The Cessna Citation III was the first of the Model 650 series of Citation jets, which are mid-sized, high-performance business jets. The Citation III led to the later development of the Citation VI and Citation VII. The 650 series was the second of six distinct “families” of jets marketed by Cessna Aircraft Company under its Cessna Citation brand.
While the Citation I and II were successful from a sales perspective, their nearest competitors were twin turboprop aircraft. Cessna decided it needed a high performance, mid-sized jet to compete with the growing market of fast corporate jets. To develop such an aircraft, Cessna started from scratch for its design, rather than building on the existing Citation product line.
The aircraft is flown by a crew of two, and with a typical corporate interior will seat six passengers, although in a high-density configuration, it can seat up to nine. It is powered by a pair of Garrett TFE731-3B turbofan engines.