The Cessna Citation III is an American midsize cabin business jet and the first of Cessna’s model 650 series. With a range above 2,000 nautical miles, this aircraft was designed for unmatched speed, lightweight composites, and flawless surfaces to trim down on drag, and dressed with a completely new fuselage, with a super-critical swept-back wing and T-tail configuration.
In 1974, the manufacturing company Cessna developed a long-range Model 700 stretch of the Citation I with an almost 8,000 kg of gross weight, 3,600 kg empty weight, and 3,400 kg fuel capacity leaving 907 kg for the occupants. The aircraft was called the Citation III, powered by three Pratt and Whitney JT15D engines.
In October 1976, the company announced the Citation III at the NBAA convention. It had the same cockpit and cruciform tail as the other Citations. Since the intended three-engined Models 600 and 700 were insufficient, the aircraft would be powered by two Garrett TFE731 turbofan engines. It was also designed with a supercritical 35° swept wing. The maximum cruise was intended for 470 knots, and the long-range type had an 8,700 kg of gross weight and a travel range of 3,000 nautical miles. Launching the program would cost up to $50 million.
In 1978, the Citation III had a particular cockpit and a T-tail configuration. The wing area was 29 square meters, the aspect ratio is 8.94 and the wingspan is 16.31 meters. In January 1979, the construction of the initial production aircraft started.
On May 30, 1979, the first prototype conducted its maiden flight. After a year, in April 1980, the second prototype took its first flight. By the last quarter of the year, the two prototypes had logged 400 hours in 372 flights. On April 30, 1982, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded the aircraft’s type certification.
The Citation III can accommodate up to 13 passengers and 2 crew, but a typical corporate configuration can seat up to eight passengers. It has a cabin length of 5.6 meters, a width of 1.67 meters, and a height of 1.73 meters. The aircraft was developed in seven years for $240 million. Production ceased in 1992 with a total of 202 Citation IIIS built and delivered.