One month ahead of schedule, the first Citation Mustang production aircraft (S/N 0001) took to the air on August 29. The very light jet (VLJ) flew for exactly two hours, performing basic systems and avionics checks, including engaging the autopilot, testing handling characteristics, operating the gear and flaps, activating the de-ice system and evaluating engine response and performance.
Three Mustangs will be dedicated to certification flight testing–the prototype and S/Ns 0001 and 0002. The Mustang prototype, which made its maiden flight on April 23 and had logged more than 230 flight hours at press time, has completed envelope expansion and the initial development of aircraft systems and aerodynamic flight characteristics. Mustang S/N 0001 will be used primarily for avionics development and certification.
“We expect to achieve FAA certification in the fourth quarter of next year,” said Russ Meyer III, Mustang program manager. “Having the first Mustang production unit enter the program early will certainly enhance our progress toward achieving that goal.”
The $2.553 million, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615-powered twinjet was announced at the 2002 NBAA Convention. Cessna says it has orders for more than 230 Mustangs.