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23 February 2024

Answer your need for speed

By Reena Amos Dyes



Time is money, especially for top businessmen. Wasted hours can mean missed opportunities as most important deals are concluded face to face.


So if you are a high-flier, always pressed-for-time, then a private jet is the best thing you can do for your business as it allows you to take control of your schedule.


And if you want to be able to fly across three time zones and still be home for dinner then the Cessna Citation X, the world’s fastest business jet, is right up your street.


This customised, Dh81 million aircraft can fly at Mach .92 – not far off the speed of sound. It seats eight people – 10 at a pinch – and can climb to 43,000 feet in 30 minutes.


And, as the Citation X is certified to fly at 51,000ft, where fuel efficiency is optimal and airline traffic non-existent, you can travel at top speed most of the time and use less fuel getting to your destination.


To give you an idea, at 600mph (966kph) the Citation X will cover a mile in a sizzling six seconds. It streaks from Los Angeles to New York – a journey that takes a commercial airliner five-and-a-half hours – in a little under four.


It shrinks the New York-London route to less than six hours compared with the normal seven. And it can cross half a dozen time zones without a refuelling stop.


Doug Oliver, Cessna’s Director of Corporate Communications, told Emirates Business about the cutting-edge technology behind the superjet.


“We used new computerised design tools, a new type of wing and very powerful twin Rolls-Royce Allison AE 3007 engines – each generating more than 6,700 pounds of thrust – to achieve the top speed of Mach .92.


“It took six years for our 500-strong design team headed by Milt Sills to come up with the Citation X. Work on the plane started in 1990 and the first delivery was in 1996 – golfer Arnold Palmer was the first buyer.”


OK, so it’s fast – but what about comfort?


When you step inside the Citation X it does not seem like a mid-sized business jet. That is because it comes with the most spacious and stunningly attractive cabin ever created for a Citation.

The full-length stand-up aisle stretches for 8m and there is an up-to-the-minute in-flight entertainment system, a pantry and a closet where you can hang your business suit so you look your best if you decide to go into that important meeting straight from the airport.


Even the crew seats are technologically advanced and ergonomically designed for long-range comfort.


Each Citation X interior is individually crafted to suit the specific requirements of the owner.


“Our aircraft are customised to meet each purchaser’s preferences with respect to interior appointments, avionics and other optional equipment,” said Oliver.


“The price of the aircraft varies depending on the options chosen.”


But for those who can afford the aircraft the cost is worth it because of the time saved.

Jack Pelton, Chairman, President and CEO of Cessna, pilots the Citation X on a regular basis.


“When we have to travel from our headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, to Washington DC the airline service is not the best. It takes most of the day and at least two flights to go from Wichita to Washington.


“In the Citation X it takes less than two hours. That is a great example of the benefit of its speed – and of the use of business jets. But in a Citation CJ2 jet it still takes about three hours, so the Citation X is really great to use when you want to get somewhere fast.”


So while you give busy airports and delays in crowded terminals a miss and relax and collect your thoughts before that crucial meeting, your Citation X will be hard at work to get you to your next meeting as quickly as possible.