Cessna Citation CJ4 Guide and Specs

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The Cessna Citation CJ4 has made a very profitable name for itself in the light jet market. Marrying the performance of larger competitors with the very convenient option of being an owner-operator, it delivers a unique package with a friendly price tag.

This model was announced in 2006 and began operations formally in 2010, with the distinction of being Cessna’s largest aircraft to be certified under Part 23 standards. The Citation CJ4 is one of the latest evolutions of a tried and tested design whose spiritual roots go back to the Cessna 500 Citation I, which first flew in 1969.

Citation CJ4 / Specs

The Cessna Citation CJ4 seats up to 9 passengers and can be crewed by either one or two pilots, a flexibility loved by owner-operators.

The jet is 53’4” long, 50’10” wide, and 15’5” tall, while the cabin is 17’4” long, making it the largest in the CitationJet family. Its empty weight is 10280 lbs, with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 17110 lbs.

ower is provided by a pair of Williams FJ44-4A turbofan engines that output 3621 lb each. The internal fuel capacity on the Cessna Citation CJ4 is 5828 lbs or 870 gallons and does not require an icing inhibitor, thanks to a fuel-oil heat exchanger.

Unlike previous iterations, the CJ4’s three-spar wings have a slight leading-edge sweep of 12.5 degrees. The flaps are hinged and can be set to three positions (retracted, take-off and landing), while the speed brakes extend to 40 degrees and can be used at any speed.

The wing is also fitted with spoiler panels with 54 degrees of freedom, though this particular deflection is only used with all wheels on the ground during landing as a lift dumping measure.

The avionics suite of the Citation CJ4 is a jump from its predecessors. The cockpit is outfitted with the Collins Pro Line 21 package, and situational awareness is greatly enhanced by the MultiScan radar system. This kit merges different radar images into a single picture, accessible to the pilot in one of four 8×10’ glass cockpit displays.

To ease the transition for crews who earned their jet wings on aircraft equipped with flight management system (FMS) gear, the Citation CJ4’s interface borrows some inspiration from them, mounted forward of the throttle quadrant. A second FMS can be fitted on customer request.

Over time this decision has become somewhat debated – FMS lovers appreciate the familiarity, while those stepping up from general aviation aircraft miss the user-friendly Garmin that is fitted on all other Cessna jets besides the Citation XLS+.

A complaint from the latter camp is the lack of synthetic vision, a trademark feature in the Garmin G3000 and G5000 avionics fitted in other Citation models.

Seating on the Cessna Citation CJ4 can be arranged in different configurations that can seat from 8 to 10 passengers plus crew. Curiously enough, while the eight-passenger floorplan is the default option, the nine-passenger one (which can be chosen free of charge) cuts down on the aircraft’s gross weight by 10.4 lbs!

The cabin floor features a dropped aisle and is slightly smaller on all dimensions compared to competitors. Luggage can be stored externally in two large compartments by the nose and tail. The nose baggage area is rated for 400 lbs and fits 15 cubic feet, while the tail one can withstand 600 pounds with 55.6 cubic feet of volume.

A brilliant feature of the Citation CJ4 in terms of passenger comfort is the refreshments area. This all-important feature is located between the door and the flight deck and has room for ice, coffee, cups, water bottles, cans, snacks, and adequate disposal facilities as well.

The comfortable layout and lack of noticeable sacrifices in cabin room make long flights on the Citation CJ4 a much more enjoyable affair.

The aircraft is also equipped with a Collins Venue entertainment system, compatible with either Blu-ray, DVD, CD, or digital media in its 100GB hard drive, and customizable LED lights, both of which can be interacted with from any seat, plus a master panel by the refreshment center.

The pair of monitors in the Venue system can be transported to docking stations at individual seats as needed. Citation CJ4 passengers in the United States can enjoy mobile connectivity from Gogo as an option, but the aircraft can also be equipped with the Cobham Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satellite-based system for international coverage.

Citation CJ4 / Prices

Citation CJ4 Prices

A new Cessna Citation CJ4 will set an owner back $9.2 million. Some may find the price tag steeper than desired compared to other light jets, but it is backed up by a good payload, overall reliability, and one of the most accessible service and maintenance networks in the business.

Citation CJ4 / Performance and Handling

Owning to aerodynamic refinements, the most noticeable of which being the swept wing, the Cessna Citation CJ4 generally exceeds its predecessors in terms of performance. The maximum cruise speed has been brought up to 451 knots from 416 KTAS in the Citation CJ3+.

The range previously achieved was 2040 nautical miles, now improved to 2165 nmi. The larger dimensions and associated comforts have not come without any cost, however. The Citation CJ4’s best climb rate has been significantly reduced, down to 3854 fpm from 4478 fpm, making the trip to its optimal cruise level of FL450 in 29 minutes.

Take-off and landing runs have also suffered, though the aircraft remains an excellent short field performer in its class – runway requirements are 3410 ft for take-off, 2940 ft for landing.

‘Hot rod’ aptly describes the Citation CJ4’s performance. The aircraft tends to quickly accelerate after take-off, which usually requires the pilot to retard the throttles to meet standard departure parameters often requested by controllers.

This sheer power is also apparent at cruise, where firewalling the throttles can easily lead to redlining in level flight if one is not paying attention.

Handling is docile and overall pleasant, with the CJ4’s heavier weight requiring more yoke force than lighter Citation family members. Some pilots appreciate this as the latter can feel too light and overly responsive. The smooth handling is particularly welcome during the pattern, where it allows for finer corrections without excessive care.

Asymmetric thrust performance is good thanks to the engines being mounted close to the aircraft’s centerline, and even at full power on a single engine, there is little noticeable yaw thanks to the rudder bias system, which largely corrects for the asymmetry without requiring pilot input.

The airbrakes are effective across the aircraft’s envelope and make for comfortable handling as they do not result in any noticeable pitch changes that require correction. Stalls are described as a textbook affair on the Citation CJ4, with a stick shaker installed to give pilots ample warning before it happens and with no wing drop tendency.

As per the pilot manual, recovery is achieved by simply dipping the nose, bringing the engines to take-off power, and accelerating above stall speed.

Citation CJ4 / Maintenance Schedule

Citation CJ4 Maintenance Schedule

Most Citation CJ4 owners use and recommend the ProTech maintenance program offered by Textron Aviation. To keep costs predictable, ProTech fixes the price of labor for both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance according to a consumer price index, removing a lot of guesstimating and unpleasant surprises from the equation.

The Williams FJ44-4A that power the Citation CJ4 has a TBO of 5000 hours, 1000 more than previously enjoyed by the FJ44-3A that equipped the Citation CJ3.

Citation CJ4 / Modifications and Upgrades

By virtue of being both a new aircraft and a rather mature design, there have been few modifications made available to the Citation CJ4, and experience shows it indeed does not need many.

There are relatively minor quality-of-life options on offer by Cessna, such as an additional FMS in the flight deck or a seating arrangement for ten passengers instead of the more common nine-passenger one.

Citation CJ4 / Where to Find Replacement Parts

In the service department, Cessna are very hard to beat. Thanks to the company’s unrivaled footprint across privately-owned aircraft, Citation CJ4 owners enjoy access to a multitude of own or licensed service centers across the world that can both supply and maintain the CJ4 fleet without hiccups.

Citation CJ4 / Common Problems

Citation CJ4 Common Problems

The main complaint Citation CJ4 usually has is its relatively high cost compared to the Phenom 300, widely regarded as its closest competitor. Beyond that, certain design decisions have come into question.

Cessna’s decision to opt for an FMS-based pilot interface has raised a lot of eyebrows among Garmin enthusiasts, who find themselves missing features like the touchscreen and synthetic view present on the G3000 and G5000 suite.

The Citation CJ4’s anti-icing protection is almost entirely reliant on bleed air, which has an inevitable performance penalty that is felt at high ambient temperatures. To the aircraft’s credit, however, its engines are powerful enough to make this negligible during normal operating conditions.

Citation CJ4 / Insurance Options

According to Liberty Jet, yearly insurance for a Citation CJ4 flying between 200 and 400 hours a year can cost around $21878 with a moderately experienced pilot or crew.

Citation CJ4 / Resale Value

The average price for a Citation CJ4 in the market today is $7895000. The aircraft has not lost much value since its launch in 2010, thanks to its reliability and modern maintenance schedules.

Citation CJ4 / Owner Reviews

The Citation CJ4 is loved for both its performance and handling. It has a larger payload and passenger capacity than its competitors, and on top of that is a pure joy to fly across the envelope.

Citation CJ4 / Similar/Alternative Aircraft

Pilatus PC-24

The Citation CJ4 finds itself in a rather contested market. The two main threats to its share of the pie are the Pilatus PC-24 and the Embraer Phenom 300. The PC-24 can carry one more passenger than the Citation CJ4 for a total of 11, with an appropriately larger cabin than the Cessna CJ4’s.

Regular passengers PC-24 passengers often complement the aircraft’s flat floor without a dropped aisle, which gives it a much more spacious feeling in comparison. This feature is lacking in both the Cessna CJ4 and the Embraer Phenom 300. The Brazilian offering matches the Citation CJ4 in seating while still having a marginally larger cabin.

In terms of useful payload, the Citation CJ4 sits between the two: the Phenom 300 leads in the category by a fair margin with a useful payload of 1561 pounds with full fuel, compared to 1000 on the Citation CJ4 and finally a rather meager 715 on the PC-24.

As far as pilots go, there is a divide between who does it better – the Phenom 300 is widely considered the gold standard for avionics and crew interface by those more familiar with Garmin avionics.

However, FMS appreciators swear by the Citation CJ4’s more traditional approach to it as is often the case, which one is best boils down to the taste and needs of pilots and owners.

Check out the best Cessna plane types and models here.

FAQs

Question: How much does a Cessna Citation CJ4 Cost?

Answer: A new Citation CJ4 will set you back $9.2 million, while a used model costs around $7.9 million.

Question: Is the Citation CJ4 Single Pilot?

Answer: Yes, the Cessna Citation CJ4 is rated for single-pilot operations.

Question: Does the Citation CJ4 have a Toilet?

Answer: Yes. The Cessna Citation CJ4 has a toilet. The area can also double as a seat when traveling at maximum capacity.

Question: How many Seats are in a CJ4 Citation?

Answer: The Cessna Citation CJ4 has 9 to 10 seats, depending on the floor plan chosen by the owner when ordering it and how many crew members are aboard.

Question: Is the Citation CJ4 a Troublesome Aircraft to Own?

Answer: No, it is regarded as a rather trouble-free aircraft to own and maintain, thanks to its reliable design and a widespread maintenance and service chain.

Further Reads:

References

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