November 4, 2013
By Jim Moore
Flight tests that pushed the business aviation envelope just short of the sound barrier have confirmed what Cessna Aircraft engineers planned: a top speed of Mach 0.935, and an edge over the competition for the new Citation X.
Cessna announced Oct. 31 that the Citation X has completed flight testing to validate the top speed of 536 knots, and final certification is expected in early 2014.
The company announced in 2012 that engineers had squeezed a few more knots from the Citation X, after Gulfstream threatened the title—and the marketing boon that goes with it—of fastest civilian jet, pushing the Gulfstream 650 to Mach 0.925.
Cessna declared the recent high-speed Citation X testing a success, noting the aircraft responded exactly as expected. More than 1,300 hours have been logged in test aircraft to date.
The Citation X has a range of 3,242 nautical miles, able to fly nonstop from New York to London. It offers seating for nine, a Garmin G5000 avionics suite, and a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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