Cessna 560XL Citation Excel, XLS, XLS+ & XLS Gen2 & Citation Ascend

If you look at the Citation Excel series, you can clearly see that two other Citation models have been combined. The nose and forward fuselage are of the Model 750 Citation X, initially with the blunt nose of the Citation III. The wings and tail come from the Cessna 560 Citation Encore. Also the engines are of the same family as the Encore. The nacelles have long fairings for the thrust reversers. Typical for the Model 560XL are the ventral fins below the horizontal stabiliser.

The blunt nose of the Citation Excel and Citation XLS.

Tail of the Citation Excel, with its two ventral fins clearly visible.

Different versions

The different versions of the Cessna Model 560XL are distinguished by

  • the shape of the nose
  • the number and shape of the cockpit windows

Cessna 560XL Citation Excel & Citation XLS

The first version of Model 560XL is the Citation Excel. It is as described above, with a blunt nose. The aircraft got a facelift in 2003 and that became the Citation XLS. However, nothing changed on the outside, only on the inside. 

An example of the Citation XLS.

Cessna 560XL Citation XLS+ & XLS Gen2

Starting with the Citation XLS+ more changed. Apart from FADEC engine controls and improved PW545C engines, the XLS+ also has a more pointed nose than the Excel and XLS, and is much like that of the Citation X and Citation Sovereign.

The Citation XLS Gen2 can be distinguished by lighted air stairs and a different curtain, both which can only be seen when the door is open. Other changes are in the cabin.

A full view of the Citation XLS+.

Detail of the more pointed nose of the XLS+.

Cessna 560XL Citation Ascend

While the previous Models 560XL still had the nose and cockpit windows of the Cessna 750, this has changed on the Citation Ascend. This version has four cockpit windows very similar to those on the Citation Latitude. Additionally, the oval cabin windows are more rounded

Confusion possible with

Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign

citation sovereign

The Citation Sovereign can be regarded as a stretched Citation Excel. However, it is bigger, has no ventral fins and also the tail is significantly different: with its broader chord it looks a like that of a Lockheed Jetstar.

Cessna 680A Citation Latitude

citation latitude

The Citation Latitude has some elements in the external appearance that look like coming from the Citation Excel, especially the delta fins. However, the cockpit windows are different, and not looking like the ones originally developed for the Citation III anymore. The Citation Ascend has similar cockpit windows though. Also typical for the Latitude are the bent-up wing tips.

Cessna Citation I/II/V family

citation encore

The Citation Encore is one of the aircraft of which elements are used in the Citation Excel, namely the wings, tailplane and engines. The fuselage of the Citation Encore (and other members of the classic Citation series) is different though, especially the cockpit windows.

Grob G180 SPn


This small bizjet also looks a bit like the Cessna Citation Excel, but then with a slightly swept wing, winglets and cockpit windows similar to the HondaJet.