The performance of Cessna’s Citation X is certainly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in private air travel. In a recent batch of high-speed certification flights, the Citation X sped into the title of the world’s fastest civilian aircraft, clocking in at Mach .935 (993kmh, 617mph).
As part of its FAA mandated test, the craft was required to throttle up its engine and demonstrate that it could maneuver safely while screaming through the skies.
According to Michael Thacker, Cessna senior VP of Engineering, "The high-speed testing of the new Citation X was a success. 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."
Powering these remarkable results are Citation X‘s two FADEC-controlled Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 turbo fan engines. These new engines, designed specifically for the Citation X, feature advanced fan blade designs, improved fuel consumption and (unsurprisingly) greater thrust than previous Rolls Royce engines.
With seating for 9 people and a range of 3,242 nautical miles, the Citation X can easily make the jump from New York to LA; while if it really stretched its limits it could hop the pond too, jetting from New York to London nonstop.
With FAA tests set to conclude in early 2014, the Citation X should begin to jet passengers around the globe within the next 18 months. With Cessna and its rival Gulfstream continuing to push the envelope of civilian aircraft design, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next decade we see a civilian plane that can exceed Mach 1.