Cessna Citation I

The Cessna 500 Citation I is a small business jet announced by Cessna in October 1968 and is the basis of the Citation family. The Fanjet 500 prototype first flew on September 15, 1969 and it was certified as the Citation on September 9, 1971, upgraded in 1976 as the Citation I and a single pilot variant, production ended in 1985 after 689 deliveries. Powered by JT15D turbofans, the straight wing aircraft was developed into the Citation II/Bravo.

Citation I / I/SP
Role Corporate jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight September 15, 1969 (FanJet 500)[1]
Produced 1971-1985[2]
Number built 689,[3] 688 delivered[2]
Unit cost
$695,000 (1969)[1] $4.75M today
Variants Cessna Citation II


In October 1968 Cessna announced an eight place business jet capable of operating from light/medium twins airfields. The Fanjet 500 prototype first flew on September 15, 1969. The renamed Citation had a relatively long development program with a longer forward fuselage, repositioned engine nacelles, a larger tail and more dihedral to the horizontal tail. It was FAA certified on September 9, 1971.[4]

In early 1976, its wing span grew from 43.9 to 47.1 ft (13.4 to 14.4 m).[5] It also gained thrust reversers and higher gross weights. The enhanced Citation I was introduced later in 1976 with higher weights, JT15D-1A engines and an increased span wing. The 501 Citation I/SP, certificated for single pilot operations, was delivered in early 1977. Production ended in 1985, it was developed into the Citation II/Bravo and the Citation V/Ultra/Encore. Over 690 Citations, Citation Is and I/SPs were built between 1971 and 1985.[4]

By 2018, used 1970s model 500s were valued at $300,000, Citation ISPs at $695,000 to $1.25 million with the Eagle II package.[6]


The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-1 turbofan engines after Cessna's experience with the T-37 Tweet twinjet trainer. Turbofan rather than turbojets and straight wings rather than swept wings made it cruise slowly compared to other business jets and Learjet salesmen mocked it as the “Nearjet” vulnerable to “bird strikes from the rear”; Cessna renamed it the “Citation” after the thoroughbred but it was nicknamed as “Slowtation”.[7]


Civil operators

  • FlyDirect

Military operators

 People's Republic of China


New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson was killed in his Citation I/SP on August 2, 1979 while practicing touch-and-go landings.[12]

A Citation I/SP operated for Trans Europe Air Charter crashed on approach to Stornoway Airport killing all 10 passengers and crew.[13]

Specifications (Cessna Citation I)

Data from Jane's Civil and Military Aircraft Upgrades 1994-95 [14]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two (One pilot on I/SP)
  • Capacity: 5 passengers
  • Length: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 47 ft 1 in (14.35 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
  • Wing area: 278.5 sq ft (25.87 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.83:1
  • Empty weight: 6,631 lb (3,008 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 11,850 lb (5,375 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 564 US gal (470 imp gal; 2,130 L) usable fuel
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-1B turbofans, 2,200 lbf (9.8 kN) thrust each

Performance(above 28,000 ft (8,500 m)

  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.705
  • Cruise speed: 357 kn (411 mph, 661 km/h) at 35,000 ft (11,000 m)
  • Stall speed: 82 kn (94 mph, 152 km/h) (CAS)
  • Range: 1,328 nmi (1,528 mi, 2,459 km) at 41,000 ft (12,000 m) (45 min reserves, 1,562 lb (709 kg) payload)
  • Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,719 ft/min (13.81 m/s)

See also

Related development


  1. "CESSNA'S JET AIRBORNE". FLIGHT International. 2 October 1969.
  2. Murdo Morrison (12 Oct 2018). "NBAA: Business jet designs that changed the industry". FlightGlobal.
  3. "500-Series Technical Review". Textron Aviation. April 28, 2015. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. Gerard Frawley. "Cessna 500 & 501 Citation, Citation I & Citation I/SP". The International Directory of Civil Aircraft via Airliners.net.
  5. Taylor, J.W.R. (editor) Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1976-77. London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1976. ISBN 0-354-00538-3, p.275.
  6. Mark Huber (December 2018). "For many models, market hitting the apex" (PDF). Aviation International News. pp. 20–21, 24.
  7. William Garvey (Feb 10, 2017). "Can A Cessna Succeed The G450?". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  8. "Angola receives maritime surveillance aircraft from Israel". Defence Web. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  9. Martin, Guy (December 2017). "Angola acquires Citation MPA". Air International. Vol. 93 no. 6. p. 11. ISSN 0306-5634.
  10. "FAA Registry: N-Number Inquiry Results: N54FT". Federal Aviation Authority. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  11. Flores, Santiago A. "From Cavalry to Close Air Support". Air International. May 2001, Vol. 60, No. 5, ISSN 0306-5634, p. 301.
  12. NTSB Thurman Munson accident brief
  13. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Cessna 500 Citation I G-UESS Stornoway Airport (SYY)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  14. Michell, Simon, ed. (1994). Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades 1994-95. Coulsdon, Surrey UK: Jane's Information Group. pp. 300–301. ISBN 0-7106-1208-7.
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