Cessna president Jack Pelton has hammered out a clear warning to Gulfstream that the Cessna’s Citation X’s mantle of the world’s fastest civil jet is a not a title it will hand over easily.

Gulfstream’s G650, announced earlier this year, is planned to fly at 528kt, 3kt faster than the Citation X, which since the demise of Concorde has been the recognised as the fastest civil aircraft.

But Pelton says: “Let’s put this in the proper context. Gulfstream is making the claim their new G650 will be certified 3kt faster than Citation X - but it is yet to fly and yet to certify. Today we are still the fastest and if Gulfstream achieve what they say they are going to do then we will one-up them. We are not going to rest on this one!”

 Jack Pelton Cessna

Pelton has brought Cessna to Farnborough buoyed by a string of recent sales to Europe. “There is a lot of talk in the media about problems for the aviation industry, but we want to see business aviation disassociated from that,” he says. “Oil prices have gone up but we are seeing a big growth in the international market - probably better than we have seen in the last couple of decades.”

Pelton says several characteristics have driven business aviation growth in Europe. “We put it down to affluence and acceptance. It is not an elitist proposition now, but more a productivity tool that allows companies to do business at a faster pace and work in areas that are not supported by commercial airlines.”

Source: Flight International