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.
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.
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:
Cessna Citation CJ4
Embraer Phenom 300
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.
Aircraft data / Technical data
|Aircraft category||Light Jet|
|Manufacturer||Cessna (Textron Aviation Inc.)|
|Model||Citation CJ3 (Model 525B)|
|Number of units produced||416|
|Production period||2004 - 2014|
|Engine||2 x Williams International FJ44-3A Turbofans|
|Price||6.295 million US dollars (new list price in launch year 2004)|
|Crew||1-2 pilots (single pilot operation approval)|
|Toilet||1 x rear|
|Take-off route||969 m|
|Landing distance||844 m|
|Maximum speed||770 km/h|
|Maximum flight altitude||13.716 m|
|Passenger capacity||8 passengers|
|Maximum payload with full tank||371 kg|
|Capacity of the most common rental variant||7 seats|
|Cabin volume||8,1 m³|
|Cabin (length x width x height)||4,78 m x 1,47 m x 1,45 m|