FAA testing confirms Citation X as world's fastest civilian aircraft


November 4, 2013

The Citation X has been confirmed as the world's fastest civilian aircraft

The Citation X has been confirmed as the world's fastest civilian aircraft

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In the wake of the Gulfstream G650 claiming a new around-the-world speed record for a certified civilian aircraft, Cessna is signaling that the record will be short lived. On its way to certification, Cessna's Citation X recently wound up all high-speed certification flights with the FAA, which confirmed the aircraft as the fastest civilian aircraft in the world.

The Citation X has flown over 1,300 hours as part of its test program that included the high-speed testing regimen conducted in recent weeks involving a collaboration between FAA pilots and Cessna's Engineering Flight Team. This focused on the aircraft's handling qualities, stability and control and maneuverability conditions at high speeds.

"The high-speed testing of the new Citation X was a success," says Michael Thacker, Cessna senior vice president of Engineering. "All responses from the high-speed certification testing were well within the expected performance envelope. While these are the results our engineers fully anticipated, this final round of testing went so smoothly the conditions were completed in fewer flights and hours than planned."

The testing validated the aircraft's maximum operating speed of Mach 0.935, which shades the Gulfstream G650's Mach 0.925 top speed. However, the G650 does boast a significantly greater range of 7,000 nautical miles to the Citation X's 3,242 nm.

Expect Cessna to be looking to steal a few world records from the G650 when its Citation X receives FAA certification, which is expected in early 2014.

Source: Textron

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Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

I thought the Citation X already held that title, if not who took it from them? Also when are we going to see a supersonic biz jet?


Caries less fuel and is faster, no DUH . I like the idea of 7000 ml range, just in case i fell asleep at the wheel.

Jay Finke

Agreed, speed records for subsonic flight are fairly meaningless.

"Our test pilot was 0.01 percent crazier. "

Jon A.

Keep in mind that the maximum operating speed is Mach 0.935, but it's maximum cruising speed is Mach 0.797.

Aerion and Spike Aerospace are working on a supersonic business jet. Both companies project deliveries in 2020. Gulfstream says "don't hold your breath".

Spike Aerospace

@mrhuckfin: You can see and step a supersonic airplane in duxford GB!


Less fuel, bigger engines, way to go team. But its a smart way to cater to yuppies with too much money.


Back in 2008, I was on an Emirates Airbus A340-500. This one had the 'Airshow' in the seat-back entertainment system, which periodically showed the speed. Over Western Australia, headed for Melbourne, we hit Mach 0.94. Although we probably had a tailwind helping us along. So I have to ask, could the Citations record be in jeopardy?

Julian Siuksta
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