Aircraft Company's newest light business jet, the Citation CJ3, has
successfully completed its first flight.
The CJ3 departed from McConnell Air Force Base Thursday at 9:20
a.m., and landed at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport at 11:03 a.m.
The airplane was piloted by Dan Morris and Russ Williams.
During the 1.7 hour flight Morris and Williams tested the CJ3's
basic stability and control; operated the landing gear, flaps,
speedbrakes and trim system; and evaluated engine operating
characteristics and slow flight capabilities. According to
Morris, "The CJ3 has several unique features which are new to
Cessna's CitationJet family. Two features that we watched closely
today were the dual-channel FADEC-controlled Williams engines, and
the upgraded Collins avionics. We are very happy with how all
systems performed on this first flight. The airplane reacted
exactly as we anticipated."
The CJ3 is Cessna's first new airplane of the
millennium. Since its introduction in September 2002, over 160
orders have been received. The CJ3 incorporates the successful
features of the CJ2 while also providing a longer cabin and
tailcone, new Williams International FJ44-3A engines, and advanced
"Today is a great day for the entire CJ3 team," said Joe
Hepburn, Citation CJ3 Program Manager. "We've worked very hard to
keep this airplane on schedule, and today's flight actually
occurred several weeks ahead of the plan."
A crowd of
exuberant Cessna team members greeted the CJ3 when it landed at
Mid-Continent Airport. During a brief ceremony, Cessna's Senior
Vice President of Engineering, Jack Pelton, congratulated the CJ3
team. "The CJ3 is destined to follow in the footsteps of its
predecessors. Customers have already voiced their excitement about
the new features, as well as being pleased that we have maintained
the popular features of the CJ1 and CJ2."
Designed for single pilot operation, the maximum cruise speed is
417 knots at 33,000 feet. With two pilots, full fuel, four
passengers and baggage, the CJ3 offers an IFR range of 1,664 nm and
a VFR range of 1,900 nm. Service ceiling is 45,000 feet and the
maximum gross takeoff weight is 13,870 lbs. The time to climb
directly to 45,000 feet at maximum gross takeoff weight is 35
The CJ3 is priced at $5,895,000 in 2003 dollars. Type
certification is anticipated in the second quarter 2004, with first
customer deliveries in the third quarter