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Cessna delivers milestone Citation jet

Textron Aviation employees gather around a Cessna Citation M2 business jet, the 5,000th Citation light jet Cessna has delivered since launching the business jet family in 1972.
Textron Aviation employees gather around a Cessna Citation M2 business jet, the 5,000th Citation light jet Cessna has delivered since launching the business jet family in 1972. Courtesy photo

Five thousand.

That’s how many light Citation business jets Textron Aviation’s Cessna Aircraft unit has delivered over 44 years.

The model that pushed the company to the milestone was an M2 built at the company’s Independence plant and delivered to Helitrip Charter LLP, Textron Aviation said Monday.

Helitrip is leasing the jet to Catreus Ltd., a United Kingdom-based charter operator. It will be the second M2 for Catreus, whose fleet also includes the Citation Mustang, Bravo, Excel, XLS and XLS+ business jets.

Cessna’s light Citation jet line includes the Mustang, M2, CJ3+ and CJ4.

Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia said many companies have tried and failed over a quarter of a century to develop and sell light business jets, which makes Cessna’s milestone significant.

“This is actually, seriously, history,” he said. “It’s not just the 5,000. It’s the people who tried and failed to go after what is a very big market.”

Cessna delivered its first Citation business jet in 1972 and claims the Citation family as the largest fleet of business jets in the world.

The Citation lineup encompasses eight models that are classified as light and midsize.

Textron Aviation is expected to soon mark the first flight of the Citation Longitude, a super-midsize jet that will be Cessna’s biggest yet. The Longitude is to be followed by Cessna’s first large business jet, the Hemisphere, expected to make its first flight in 2019.

The Wichita-based company has delivered more than 7,000 Citation jets.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

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