The Cessna Citation Excel (Model 560XL) is a turbofan-powered small-to-medium sized business jet built by the Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. The Citation brand of business jets encompasses six distinct "families" of aircraft, and the Excel was the basis for one of these families. This family includes the Excel, the Citation XLS, and the Citation XLS+.
With the success and popularity of Cessna's high-end Citation X, the manufacturer saw a market potential for utilizing the X's features in an aircraft aimed at the traditional Citation market, where it chiefly competes with twin turboprop aircraft. Rather than being a direct variant of another Citation airframe, the Excel was a combination of technologies and designs. To produce the Excel, Cessna took the X's wide, stand-up cabin fuselage, shortened it by about and mated it with an unswept wing utilizing a supercritical airfoil (based on the Citation V Ultra's wing} and a Citation V's tail. To power the aircraft, Cessna chose the a new Pratt & Whitney Canada turbofan, the PW545A. As a result, the Excel has the roomiest cabin in its class of light corporate jets and can seat up to 10 passengers (in high-density configuration; typically the number is six to eight in a corporate configuration), while being flown by a crew of two.
The project was originally announced at the annual NBAA convention in October, 1994, and the prototype aircraft took off on its first flight on February 29, 1996. By the time FAA certification was in hand two years later, in April 1998, Cessna had over 200 orders for the aircraft on the books. By the time the 100th Excel was delivered in August 2000, the Wichita production line was producing an aircraft every three days. By the time the aircraft was superseded by the Citation XLS, a total of 308 had been built. The Excel has had an exceptional safety record, with only 5 accidents on record, none of which involved fatalities.
The Citation XLS was the first "makeover" that the Excel received. Besides a glass cockpit based on the Honeywell Primus 1000 EFIS avionics suite, the XLS featured the upgraded PW545B engines with increased performance.
Cessna upgraded the aircraft again to the Citation XLS+, or simply "Plus" configuration, with the inclusion of FADEC engine controls and improved PW545C engines. The Citation XLS+ is the first of the XL line to feature Collins Pro Line 21 Avionics and a 4 tube EFIS display as opposed to the 3 tube Honeywell displays in the XL and XLS.