Cessna Aircraft Company, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, is a manufacturer of general aviation aircraft, primarily specializing in small, piston-powered aircraft and medium-sized business jets.
The company traces its history to June 1911, when Clyde Cessna, a farmer in Rago, Kansas, built a wood-and-fabric plane and became the first person to build and fly an aircraft between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Clyde Cessna started his aircraft ventures in Enid, Oklahoma testing many of his early planes on the salt flats. When bankers in Enid would not loan him the money to build his planes, he moved to Wichita.
The Cessna Citation is a marketing name used by Cessna for its lines of business jets. Rather than one particular model of aircraft, the name applies to several "families" of turbofan-powered aircraft which have been produced over the years. Within each of the six distinct families, aircraft design improvements, market pressures and re-branding efforts have resulted in a number of variants, so that the Citation lineage has become quite complex.
In October, 1968, Cessna announced plans to build an eight-place business jet that, unlike its competition, would be suitable for operations from shorter airfields, essentially aiming to compete in the light-to-medium twin turboprop market, rather than the existing business jet market. First flight of the prototype aircraft, then called the FanJet 500, took place a little under a year later, on September 15, 1969. After a longer-than-expected development flight test program, during which the name Citation 500 was tried, and a number of changes to the design, the finished aircraft was debuted with the new name Citation (Model 500) and received its FAA certification in September, 1971. This was the beginning of a long line of Citation Jets of various designs and models.
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