The Cessna Citation XLS Plus is a great mid-size jet with excellent short-runway performance, a well-designed cabin, and the ability to perform like a light jet in some respects despite its slightly larger size. It is the third iteration in the Citation Excel line and began replacing the already popular Citation XLS starting in 2008. The XLS Plus boasts a redesigned cabin, upgraded avionics, longer inspection intervals, and powerful new engines that push the popular business jet line to new heights.
Citation XLS Plus features
The Citation XLS Plus’s cabin is 18.7 feet long and 5.7 feet wide, measures 5.7 feet tall from its trenched center aisle, and offers a total cabin volume of 461 cubic feet. Thanks to triple sealing on the entry door and tri-pane windows, the interior of the XLS Plus is draft-free and relatively quiet. It can retain sea-level pressurization up to 25,000 feet, leaving passengers feeling more refreshed upon arrival at their destination. The aircraft is rated to carry 800 pounds of baggage total, split between an 80-cubic-foot external compartment and a 10-cubic-foot internal closet. New LED lighting gives the redesigned cabin a more spacious feel.
The typical cabin layout includes a small couch rated for takeoff and landing opposite the entry door, four seats arranged in a club-four design, and two additional forward-facing seats behind. An internal redesign has resulted in seats that are two to four inches wider than those on the XLS and, along with fold-out tables and sliding headrests, ensure absolute comfort in the skies. A spacious, fully enclosed lavatory, dual air conditioning systems, and full refreshment center round out the cabin amenities.
The Pratt & Whitney engines used by Cessna in the Excel series have been upgraded to the newer PW545Cs on the XLS Plus, generating 4,119 pounds of thrust each—that’s 144 pounds more than the thrust provided by the XLS’s PW545Bs. This engine upgrade allows the XLS Plus to reach a range of 1,722 nautical miles with four passengers and NBAA IFR reserves, as well as a maximum cruise speed of 431 knots. It can climb at a rate of 3,500 feet per minute.
While the jet’s seats have gotten wider, the nose cone has gotten slimmer—Cessna opted to redesign it, borrowing the more tapered nose of the Citation Sovereign. This, along with a straight-wing design, help to reduce drag. The increased annual inspection interval has risen from 600 hours or 12 months on the XLS to 800 hours or 12 months on the XLS Plus, with Business Jet Traveler stating, “if any bizjet can take 800 hours per year—or more—it is this one.”
The XLS Plus is an excellent short-runway performer, outperforming many other midsize jets with its ability to land in just 3,560 feet. Trailing-link landing gear and improved carbon breaks help ensure those landings are smooth.