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After 65 Years Cessna's “Citation” Returns to Kentucky Derby
By Shane Nolan

May 2, 2013 - Cessna will honor the namesake of their line of Citation business jets by supporting customers flying into Louisville, Ky., for this weekend's Kentucky Derby.  

With more than 600 general aviation flights expected to arrive in the Louisville area this coming weekend, Cessna Aircraft company, will welcome pilots and guests with onsite "thoroughbred-inspired" Citation aircraft and service solutions. 

Cessna's line of business jets is named after famed thoroughbred "Citation." In 1948, Citation won the Kentucky Derby, finishing ahead of the nearest competitor by three and a half lengths at Churchill Downs.  

Citation went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes to win the Triple Crown in 1948. Citation was well known for the ease with which he handled, with no complications or handling difficulties. 

Citation (April 11, 1945–August 8, 1970) was the eighth American Triple Crown winner, and one of three major North American Thoroughbreds (along with Cigar and Zenyatta) to win at least 16 consecutive races in major stakes race competition. He was the first horse in history to win one million dollars. In 1959, Citation was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. 

The memory of Citation was honored after his death when Dwayne Wallace, Chairman of Cessna Aircraft Company, selected the name Citation for the new business jet Cessna was designing. Hints of Citation's legacy can be found in the jet's logo in the form of a horseshoe background. Even today, pictures of Citation line the hallways of Cessna's buildings. A famous statue of Citation can be found at Hialeah Park. This statue is shown in Godfather II as Michael Corleone travels to Miami to visit Hyman Roth.

Today Cessna's Citation line of products remains well-known for performance and ease of operation. In celebration of this heritage of leadership, Cessna will have aircraft on display at Atlantic Aviation, the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) for general aviation at Louisville International Airport.


The jet lineup will include the Citation XLS+ and the Citation CJ3. The company will also make a mock up of the new Citation Latitude business jet available for customers and the public on a reservation basis. Service is also a key component to Citation operation, and the company will showcase service capabilities by positioning a Mobile Service Unit at the airport. Cessna's Mobile Service Units are capable of providing service for Citation aircraft in remote locations, up to and including engine replacement. 

The much-anticipated Citation Latitude features a maximum range of 2,500 nautical miles (4,630 kilometers), has been described as having the most open and refined cabin environment in this category of aircraft. The Latitude will accommodate a crew of two plus up to eight passengers, will have a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters) and a maximum cruise speed of 440 knots (815 kilometers per hour). It will climb to 43,000 feet (13,106 meters) in just 23 minutes.

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