Cessna CitationJet/Citation CJ family

Basically the Cessna 525 CitationJet is a Citation I fitted with a T-tail, although there are more differences of course. So if you know the Citation I, the CitationJet is not so difficult to recognise. The CJ family retains the characteristic cut off oval cabin windows. Also, the cockpit windows are similar, but the side windows are smaller and don't have the small triangular windows. The wings taper somewhat more. Finally, the CJ family has a T-tail with no dorsal fin.

Like the original Citation I has been stretched to create the Citation II and Citation V, the Citation CJ family also comes in different fuselage lengths.

Cockpit windows of model 525, 525A and 525B. Note the smaller side cockpit window compared to the front windows and no small triangular side window.

Typical squared off oval cabin windows of the Citation CJ (and original Citation) series.

Different versions

To differentiate between the subtypes you have to look at

  • the length of the fuselage
  • the number of cabin windows
  • the shape of the wings
  • the shape of the cockpit windows
  • the presence and shape of winglets
  • the presence of small, round windows in the top of the cabin
  • the shape of the engine nacelles
  • the number and location of antennas

Cessna 525 CitationJet

The founding member of the Citation CJ family is model 525 CitationJet. It has four cabin windows on each side. Also note the tabs at the back of the engine nacelles, that act as a sort of thrust reservers. It can be recognised from the Citation CJ1 by the location of the antenna underneath the fuselage: it is near the trailing edge of the wings.

The original Cessna 525 CitationJet has four cabin windows.

Detail of the Cessna 525 CitationJet, with the antenna below the fuselage, near the wing trailing edge. Also note the tabs at the back of the engines.

Cessna 525 Citation CJ1

With the advent of the Citation CJ2 (see below) Cessna decided to offer the CitationJet with the cockpit of the Citation CJ2. That is a difference you cannot see on the outside, though an antenna has been moved at the bottom of the fuselage compared to the CitationJet. Subtle difference, but still…

From a distance, Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 looks just like the original CitationJet.

Detail to show the location of the antenna on the Citation CJ1, under the rear fuselage, further aft compared to the CitationJet.

Cessna 525 Citation CJ1+

Another cockpit upgrade for the Citation CJ1 yielded the Citation CJ1+, but unfortunately you cannot see that from the outside. The CJ1+ however lacks the thrust reverser tabs at the back of the engines.

The Cessna 525 Citation CJ1+ is the third generation of the smallest member of the CJ family.

Detail of the engines Cessna 525 Citation CJ1+, without thrust reverser tabs.

Confusion possible with

Cessna 510 Citation Mustang


When viewing the Citation Mustang and the shortest of the Citation CJ family side-by-side you see they have a lot in common. How­ever, the Citation Mustang has different cabin windows (wide ovals), different cockpit (side) windows and ventral fins.

Cessna Citation I/II/V family

citation encore

The CitationJet/Citation CJ family is the suc­cessor of the Citation I/II/V series. Essentially it is the original Citation with a T-tail, al­though there are more differences. Still if you don't see the tail you might mix up the original and newer Citation family.

Learjet family


You might confuse the longer versions of the Citation CJ family, in particular the CJ3 and CJ4, with Learjets. However, all Learjets have either tip tanks or large winglets, while most Citation CJ3s and all CJ4s have neither, or only small winglets. Moroever, the cockpit windows of both aircraft types are signifi­cant­ly different and the Learjets have a dorsal fin.

Pilatus PC-24

pc 24

Like the Learjets you might mistake a Citation CJ2, CJ3 or CJ4 for a Pilatus PC-24. They have in common the absence of winglets, at least in most cases. But there are also a lot of differences: the PC-24 has two wheels on each main landing gear leg, different cockpit windows, rectangular cabin windows, a dorsal fin and more.

Cessna 525 Citation M2 & Citation M2 Gen2

The latest iteration of the original model 525 is the Citation M2, essentially a CJ1+ with slightly curved up wingtips that act as winglets. The Gen2 version has changes in the cockpit and cabin, but none are externally visible.

Note that Tamarack Aerospace has developed winglets for the CitationJet and whole CJ family except the Citation CJ4. These appear more “classic”. See detail photos!

The Cessna 525 Citation M2 can be recognised by the small bent up wing tips.

Detail of the wing tips of Citation M2. Note that these "winglets" are much smaller than the Tamarack ones.

Detail of the tall Tamarack winglets that can be fitted on all CJ family members, except the CJ4.

Cessna 525A Citation CJ2

The Citation CJ2 is a essentially a Citation CJ1 with a lengthened fuselage resulting in six windows left and right. Note that the thrust reverser tabs are longer than those of the CJ1.

The Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 is the Ciytation CJ member that is comparable to the Citation II & Citation Bravo, so with six cabin windows.

Detail of the Citation CJ2, with tabs at the back of the engine nacelles, that are longer than those on the CitationJet and Citation CJ1.

Cessna 525A Citation CJ2+

The same differences between the Citation CJ1 and Citation CJ1+ are applicable to the CJ2 and CJ2+. So the external difference compared to the CJ2 is in the lack of tabs at the end of the engine nacelles.

Apart from the engine nacelles, the Cessna 525A Citation CJ2+ is extermally the same as the Citation CJ2.

Note there are no tabs at the back of the Citation CJ2+ nacelles.

Cessna 525B Citation CJ3, Citation CJ3+ & Citation CJ3 Gen2

Stretch the Citation CJ2+ and add a window on each side and you get the Citation CJ3, so it has seven cabin windows on each side. For the rest it is the same.

The Citation CJ3+ only differs from the CJ3 on the inside: a new cabin interior and state-of-the-art avionics. The change in the CJ3 Gen2 are also internal, except for the external toilet servicing port. However, we doubt that it is clearly visible.

The Cessna 525B Citation CJ3 has seven cabin windows on each side, and that is its key feature.

Cessna 525C Citation CJ4

Compared to the Citation CJ3, from which it is derived, the Citation CJ4 is a bit longer, but has fewer cabin windows: five on the left side and six on the right side with a larger distance between the first two windows than the others. Also the cockpit front windows are a bit smaller, having the same height as the side windows. Finally, the wing has a small sweep angle.

Cessna 525C Citation CJ4. Note the larger distance between the first two cabin windows.

The cockpit side windows of the Citation CJ4 are as tall as the front windows and thus larger than on the smaller variants of the CJ family.

Cessna 525C Citation CJ4 Gen2

The upgraded CJ4 can be recognised from the outside by the small round windows on top of the fuselage, just before the engines. These provide natural light in the lavatory, through so-called skylights. Furthermore the folding stairs now have four steps instead of three and there is a foldable handrail.

The Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2 has a novelty for bizjets: natural light in the lavatory thanks to small, round skylights.