Light: Cessna Citation CJ3

Cessna inspires brand loyalty by providing aircraft for each stage of a customer’s travel life. From the tiny piston-driven Skyhawk all the way up to the Citation Columbus business jet, Cessna offers planes for the novice, the weekend pilot, the corporate titan, and every air traveler in between. This strategy apparently works. According to Cessna, it has built more planes than any other manufacturer in the world—more than 190,000 at last count. When one of its customers is ready to trade up—or down—the Wichita, Kan.–based manufacturer is ready.

In 2004, Cessna filled yet another subniche in the light-jet category with its delivery of the first CJ3, a beefier version of the popular CJ2. The CJ3 has longer wings, Rockwell Collins avionics, and cutting-edge Williams jet engines. Cessna designed this model for those customers who want an office in the sky—with strong short-runway performance to get in and out of small airports. The CJ3 cruises at 480 mph for up to 2,158 miles, seats six to eight, and requires only a single pilot. And if these specs are not enough to keep Cessna customers loyal, consider this: At $8.1 million, the price is hard to beat.

Cessna, 800.423.7762, www.cessna.com