Textron Aviation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the inaugural flight of the Cessna Citation 500 business jet this week. The Citation 500, then called the Fanjet 500, was launched in October 1968. The prototype flew for the first time on September 15, 1969, at Cessna’s facility in Wichita, Kansas, and the aircraft received its FAA type certification in September 1971.
“From that first Citation flight 50 years ago and through every Citation model produced since, our business jet programs are deeply rooted in the combined efforts of our employees, our suppliers and our customers,” said Textron Aviation CEO Ron Draper. “Today’s range of Citations—from the entry-level Citation M2 up through the Citation Longitude—incorporates our unwavering commitment to value-added innovation, design and production excellence and unrivaled customer support.”
Textron is currently producing seven models in the Citation series: the M2, CJ3+, CJ4, XLS+, Sovereign+, Latitude and Longitude. According to the company, more than 7,500 Citations have been delivered worldwide, building up a combined 35 million flight hours during the last 50 years.