Cessna marks 50th anniversary of first Citation flight

Textron Aviation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the maiden flight of the original Cessna Citation business jet – the first model in what has become the largest business jet family in the world.

The prototype, branded the Citation 500, lifted off from Wichita’s Municipal airport (now Wichita Dwight D Eisenhower National airport) on 15 September 1969 for a 1h 45min sortie, piloted by Milt Sills and J L LeSueur. US certification was awarded in September 1971, leading to first deliveries in January 1972.

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Textron Aviation

Cessna unveiled a mock-up of the light business jet in October 1968, originally calling it the Fanjet 500. The concept was to offer a growing population of business travellers an aircraft that was a quieter, simpler, safer and less expensive option than other business jets on the market, that also gave pilots of twin-engined turboprops an easy transition.

At a price of about $695,000, the six-seat Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-1B-powered Citation had a maximum cruise speed of 350kt (650km/h) and a range of 1,330nm (2,430km).

“The same vision that led to the creation of the original Citation 50 years ago still guides us today,” says Ron Draper, president and chief executive of Textron Aviation, Cessna’s parent company.

“We are building on our history as an industry leader and investing in the future to continue to exceed customer expectations,” he adds.

Cessna has delivered more than 7,500 Citation models worldwide. The current family line-up includes the M2 entry-level jet, CJ3+ and CJ4 light jets, superlight XLS+, midsize Sovereign+ and Latitude. The Longitude super-midsize business jet is scheduled to enter service before year-end.


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Airbus marks 50th anniversary with flypast

Airbus kicked off its 50th anniversary celebrations in style today with a flypast over its Toulouse headquarters.

The date is significant for the European manufacturer as it was this day in 1969 that the original Airbus partnership agreement was signed at the Paris air show in Le Bourget, signalling the launch of the A300B programme.

Airbus

A formation of Airbus family aircraft, including the A220, A320 Family, A330neo, A350 XWB, A380 and BelugaXL, along with Dassault Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France, flew over Toulouse city this morning and completed a flypast over Blagnac airport where Airbus is based.

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The “50 years of Airbus” celebrations in Toulouse will be covered on flightglobal.com. Read our online special report celebrating the manufacturer’s big birthday here

Updated to reflect date and video


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Airbus to mark 50th anniversary with Toulouse flypast

Airbus plans to kick off its 50th anniversary celebrations tomorrow (29 May) in style with a flypast over its Toulouse headquarters.

The date is significant for the European manufacturer as it was then in 1969 that the original Airbus partnership agreement was signed at the Paris air show in Le Bourget, signalling the launch of the A300B programme.

A formation of Airbus family aircraft, including the A220, A320 family aircraft, A330neo, A350 XWB, A380 and BelugaXL, along with Dassault Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France, will overfly Toulouse city at around 10:00 GMT and complete a flypast over Blagnac airport where Airbus is based.

The “50 years of Airbus” celebrations in Toulouse will be covered on flightglobal.com. Read our online special report celebrating the manufacturer’s big birthday here


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