Anyone familiar with the private jet industry knows about Cessna’s line of Citation business jets: economic, high-performing, comfortable private jets that consistently stand out in the market. The Citation 1 is the original, turbo-fan-powered business jet in, what has come to be, the successful Citation family. The entry-level Citation, after many changes and developments, penetrated the market in 1977 due to its ability to operate out of short airfields and at modest speeds, all at a low cost. (Its listing price ranged from $790,000-$960,000.) In 1985, Cessna discontinued the Citation 1.
Initial changes to the design of the Citation 1 included thrust reversers, a longer wingspan (47.1 ft.) and higher operating weights, and were conducted in the last stages of development to ensure maximum competition with other similar jets of its time. Two Pratt & Whitney of Canada JT15D-1/A/B turbofan engines were chosen for the Citation 1. With each rated at 2,200 lbs. of thrust, they provide a considerable amount of power to fly the small jet.
Cessna originally used ARC analog radios in the Citation 1, but has since upgraded its avionics to modern digital technology. The jet is equipped with dual Collins VHF comms, VIR 30 navs, ADF 60’s, the Sperry APZ 500 autopilot and Bendix RDR 1100 radar. Although advancements and improvements have been made to models since the Citation 1, it still has a lot to offer in terms of performance. The Citation has a maximum payload of 2,097 lbs. Its maximum takeoff weight is 11,850 lbs. to reach a flight ceiling of 41,000 ft.
The Citation 1 requires a crew of two, much like the Learjets. However, the Citation 1 S/P’s single-pilot configuration allows room for an extra passenger in the right seat of the flight deck. The “tight” cabin, measuring 12.7 ft. in length, 4.9 ft. in width and 4.3 ft. in height, can seat six passengers. In addition, it contains a full-width lavatory and a small galley/refreshment counter.
In short, Cessna’s original Citation offered performance at a reasonable cost, when there was a definite need for a good, entry-level business jet. Between 1971 and 1985, over 690 of the highly-popular Citation 1’s and Citation 1 S/P’s were built.