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BizJets - Cessna - Citation

Cessna Aircraft company began in 1927. After producing the first cantilever wing design, they went on to a steady stream of commercial success driven by innovation. That tradition continues up to the present day as a subsidiary of Textron, owners of Bell Helicopter.

Though the early years through the mid-1960s were driven largely by their small two-four seaters, they branched out to become one of the industry's leading business jet manufacturers. Today, it isn't just the little Piper Cub that is instantly recognizable at airports. The Citation business jet series is equally renowned by those who know, love or just use these outstanding aircraft.

Whether it's the super-speedy Citation X, the luxurious Citation Sovereign, or any of the many other models, these bizjets are among the finest flying vessels in existence.

Not least of those outstanding models is the Citation Bravo 550B. With 11 seats, this small corporate jet can fly a full complement easily from New York to Chicago. At under 9,000 lbs (4,100 kg), this baby's twin Pratt and Whitney engines just sip fuel as it flies along at 30,000 feet.

But the power and efficiency is matched by a luxurious interior. With taupe leather seats and stylish paneling, the Citation Bravo is not just a flying office. It's a flying room in a first class cruise ship.

The Citation Sovereign is even more impressive. This mid-sized corporate jet sports an eight seat cabin, the largest in its class and offering 40% more internal volume than the already spacious Bombardier Learjet 60.

The mildly swept-wing design gives the exterior a hint of sleek, fighter-jet styling that matches well the speedy Pratt & Whitney powerplant. These gems can lift the plane off runways only 4,000ft (1,220m) long even at maximum takeoff weight.

Of course, the crown jewel in the line is often considered the Citation X. So fast it can shave an hour off transcontinental flights, relative to other mid-sized corporate models, it deserves the reputation. It can reach Los Angeles from New York in just over four hours. Try that in a commercial airplane.

The interior is equally praiseworthy. Head and shoulder room is ample and the floor space allows for easy pacing whenever travelers have to move to think. But with the plush seats and quiet cabin, they'll probably spend more time relaxing than worrying.

Based on unit sales alone, Cessna is the world's largest manufacturer of general aviation planes. In 2006, they produced over 1,500 craft, including 307 Citations, netting them well over $4 billion. The future looks equally bright, with orders totaling $8.5 billion already recorded. Given the company's outstanding engineering and business practices, it isn't surprising.