP, certificated for single pilot operations, was delivered in early 1977. Production ended in 1985, it was developed into the Citation II/Bravo and the Citation V/Ultra/Encore.[9] 395 Citations and Citation Is and 296 I/SPs were built between 1971 and 1985.[9][13] The aircraft were dropped from production because JT15D engine prices had increased to the point that the price difference between the Citation I and Citation II series had become minimal, causing most buyers to opt for the larger and faster II and II/SP.[14]

By 2018, used 1970s model 500s were valued at $300,000, Citation ISPs at $695,000 to $1.25 million with the Eagle II package.[15]


The Citation I has a low straight wing and two aft JT15D turbofans.

The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-1 turbofan engines after Cessna's experience with the T-37 Tweet twinjet trainer. Its use of turbofans rather than turbojets and straight wings rather than swept wings made it cruise slowly compared to other business jets and Learjet salesmen mocked it as the "Nearjet" vulnerable to "bird strikes from the rear"; Cessna renamed it the "Citation" after the thoroughbred but it was nicknamed as "Slowtation".[16]


Government and Military operators[edit]

 People's Republic of China

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Notable accidents and incidents involving the Citation 500, Citation I and Citation I/SP:

Specifications (Cessna Citation I)[edit]

Data from Jane's Civil and Military Aircraft Upgrades 1994-95 [26]

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)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.83:1
  • 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)

See also[edit]

Related development



  1. ^ a b "CESSNA'S JET AIRBORNE". Flight International. 2 October 1969.
  2. ^ a b Murdo Morrison (12 Oct 2018). "NBAA: Business jet designs that changed the industry". FlightGlobal.
  3. ^ "500-Series Technical Review". Textron Aviation. April 28, 2015. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Szurovy 1999, p. 11.
  5. ^ Olcott, John W. (5 May 2006). "Turbine Pilot: VLJ Deja Vu". aopa.org. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  6. ^ Jerram, Mike (October 2010). "Morane-Saulnier Paris: the very first Very Light Jet" (PDF). General Aviation. International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  7. ^ Szurovy 1999, p. 12.
  8. ^ Szurovy 1999, p. 12–14.
  9. ^ a b c d Gerard Frawley. "Cessna 500 & 501 Citation, Citation I & Citation I/SP". The International Directory of Civil Aircraft – via Airliners.net.
  10. ^ a b Szurovy 1999, p. 25.
  11. ^ Taylor, J.W.R. (editor) Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1976-77. London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1976. ISBN 0-354-00538-3, p.275.
  12. ^ Szurovy 1999, p. 26.
  13. ^ Simpson, R.W. (1991). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 1-85310-194-X.
  14. ^ Szurovy 1999, p. 28.
  15. ^ Mark Huber (December 2018). "For many models, market hitting the apex" (PDF). Aviation International News. pp. 20–21, 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-12-27. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  16. ^ William Garvey (Feb 10, 2017). "Can A Cessna Succeed The G450?". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  17. ^ "Angola receives maritime surveillance aircraft from Israel". Defence Web. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  18. ^ Martin, Guy (December 2017). "Angola acquires Citation MPA". Air International. Vol. 93, no. 6. p. 11. ISSN 0306-5634.
  19. ^ "FAA Registry: N-Number Inquiry Results: N54FT". Federal Aviation Authority. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  20. ^ Rivas, Santiago (September 2020). "Fighting Criminals all over Argentina". Air International. Vol. 99, no. 3. pp. 80–83. ISSN 0306-5634.
  21. ^ Flores, Santiago A. "From Cavalry to Close Air Support". Air International. May 2001, Vol. 60, No. 5, ISSN 0306-5634, p. 301.
  22. ^ "NTSB Aviation Accident Final Report CHI79FA064". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  23. ^ "Two Victims of Private Jet Crash Named". Sky News. 30 March 2008. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  24. ^ "Aviation Investigation Report A16P0186". Transportation Safety Board of Canada. June 4, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  25. ^ "NTSB: Pilot error in crash killing diet guru Gwen Shamblin". AP. March 22, 2023. Retrieved March 23, 2023.
  26. ^ Michell, Simon, ed. (1994). Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades 1994-95. Coulsdon, Surrey UK: Jane's Information Group. pp. 300–301. ISBN 0-7106-1208-7.


  • Szurovy, Geza (1999). Cessna Citation Jets. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7603-0785-7.

External links[edit]