Cessna Citation CJ3: Rent the successful light jet

The Cessna Citation CJ3 is a popular private business jet that offers high performance, advanced technology and exceptional comfort for demanding passengers. The CJ3 (Model 525B) is manufactured by Textron Aviation in Wichita, Kansas. With a range of 3,473 kilometres and a cruising speed of up to 770 km/h, it takes business and leisure travellers to many popular destinations efficiently and comfortably. The light private jet is equipped with the advanced Garmin G3000 avionics system, which enables safe and efficient flight with minimal fuel consumption. In addition, the Citation offers a spacious cabin with a range of luxurious amenities, including a small but sophisticated refreshment centre, a modern entertainment system and comfortable leather seats.

The Cessna Citation CJ3 is part of the Citation family of business jets that have been available since the early 1970s. The CJ3 was announced in 2002 and made its maiden flight just a few months later in April 2003.

Cessna Citation CJ3 in the air
Popular and reliable: A Citation CJ3 in the air

The aircraft was developed as an upgrade of the Citation CJ2 with improvements to the avionics, engines and cabin space. The successor has a longer range, a higher payload and is more fuel-efficient than its predecessors. With its larger wingspan and by exploiting natural laminar flow, it generates more lift with less drag. This allows the jet to travel at higher speeds, has a longer range and enables better fuel efficiency than previous CJs.

In 2014, Cessna launched the CJ3+, which features further improved avionics and more powerful engines that provide over 200 nautical miles of increased range. Inside, the new model features a redesigned cabin, improved sound insulation and a new seating configuration.

The Cessna Citation CJ3 has been a great commercial success for the aircraft builders at Textron Aviation, with over 500 produced. Cessna's entire line of Citation CJ light jets is firmly established in the market and has steadily gained new fans over the years. The Citation CJ3 remains a popular purchase and charter option with private and corporate customers alike.

A Cessna Citation CJ3 at the airport
One of the most successful light jets: A Cessna Citation CJ3 at the airport

This success did not go unnoticed by the trade press: the CJ3 was awarded "Best of the Best" in the Light Jets category twice in a row by the Robb Report.

Advantages of a Citation CJ3 as a rental aircraft:

  • Range and speed: The Citation CJ3 has a range of approximately 3,473 kilometres and is capable of a maximum cruising speed of up to 770 kilometres per hour. This makes it a good choice for short- and medium-haul flights.

  • Comfortable cabin: The CJ3 has a spacious cabin with comfortable seating for up to eight passengers. With ample head and legroom, passengers can choose to relax or use their travel time productively.

  • Advanced avionics: The CJ3 is equipped with the leading Garmin G3000 avionics suite, which offers advanced touch-screen displays and advanced navigation features. This advanced technology provides a safer and more efficient flying experience for the pilot and passengers.

  • Versatile: The CJ3 is a flexible aircraft as it can operate from shorter runways. Landing at smaller airports allows it to fly closer to the final destination.

  • Good value for money: The CJ3 is a comparatively low-cost business jet charter option, as operating costs are lower compared to larger jets. This feature makes the CJ3 a popular choice for cost-conscious businesses and individuals who want the comfort and convenience of a private jet without paying more than necessary.

Disadvantages of a Citation CJ3 as a rental aircraft:

  • Slightly slower than alternative jets: Compared to other light jets, the CJ3 is at a disadvantage in terms of speed. However, especially for shorter flights, this disadvantage does not matter. This still makes the jet a good choice for short and medium-haul flights at home and abroad.

  • Complicated cockpit entry: The entry and exit to the cockpit of the Citation CJ3 jet is described by some pilots as complicated. According to the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), the problem is due to the suboptimal placement of consoles and cockpit ergonomics that need improvement. In the successor model CJ3+, Cessna has optimised the pilot entry.

The following three jet models are possible alternatives to chartering a CJ3:

  1. Cessna Citation CJ4

  2. Embraer Phenom 300

  3. Hawker 400XP

The Cessna Citation CJ4 is a larger and more advanced version of the CJ3 that could be considered as an alternative charter option for business aircraft. The CJ4 has a longer cabin that can seat up to ten passengers. It also offers a range of over 4,000 kilometres, so that destinations further afield can be reached. The aircraft features the leading Garmin G5000 avionics system, which provides pilots with an even higher level of situational awareness and state-of-the-art safety features.

The Embraer Phenom 300 is another popular alternative to the Cessna Citation CJ3. With a range of over 3,700 kilometres and a cruising speed of up to 839 kilometres per hour, the Phenom 300 can fly even further and faster than the CJ3. Its cabin can accommodate up to nine passengers and is renowned for its comfortable seats and luxurious amenities such as a stylish refreshment centre and state-of-the-art entertainment system. The Phenom 300 also features the modern Prodigy Touch avionics suite.

The Hawker 400XP is a slightly smaller alternative to the Cessna Citation CJ3. With a range of up to 2,871 kilometres and a maximum cruise speed of 837 kilometres, the Hawker offers sufficient performance and efficiency for short-haul flights. The cabin seats up to eight passengers and is known for its comfortable seats and spacious interior. The aircraft also features Collins' widely used Pro Line 4 avionics system, with which many pilots are familiar. The Hawker 400XP has a shorter range and offers slightly less space than the CitationJet. However, especially for shorter routes with few passengers, it could be a potentially more cost-effective travel option.

With advanced technology, exceptional comfort and high performance, the Citation CJ3 has cemented its place as one of the best business jets in the light jet market segment. It remains one of the most popular charter options for short- and medium-haul flights with up to 7 passengers.

Cessna Citation CJ3 aircraft cabin
Bright, modern and spacious: The aircraft cabin of the Citation CJ3

Aircraft data / Technical data

Aircraft categoryLight Jet
ManufacturerCessna (Textron Aviation Inc.)
ModelCitation CJ3 (Model 525B)
Number of units produced416
Production period2004 - 2014
Engine2 x Williams International FJ44-3A Turbofans
Price6.295 million US dollars (new list price in launch year 2004)
Crew1-2 pilots (single pilot operation approval)
Toilet1 x rear


Take-off route969 m
Landing distance844 m
Maximum speed770 km/h
Range3.473 km
Maximum flight altitude13.716 m


Passenger capacity8 passengers
Maximum payload with full tank371 kg
Capacity of the most common rental variant7 seats


Cabin volume8,1 m³
Cabin (length x width x height)4,78 m x 1,47 m x 1,45 m

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Cessna Citation CJ3 cost?

In 2004, the launch year, the list price of a Citation CJ3 jet was 6.295 million US dollars. A used Cessna Citation CJ3 currently costs between US$5.75 million for a 2004 model and US$7.25 million for a model from the last year of production (2014). The price of a used CJ3 depends on several factors besides age, such as total flight hours flown, equipment and maintenance history. The list price of the successor model CJ3+ is currently around 8.95 million US dollars.

How far can a Cessna Citation CJ3 fly?

The Cessna Citationjet CJ3 can cover a range of up to 3,780 kilometres with four passengers and two crew members on board and under normal conditions. However, the actual range of the CJ3 can vary significantly depending on factors such as payload, weather and altitude.

How does the Citation CJ3 differ from the Embraer Phenom 300?

Both the Cessna Citation CJ3 and the Embraer Phenom 300 are popular light business jets that belong to the absolute top class of the light jet segment. However, there are some small but subtle differences in terms of design, performance and equipment. The Phenom 300 is slightly larger than the CJ3, has a slightly longer interior and offers additional headroom. The Embraer can carry up to 10 passengers, while the CJ3 is limited to carrying up to 9. The Phenom also has slight advantages in terms of range. Passengers, on the other hand, travel faster in the CitationJet. There are no significant differences in cabin equipment between aircraft of comparable age. However, the Phenom 300 is still in production, whereas the CJ3 was replaced by the CJ3+ in 2014. For travellers who value an up-to-date, contemporary cabin design, the Phenom 300 might therefore be the preferred choice.

How many Cessna Citation CJ3 jets were sold?

According to figures published by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), 416 Cessna CJ3 jets were produced between 2004 and 2014. 2008 was the American aircraft manufacturer's most successful year, with 88 delivered.

Does the Cessna Citation CJ3 have single pilot certification?

Yes, the Cessna Citation CJ3 has Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) single pilot certification. This means that a properly trained pilot may fly the aircraft alone without a co-pilot. However, the operator must also comply with other regulations, such as specific training and experience requirements for the pilot used. The certification requirements may also vary from country to country.

  • Manufacturer: Cessna

    Speed: 415 kts | 770 km/h

    Range: 2002 nm | 3707 km

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Cessna Citation CJ3

Cabin Specifications




Plan of the interior cabin layout of the Cessna Citation CJ3 private jet

Length: 4.57 meters

Height: 1.45 meters

Width: 1.47 meters



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