Cessna’s original Citation I was developed for the pilot that wanted a jet but really didn’t want to have to bother with hiring a professional pilot, and under FARs at the time, the original just slipped under the requirement, as did the King Air C90 and MU2. It’s almost impossible to fathom, but just about anyone with a private pilot’s license and a multi-engine endorsement could purchase and operate the little jet…for a while, anyway. An IFR rating was soon slipped in, but insurance companies wouldn’t underwrite anyone without one, so it was a moot point.
Cessna understood the importance of single pilot ops as they developed the Citation II, and they just managed to keep that their second time out. The Citation offered better than turboprop speed with what actually turned out to be simpler engine ops, but by the time the CII entered the market the aircraft’s price was slipping to higher and higher levels, giving the Beech C90 a real advantage. For future models Cessna ceded this market and never really looked back.
Carenado has chosen to port their successful Citation II for FsX to X-plane, and this marks only their second jet for our platform. If interested, you should consider the state of avionics modeled in this aircraft file, for the panel is quite similar to what was found in the 737-300 – kind of a combination of glass and steam. Carenado has (unfortunately) included the Laminar FMC, but truly this aircraft file shouldn’t have one. This aircraft was a product of the mid-60s (Citation I) to the mid-70s (CII), and this was simply pre-GPS.
Anyway, the .acf can be flown as originally built, with VOR/NDB NAVaids only, and I recommend that you do.
In all other respects this is a Carenado Class file, with a decent exterior model mated to a sumptuous interior…and a very workmanlike cockpit – that just happens to have one of the best panels in X-plane.
All the tabbed menu items we’ve come to expect are included, from AP controls to camera angles to operational items like chocks, doors…and now…a GPU. Note the little bench seat opposite the main door? There was usually a type of Porta-potty fitted under the seat-cushion…and it wasn’t plumbed. If you really, really (and I mean really) needed to take a dump in one of those things…well…everyone else onboard was going to get to smell exactly what you’d eaten the past few days for the rest of the flight. If you were sitting in an FBO waiting for your aircraft and you saw a Citation pull up to the ramps in a hurry…then the door fly open and a bunch of green-hued people stumble out onto the pavement – gasping for clean air – well, it was worth a laugh or two.
I opened this file and started her from cold and dark at KIDA Idaho Falls (at Turbulent’s excellent airport file). She starts easily and taxiing is much less stressful than in a turboprop. Get her lined up at the numbers and advance throttles to 40%, then up to about 98%, and V1 should come a little after 110kts.
I took the Citation from KIDA to KSLC runway 16L, VOR to VOR, so Pocatello to Ogden to SLC, and the flight was uneventful. AP ops are straightforward but the switch on the AP popup to cycle between ALT and VS simply didn’t work. I got around this by using the real AP head located under the throttle quadrant. I also kept the panel floods dialed way down, so the central portion of the panel in the image above can be illuminated much more than is shown…as we’ll see next…
As in…above…with panel flood seen at 100%.
The AP got a lock-on the LOC about ten miles out (16L @ 109.5) and GS lock about five out, and the AP tracked in nicely on both…then the AP lost the LOC and went into a steep left turn. Disconnecting the AP momentarily, I restarted it and we were back, locked-on for perhaps another minute or so…then lock was lost on the LOC again, another left turn began, and I simply turned the unit off and continued the approach manually.
The little jet has reversers (why?…I don’t know…) and she stops on a dime (though they deploy slowly), and that was that. Was the AP at fault? I have to assume so…some electrical setting probably behind the fault, but I’ll try a few more approaches before I submit a bug report.
Carenado has upped their price to almost 40 buckeroos USD for this one, yet even so I feel the price is completely justified. This is a nicely modeled jet with a fantastic panel, and if this sort of thing interests you its likely the file will keep you happy all winter…and then some.
Me? I loved it. I also assume the AP fault on ILS will be resolved in short order, yet even so this was a very satisfying simulation. Carenado’s new Citation II is an easy 10 out of 10 MUST HAVE file for anyone interested in light jet OPS in X-plane. Well, really, everyone ought to try it…it’s that good.
The file is currently only available at the Carenado Store, though that should change within days.