Cessna CEO Jack Pelton has always said that he will not let Gulfstream steal the speed crown from the Cessna Citation X, which today is the fastest certified business jet, with a maximum mach speed (MMO) of M0.92. Gulfstream has already flown the G650 at M0.925, its proposed MMO, and plans to certify the aircraft for that upper limit.
So now that Cessna has a new product in test with the $21.495 million Citation Ten, an upgraded version of the X complete with enhanced Rolls-Royce engines and new Garmin avionics, what's Pelton saying?
"The Citation Ten is the fastest production business jet, and it will continue to be the fastest production business jet," Pelton insists. "We will make sure that we will continue to hold the position." Asked to quantify the claim, he would only say that Cessna will give "an official number" on the Ten's top speed only after the G650 is certified in 2011.