Cessna reclaims title of fastest jet

Citation Ten gets a speed boost to Mach 0.935

August 24, 2012

citation ten

Cessna engineers have found a way to boost the speed of the Citation Ten, the follow-on to the Mach 0.92 Citation X, from Mach 0.92 to Mach 0.935. That beats the Gulfstream 650, once the fastest business jet in the world, which flew at Mach 0.925. The Ten is also 15 inches longer than the Citation X.

It will be interesting to see if the announcement sends Gulfstream engineers back to the drawing boards to find a little more speed to regain the title of fastest business jet. To brand the Ten as a speed demon, Cessna officials have announced sponsorship of the Chip Ganassi Grand Prix racing team. The Cessna name will appear on all four race cars of the team driven by some of the highest profile race car drivers in the world: Dario Franchitti, husband to movie star Ashley Judd, Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, and Charlie Kimball.

“As our founder Clyde Cessna said, ‘speed is the only reason for flying,’ so at Cessna we design, engineer, manufacture and fly the fastest civil aircraft in the world—not for us, but for our customers so they can work faster, more efficiently and get the job done,” said Scott Ernest, Cessna President and CEO.

It appears, however, that the speed boost is all about bragging rights. Cessna mentioned the title of “fastest civil aircraft in the world” in the opening line of its press release, demonstrating the value it places on speed as a marketing tool.

The announcement came a few days after Cessna said it has increased the range of its planned midsize jet, the Citation Latitude, from 2,000 nautical miles to 2,500 nm.

Al Marsh

Alton K. Marsh | AOPA Pilot Senior Editor, AOPA

AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.