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very quiet to travel in. It's got a good galley with a microwave oven,
and hot and cold areas, and it's got a dual DVD Inflite entertainment
system. So the passengers like it and really seem to appreciate their
time flying in this aircraft. We also do a few tours in the Citation X
because of its range and speed, and passengers are familiar with it.
When we go on long trips, where they get on and o the aircraft a
few times over a series of days or weeks, we can see the passengers
are very comfortable in it. They make it like their
own down the back," Cole points out.
Essendon Airport-based JetCity is one of Aus-
tralia's big-hitting aircraft management/charter
specialists, with the flying hardware to help it
fulfil its professional corporate/executive charter
and periodic medevac/organ retrieval flying re-
sponsibilities. The company's location in Victoria,
Australia, provides it with good access to New
Zealand, the lower Pacific, the Australian conti-
nent, plus Southeast Asia. Consequently, it has
the right stu to fly to those regions, plus further
afield, should a corporate customer require a jet
with long-range capability. The Citation X is just
one jet --- among a fleet that includes a Learjet
35, 45 and Gulfstream IV aircraft that can whisk
passengers away on sectors approaching the
2,700nm-mark in short order, as Cole explains.
"It gives you greater speed and similar range
capabilities to more expensive airplanes, which
makes it a very e icient charter option. For the
niche in which it sits, and that's for people who
appreciate a sports car of an airplane, and for a
very fast airplane it's a very e icient machine...
we've done Perth --- Melbourne in two hours 40
[minutes], so it's certainly a fast airplane; and
Essendon to Fiji is four hours' flight time, so it's
faster than airlines on those longer sectors. We've
also done Brisbane to Melbourne in an hour and
45 [minutes], while we can do an Essendon ---
Auckland sector in two hours 40 [minutes], and that's generally the
flight time from Essendon to anywhere in NZ, give or take, although
we did fly Essendon to Queenstown once in about two hours and
15 minutes, so it's a very quick aircraft."
"We'll regularly cruise at Mach 0.90, so we're flying about 70-80
miles an hour faster than other airliners around the place...I've gone
past Boeing 737s travelling in the same direction, and we flew past
them at 100 miles an hour...The Citation X was designed with owner
pilots in mind. It flies like you would expect a sports car to drive. If
you don't want to fly it and you want to sit down the back in a big
luxurious cabin, you don't care so much about the handling char-
acteristics of the airplane because you're down the back. But if you
own it, and you fly it, you want it to feel sweet, and this airplane has
that sweet spot," the company CEO says.
From a systems perspective, the Citation X comes equipped
with some little whiz-bang goodies that help it to fly fast and high.
Besides the obvious and impressive highly e icient swept wing,
the jet is also equipped with two fuel-e icient Rolls-Royce Allison
AE3007C1 turbofan engines, each capable of pushing out 6,764lbs
of thrust. Cole mentions that "as long as you've got 1,500 metres of
runway you're good to go in this airplane", and on a standard day the
Citation X is capable of getting airborne at an MTOW of 36,100lb. He
adds that its "central nervous system" is provided by a very intuitive
Honeywell Primus 2000 avionics suite, consisting of a combination
of five Primary Flight Displays (PFD) and Multi-Function Displays
(MFD). The crew is constantly in the loop regarding all matters
pertaining to engine, cabin and aircraft systems performance, plus
critical flight, tra ic and navigational data. In short, the Citation X is
as user-friendly as a pilot could ever hope for. However, while Cole
is well-versed in and happy to recite the jet's technical systems, it's
the sheer joy of flying it that puts a smile on his face.
"There's a di erence between something that feels just right
and something that's legal and can be certified," he says, "and the
Citation X strikes just the right balance. It's exactly how you would
describe an ideal airplane."
The cabin is large and well-equipped. It's also very
comfortable and very quiet to travel in.
LORNE COLE, JETCITY
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