As of June 2018, Textron Aviation has confirmed that production of the Cessna Citation X+ is coming to an end. The Citation X+ and its predecessor, the Citation X, which debuted in 1995, have enjoyed a more than 20 year run as one of the most sought after and luxurious private jets.
Nicknamed the “Lamborghini of the skies”, the Citation X, and eventually the Citation X+, has retained its crown as the fastest civilian aircraft in the world for the past two decades. However, it seems that headline grabbing speed is no longer enough to warrant continued manufacturing. When it comes to private jets, it seems that today’s consumers are far more interested in increased comfort and range than speed.
With room for 12 passengers but only a range of 3,500 nautical miles (nm), the Citation X+ has fallen behind its competitors such as the Bombardier Challenger 350 or the Embraer Legacy 650 which boasts a larger cabin and a range of 3,900 nm respectively. The Citation X+ found competition even within its own company with the Citation Longitude, a larger yet more agile jet that boasts a 12-passenger cabin one foot wider and four inches taller, and a range of 4,000 nm.
Unfortunately, the overlap of the Citation X+ and the Citation Longitude makes it difficult to justify the production of both. Manufacturers like Textron must make tough calls to survive in such a competitive market, especially since so many aerospace companies are constantly introducing more generous cabins and longer ranges. Still, fans can rejoice as the Citation X+ can still be enjoyed in the private jet charter market.
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