In The Works: Cessna Citation Mustang

 - October 16, 2006, 7:27 AM

By the middle of last month Cessna’s Citation Mustang had made rapid flight-test progress. Since its first flight on April 23, the Citation Mustang has logged more than 36 hours in 19 flights. Testing has already begun onall Citation Mustang systems,including the Garmin G1000integrated avionics system andthe Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F engines and FADECs. The initial flight envelope expansion was completed on May 2, and the Mustang successfully demonstrated its interim flight-envelope limits of 200 knots and FL410. Cessna said it will expand the very light jet’s envelope to Vmo and Mmo in midsummer.

Ground testing on the Citation Mustang cyclic fatigue test article will begin next month at Cessna’s structural test facility in Wichita. The test article will “fly” more than five lifetimes (75,000 hours) before the Mustang gains certification next year.

In addition, 20 other ground-test articles will be used for development and certification. Ground tests completed to date include safety-of-flight proof load conditions on the static article airframe, development drop testing for both the main and nose landing gear and proof testing of all flight control systems. Ongoing ground tests include autopilot development, environmental testing, landing gear and hydraulic system operation and antiskid tuning.

Two production Citation Mustang test aircraft will join the flying prototype soon. All three aircraft will participate in certification efforts: the prototype will be used for aerodynamic and system tests; the first production aircraft (S/N 001) will be used for avionics development and certification; and S/N 002 will be used for function and reliability tests and post-certification service tests.