The Aero Experience recently visited with Gateway Jets Founder and President, Corey Tomczak, to learn more about this aircraft. The CJ series is an update to the classic Citation Model 500 and includes ten sub-types that incorporate improvements in safety, efficiency and comfort without adding undue complexity. In today's market, the CJ is affordable jet transportation, especially when shared among several owners and professionally managed by Gateway Jets.
The CJ is larger than the later-model Citation Mustang featured in a previous series of stories with Gateway Jets. "This is a step up in terms of speed, payload, range, carrying capacity as well as having lower entry-level costs," Tomczak told The Aero Experience. "Each one of the Citation family of jets that we manage fit the customer needs differently, and to their advantage."
This aircraft has seating for up to seven passengers: five dedicated passenger seats in club-plus-one arrangement; copilot seat if flying single crew; and belted lavatory seat in the rear of the aircraft. Flights can range from 500-1000nm or more depending on number of passengers, luggage and fuel on board. The CJ is certified to fly at 41,000 feet, though typical flights cruise at 34,000-38,000 feet.
The CJ design adds high-value refinements to the conventional airframe and flight control system of the original Citation. The two fuel-efficient and reliable Williams International FJ44 engines burn only 130 gallons/hour at 360kts. A laminar-flow wing design, the product of a joint-venture with NASA, incorporates a gentle sweep and an engine bleed-air leading edge anti-icing system. Baggage compartments are quite large and are conveniently hidden in the nose and cabin behind the aft bulkhead.
This CJ has also received a significant avionics upgrade, replacing the original vacuum-powered instruments and aging navigation and communications aids with state-of-the-art Garmin products. Illustrated here are the Garmin G600TXI touchscreen main flight instrument displays, the G750 GPS/NAV/COM multi-function displays and GI 275 backup electronic attitude indicator in this well-equipped panel. The weight reduction realized in the avionics upgrade requires about 150lbs. of ballast to be carried in the nose cargo compartment when the aircraft is flown single-pilot.