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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. 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

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.

Cessna 525 CitationJet, with 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…

Cessna 525 Citation CJ1

Detail to show the location of the antenna 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.

Cessna 525 Citation CJ1+

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

Confusion possible with

Cessna 510 Citation Mustang

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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 CitationJet family has different cabin windows (a bit squared off at top and bottom), different cockpit (side) windows and no ventral fins.

Cessna Citation I/II/V family

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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

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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 Citation CJ3 and CJ4 have neither, or only small winglets. Moroever the cockpit windows of both aircraft types are significantly different.

Pilatus PC-24

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Like the Learjets you might mistake a Citation CJ2, CJ3 or CJ4 with 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, 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!

Cessna 525 Citation M2

Detail of wingtips Citation M2.

Detail of Tamarack winglets.

Cessna 525A Citation CJ2

The Citation CJ2 is a Citation CJ1 with a lengthened fuselage resulting in six windows left and right.

Cessna 525A Citation CJ2

Detail of Citation CJ2, with tabs at the back of the engine nacelles, longer than this 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 with the CJ2 is in the tabs at the end of the engine nacelles.

Cessna 525A Citation CJ2+

Note tabs at the back of the Citation CJ2+ nacelles.

Cessna 525B Citation CJ3 & Citation CJ3+

Add a window to the Citation CJ2+ on each side and you get the Citation CJ3, so it has seven cabin windows on each side. 

The Citation CJ3+ only differs from the CJ3 on the inside: a new cabin interior and state-of-the-art avionics.

Cessna 525B Citation CJ3

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 side windows are a bit larger. 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.