Cessna began function and reliability (F&R) flight-testing on the Citation Mustang early last month, the last step before gaining type certification from the FAA, a goal now clearly in sight. EASA approval is expected in the second quarter next year. At press time, the three Mustang test aircraft had accumulated more than 1,600 total flight hours during nearly 1,000 flights, and a fourth aircraft was well into the required 150-hour F&R tests.
“We have essentially completed the majority of our certification issues and expect to wrap things up with the F&R program, keeping us on schedule for TC as predicted four years ago when we launched the program,” said Jon Carr, Citation Mustang project engineer. “We have hit some 2,200 test points, meeting or exceeding all our program performance goals, including range and speed.”
Cessna said the type certification will include approval for single-pilot operation, day/night and VFR/IFR operations and reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM). The Mustang approval will also cover GPS WAAS on the Garmin G1000 avionics suite, as well as a new feature called SafeTaxi, which provides on the multifunction display a graphical representation of the aircraft’s ground position in the airport environment. Cessna said the G1000-equipped Citation Mustang will be one of the first aircraft certified to take advantage of WAAS navigation features, including lateral performance with vertical guidance approach (LPV) and WAAS vertical navigation (Vnav).
The structural test program required for certification is complete, and the Citation Mustang performed to all design specifications during the 14-month effort. According to Cessna, the Mustang airframe, designed for an unlimited lifetime, was subjected to more than 300 test conditions during static testing, including 23 major airframe conditions. It was also successfully tested to five airframe lifetimes, well past the two lifetimes the FAA requires.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has received initial certification from Transport Canada for the Mustang’s dual-channel FADEC-controlled PW615F engines. Final certification for the engine and FADEC from Transport Canada and the FAA was pending at press time.
On the training front, Cessna and training provider FlightSafety International (FSI) are completing the syllabus and flight manuals, in addition to finishing work on the first Mustang full-motion simulator at FSI’s Wichita learning center. A second full-motion simulator is on track to be installed at FSI’s facility in Farnborough, UK, next year.