The Cessna Citation X+ is the fastest private jet in the world
If time is money, this jet will recoup its $23 million price tag in no time. Able to reach maximum speeds of Mach 0.935 (717 mph), the Cessna Citation X+ is the fastest airplane in the world designed for civilian use. How fast? The Citation X+ can fly you from Los Angeles to New York in under four hours.
Powered by two dual-channel FADEC-controlled Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 turbo fan engines, the Cessna Citation X+ can climb to a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet at a near sprint. The aircraft has sharply swept-back wings and an aerodynamic fuselage with a distinctive bump on the underbelly. Additional winglets improve speed at high altitudes. The aircraft boasts a maximum range of 3,460 nautical miles, allowing speedy trans-continental flights. In 2014, the Citation X+ set a coast-to-coast speed record, making the 2,375-nautical-mile flight from Seattle to Miami in just 4 hours and 52 minutes.
While the exterior of the Citation X+ was designed for speed, the interior was designed for comfort. The cabin is quite spacious at 5 ft 6 in high, 5 ft 4 in wide and 25 ft 2 in long. The interior features standard seating for eight passengers, foldaway executive tables, 13 large windows, a full galley for food preparation and some of the most generous legroom in its class.
History of the Cessna Citation X+
In the late 1980s, the Cessna Citation brand had a reputation in the industry as a slow aircraft, especially when compared with its toughest competitor, the speedy Bombardier Learjet. Eager to lose this reputation, Cessna began work on the Cessna Citation X in 1990.
The Citation X was originally scheduled for release in August 1995, but when the aircraft failed to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, Cessna pushed back the release date. The issues were quickly resolved, but Cessna decided to increase the maximum takeoff weight by 800 pounds, which necessitated another round of FAA certification. The aircraft was finally certified on June 3rd, 1996 and heralded as the fastest private jet in the world. In 1997, its design team was awarded the prestigious National Aeronautic Association's Robert J. Collier Trophy for "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.”
Interestingly, the first owner of the Citation X was was golf legend and longtime Cessna fan Arnold Palmer. Palmer himself set a speed record in the Citation X on September 1997 after flying 876 km per hour on a 5,000 km closed course.
With a maximum speed of Mach 0.92, the Citation X remained the fastest airplane in the world until the release of the Gulfstream G650 in September 2012. This luxurious new jet edged ahead with a top speed of Mach 0.925, but didn’t hold the title for long. In 2013, Cessna released the new Citation X+, with a maximum speed of Mach 0.935, reclaiming the title of the fastest airplane in the world for civilian use. The new and improved Citation X+ also features a roomier cabin, an increased payload and a longer range.
So how much will this speed cost you? The current list price of a Cessna Citation X+ is about $23 million. The Gulfstream G650, on the other hand, costs a whopping $65 million thanks to its larger size and longer range.