The Citation III, being the first of the Model 650 series, helped the later development of both Citation VI and Citation VII. Having success in sales, the Citations I and II were not high performance jets in comparison to their competitors.
Cessna decided to create a high performance, mid-sized jet to compete with other manufacturers. The first flight was on May 30th of 1979 with the second prototype flying a year later and FAA certification in 1982.
This aircraft is configured to fly with 2 pilots and 6 passengers and 9 passengers in some configurations. Its powered by a pair of Garrett TFE731-3B turbofan engines. It continued in production for 9 years until 1992 with a total of 202 Citation IIIs produced.