When the first Citation I prototype took flight in 1969, little did the Cessna Citation manufacturers anticipate what a history-defining moment it would become.

Textron Aviation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Citation jet leaving the tarmac on its inaugural flight, and therefore the start of its lasting legacy.

It was this moment that founded the biggest business jet fleet in the world, and the company continues to produce some of the finest aircrafts, amassing 35 million hours in the air.

“From that first Citation flight 50 years ago and through every Citation model produced since, our business jet programs are deeply rooted in the combined efforts of our employees, our suppliers and our customers,” Textron Aviation CEO and president Ron Draper says. “Today’s range of Citations – from entry-level Citation M2 up through the Citation Longitude – incorporates our unwavering commitment to value-added innovation, design and production excellence and unrivalled customer support.”

Since the first momentous flight, more than 7,500 business jets have been delivered across the globe.

Its newest innovation, the Cessna Citation Longitude, elevates passenger expectations in the super-midsize category of business jets. The model delivers one of the quietest cabins – reportedly similar to a Mercedes S400 Hybrid driving at 81mph – as well as lower cabin altitudes, surplus features and incredibly efficient performance.

“The same vision that led to the creation of the original Citation 50 years ago still guides us today,” Draper says. “We are building on our history as an industry leader and investing in the future to continue to exceed customer expectations.”

The current fleet consists of seven models, which include the Citation M2, Citation CJ3+ and Citation CJ4, with a capacity to seat between seven and 12 passengers depending on your model choice.

Superior performance and enhanced technology create a smooth experience while the Textron Aviation’s midsize business jet family, which includes the Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign+ and Citation Latitude, offers a spacious journey.