Cessna Citation VII
The morning of March 7, 2014 was reasonably chilly and clear as a bell, perfect for photographing the first Cessna Citation VII, the second swept-wing Citation (the first was the III), and I was fast out the office door with camera in hand when I saw this prime example perfectly positioned on the Horizon Aviation ramp at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois, less than 200 feet from my AeroKnow Museum office. From behind the fence — actually through the heavy hurricane fence wire mesh — I took a few pictures like this for the historical record of it being in Springfield on this day. As I turned to head back , a gentleman who had been talking on a cell phone close by asked if I had any questions about airplane. He said he was the pilot. I was not shy in admitting I did not know what it was at first look. The closest I could GUESS was that it was an Embraer Phenom 300, though I know it sits higher on its landing gear. He explained it was a Citation VII I was delighted; told him that as long as I’d been with the museum (approaching four years) this was the first VII I had encountered. I then asked if he would permit me to photog it from the better side of the fence which would require him to escort me onto and around the ramp. He said he’d be happy to, that he’d be happy to show me the interior as well. What a nice fellow!
I was surprised to find the center aisle was like a trough between slightly elevated, enticingly comfortably upholstered seats. A bench seat facing the open door was close to the “galley” which was behind the cockpit. Another surprise was the raised floor “carry through” for the wing spar and a fuel tank. I briefly commented that the Boeing 247 had a similar raised area in the middle of its cabin in the early 30s. The pilot said he knows about the 247, but it’s not an inconvenience or an issue to the executives who share the cabin. The carry through is located in the rear part of it. It’s an issue, only when a passenger must step UP and then back DOWN to use the restroom.
Here’s the view looking over the port wing to the lobby of Horizon Aviation who refueled the VII prior to its departure the following day. The round blue roof distant left belongs to the 183d Fighter Wing, Illinois Air National Guard.
The galley behind the front office looking forward.
Looking back, the covers over the engine confirm this bird will roost overnight on the tarmac.
I invited the pilot to give me a business card or an email address so I could send pictures, but he declined. I’m pretty sure that “pictures” of an airplane — even a Citation VII — which the pilot probably is more familiar with than his kitchen at home — are not a great interest. Even so, he was exceptionally social, courteous and generous with his time in allowing me to photograph his sky chariot. For that I extend my sincere gratitude to him and his employer.
Thanks for visiting AeroKnow Museum’s Gallery of Flight!
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