Textron Aviation Unveils Citation M2 Gen2 and XLS Gen2 as NBAA Opens

The M2 Gen2 and XLS Gen2. Credit: Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation introduced the Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 and Citation XLS Gen2, upgrades to the Citation M2 light jet and XLS+ midsize business jet, the day before the opening of NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas.

The Gen2 products are the latest in a string of product improvements at Textron Aviation. In February, the company announced the CJ4 Gen2 and in 2020, it launched the King Air 360 and King Air 260 as replacements for the King Air 350 and 250, respectively.

The M2 Gen 2 and XLS Gen 2 focus on cabin improvements made from feedback during multiple sessions with the company’s customer advisory board. Textron Aviation sought customer input on every aspect of the aircraft, says Christi Tannahill, Textron Aviation senior vice president of customer experience. The M2 Gen2 is $5.855 million and XLS Gen2 is $15.5million.

Deliveries of the M2 Gen2 will begin in the first quarter of 2022, followed by the XLS Gen2 in the second quarter.

The announcements come as business aviation flight hours are increasing and charter and fractional providers report an influx of customers. Corporate flight departments have also begun to fly more.

“People are getting out and attending business meetings and seeing customers face-to-face,” says Ron Draper, Textron Aviation president and CEO. “For a while, our biggest competitor was Zoom or Teams. That’s only good for so long. That’s helpful to a certain extent. But when your competitor gets out in front of your customer, you’ve got to get out there.”

Improvements in the M2 Gen2 include extended legroom for the copilot, side seats that fold down for storage, new cabin accent lighting, redesigned seating and cabin sidewalls, as well as optional wood-type flooring, wireless charging stations and new interior colors.

“As the market works into a backlog scenario, a lot more customers are doing customized interiors as well,” Tannahill says. Buyers of Textron Aviation’s larger jets are the ones who traditionally have ordered customized interiors, but a growing number of M2 customers also are seeking to customize.

The M2 Gen2 seats a maximum of seven passengers and has a max cruise speed of 404 kt. and max range of 1,550 nm.


The Citation XLS Gen2

More than 1,000 Citation Excel, XLS and XLS+ business jets are in service, according to Tannahill. The fleet accumulates about 500 flight hours per day. Traditionally, nearly 50% of production aircraft are delivered to international buyers.

“It’s a great performing airplane,” Tannahill says. The upgraded XLS Gen2 features a new and improved airstair, new refreshment center with high-power outlet, new lighting, a Bongiovi sound system with transducers placed across the cabin, new seat styling and wireless chargers.

The XLS Gen 2 also includes an Eco interior option, with renewable textiles harvested within a 10-year or shorter life cycle approved by LEAD, 100% organic leather options, veneers approved through the Forestry Steward Council, and carpets that pass an environmental air quality standard, Tannahill says.

In addition, Textron Aviation has partnered with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team—the only Olympic team that is not government funded, they note. Four of its athletes are currently learning to fly.

Textron Aviation has developed a team concept for the M2 Gen2 with a red, white and blue exterior and interior accents of gold, silver and bronze in a nod to the Olympic medals. A mock-up of the aircraft is on display at the company’s Static Display at Henderson Executive Airport, along with the Citation Longitude, Latitude, XLS+, CJ3, M2, Caravan and Beechcraft Denali mock-up. It also is debuting the CJ4 Gen2 and King Air 360.

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.