Forty-five years ago this month, Cessna delivered its first Citation business jet, an event that arguably changed the course of the Wichita plane maker.
American Airlines was the first recipient of the Citation 500 jet in late January 1972, officials of Cessna parent Textron Aviation said Monday. American planned to use the jet for the development of its in-house training program.
Since the delivery, the company that is equally known for its light, single-piston-engine airplanes has delivered more than 7,000 Citation business jets that have amassed nearly 35 million flight hours.
“This milestone marking 45 years of industry leadership is really a celebration of the thousands of people through the years – customers and employees – who have made the Citation line of business jets the world leader,” Kriya Shortt, Textron Aviation senior vice president of sales and marketing, said in a news release.
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The Citation line encompasses eight jets ranging from light to midsize with two larger models under development: the super midsize Longitude that’s expected to be certified later this year and the large-cabin Hemisphere, scheduled for first flight in 2019.