July 18, 2018

Cessna Citation III Overview (1983 – 1991)

Product Overview

The Citation III, a midsize cabin business jet with a 2,054 nm range, was the first of Cessna’s model 650 series. It was designed for optimal speed, utilized light weight composites and smooth surfaces to cut down on drag, and featured an entirely new fuselage mated to a super-critical swept back wing and a T-Tail.

As of May 2018, 100% of the Citation III aircraft were purchased pre-owned by their current owners. 21.2% are for sale with more than half of those (64%) under an exclusive broker agreement. When for sale, the average time on the market is 493 days. Over the past 12 months, the Citation III has averaged 3 full retail transactions per month.

Brief History

Cessna set out to build a private jet with impressive range and speed while keeping costs low and performance high, and thus the Citation III was created. The new model symbolized several milestones in the Citation program – it was Cessna’s entry into the high speed, medium corporate jet market, their first model to utilize Garrett (now Honeywell) and not P&W engines, and was a departure from the original structural design of all previous models. At the time of release the Citation III had the longest range and the fastest overall cruise speed of any midsized jet.

Worldwide Appeal

There are 184 Citation III aircraft currently in operation today. Most of these are wholly owned (179) with 5 in shared ownership. 2% are currently leased. North America has the largest percentage of wholly owned Citation III aircraft (80%), followed by South America (11%).



Two Honeywell TFE731-3B-100S engines power the Citation III each offering 3,650 pounds of thrust and using a combined 241 gallons per hour (GPH). The range of the Citation III is 2,054 nm operating under NBAA IFR 4 passengers with available fuel.


The cabin volume for the Citation III is 422 cubic feet. Typical configuration features 8 passenger and 2 crew seats.


Maximum Cruise Speed: 465 kts 861 km/h
Long-range Speed: 418 kts 774 km/h

Airfield Performance

Takeoff distance: 5,030 ft (1,533 m) (SL, ISA, MTOW)
Landing distance: 2,388 ft (728 m) (SL, ISA, MLW)

Operating Altitude

Maximum operating altitude: 51,000 ft (15,545 m)


A. Maximum ramp weight: 21,700 lb (9,843 kg)
B. Maximum takeoff weight: 22,000 lb (9,979 kg)
C. Maximum landing weight: 20,000 lb (9,072 kg)
D. Maximum zero fuel weight: 16,300 lb (7,394 kg)
E. Standard basic operating weight: 13,500 lb (6,124 kg)


Sperry/Honeywell SPZ-650 integrated flight director/autopilot, Collins Pro Line II radios, and Honeywell Primus 300L radar


Of the 184 Citation III in operation, 18 (10%) have ADS-B Out installed.


Contact Us at +1 919 941 8400 or [email protected] to request a custom range report including detailed aircraft comparisons.

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