Cessna Citation has been a household name in the aviation industry since the 1980s. In 1993, the legendary American aviation brand decided to upgrade its popular Citation II design and launch the Citation V/Ultra. We shine a spotlight on the private aircraft that Flying magazine once called the world’s best business jet.

First-Class Performance

Performance is one of the key areas where the Citation V/Ultra improves on its predecessor. This plane is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s high-performance JT15D-5D turbofan engines. Their single-crystal alloy blades are part of a wide-chord blade design refined using computer technology for fewer air leaks and optimum aerodynamic performance. The new alloy allows the inner tube temperature to increase by 68 degrees Fahrenheit when compared to the Citation II’s JT 15D5-5A engines. Each one of the Citation V/Ultra’s engines delivers a mighty 3,045 pounds of thrust. When it’s cruising at 37,000 feet, the Citation V/Ultra travels at a swift 426 knots.

The engines create enough bleed air to support the Citation V/Ultra’s anti-icing, air conditioning, and cabin pressurization systems. A “flood” cooling system comes as standard, but as this cuts out at 10,000 feet, many people choose the vapor-cycle air-conditioning system, which handles heights up to 18,000 feet.

The Citation V/Ultra’s take-off distance is also much shorter than many light planes. It can take off in just 3,200 feet when loaded to its maximum take-off weight of 16,300 pounds, so it’s perfect for departing from small regional airports with short runways. It can climb to 45,000 feet at 4,100 feet per minute when carrying six passengers and a pair of pilots.

Sleek Exterior With Redesigned Wings


The Citation V/Ultra is 15 feet high and 48 feet and 11 inches long. Keen observers will notice the fuselage is a little longer than the Citation II it was based on. This helps improve comfort for the pilots and passengers it carries. The Citation V/Ultra’s wingspan gives it an exterior width of 52 feet and 2 inches.

The motor shouldn’t take all the credit for the Citation V/Ultra’s speed. Its wing design also contributes to its pace in the air. Cessna has employed the fastest straight wing design seen on any aircraft in its Citation line. It’s the result of a collaboration between two expert aerodynamicists: one from Cessna and one from NASA. The Citation V/Ultra’s wing has a large leading-edge radium and level upper surface that cuts drag and better distributes airflow. It’s estimated the redesign has increased the Citation V/Ultra’s cruising speed by 46 knots.

Spacious and Comfortable Cabin


The Citation V/Ultra’s cabin is also a generous 17 feet and 3.6 inches long, so it can also comfortably hold eight passengers. At the time of its inception, it was the longest light private jet cabin ever made, 4 feet longer than a Learjet 31 or 35 and nearly 2 feet longer than a King Air 350 or a Beechjet. The Citation V/Ultra’s cabin is also more than 4 feet high, providing plenty of head room for passengers. The drop aisle design adds comfortable standing space. Seamless wall panels, indirect lights, and mirrors help make the already spacious cabin appear even more enormous.

While the pilots are doing all the work, their passengers can relax in the cabin with the Citation V/Ultra’s plush seats. Slide, swivel, and reclining executive chairs are arranged in a facing, double-club design for easy chatting.

If the conversation starts to wane, the Citation V/Ultra’s first-class entertainment features ensure passengers are never get bored. Each seat is equipped with individual flat panel entertainment systems and optional audio jacks. The Citation V/Ultra also includes a fully enclosed aft lavatory with a seatbelt and relief tube. The chemical toilet can be easily emptied from the inside. A refreshment bar is optional, but this does reduce the passenger capacity to seven. However, on the flip side it adds valuable in-cabin storage space.

The Citation V/Ultra’s innovative temperature control system enables people in the cockpit and cabin to set and maintain different ambient temperatures for their comfort.

Plenty of Baggage Room

Extended vacations are no problem when you’re traveling in a Citation V/Ultra. These planes have 63 cubic feet of baggage space, which is enough for 1,450 pounds of suitcases, golf bags, ski equipment, and other travel essentials. Six hundred pounds are of baggage are kept in the aft compartment and the remaining 850 pounds are stored in the nose. Altogether, Cessna claims, the Citation V/Ultra’s generous luggage space is three times that available in the King Air 350.

More Modern Digital Display in Cockpit

The Citation V/Ultra’s cockpit is also more contemporary than the Citation II on which it was based. The Citation V/Ultra has a Honeywell Primus 1000 EFIS glass cockpit. The Primus 1000 is a more modern alternative to the display that came before. Instead of five screens and eight old-fashioned round dial flight instruments, the Citation V/Ultra has just four CRT computer screens. This innovative redesign has consolidated multiple displays into just a few that are much easier to interpret. The screens are also close to the controls to which they apply for more intuitive use. While the system is now getting a little long in the tooth, it continues to perform well.

Excellent Flight Range

The Cessna Citation V/Ultra officially has a maximum flight range of 1,800 nautical miles, so it can take you all the way across the country from Denver to Miami. However, Business Jet Traveler magazine says the plane can actually travel 1,960 nautical miles with six passengers and a pair of pilots on board.

Regardless of the actual figure, its flight range is much longer than turboprops, which can travel no more than 1,000 nautical miles, and other light jets, which can typically only fly between 800 and 1,500 nautical miles. That makes the Cessna Citation V/Ultra an excellent choice for business and leisure travel across North America.

You also don’t need to push the Citation V/Ultra to its limits to appreciate it. It’s just as capable of flying much shorter journeys. In fact, many fans swear by its short-field capabilities.

With the Citation V/Ultra, Cessna improved on a plane that was already well regarded in the aviation industry. Discover what it’s like to travel in one of these celebrated aircrafts with Mountain Aviation.