Mustang approved for full-scale production

 - December 21, 2006, 6:54 AM

Cessna received the FAA production certificate for its new Citation Mustang very light jet on November 22, two-and-a-half months after type certification on September 8. By issuing the production certificate, the FAA cleared Cessna for volume production and to conduct flight tests and sign airworthiness certificates using its own designees and with less FAA involvement.

Cessna delivered the first Mustang on November 22 to Mustang Management Group of Fresno, Calif., which is leasing the jet back to the airframer to use as a demonstrator for 10 months. Mustang Management Group plans to use the Mustang for its flight-training subsidiary, Scott Aircraft, based at Fresno YosemiteInternational Airport.

Kent Scott, owner of Mustang Management Group and Scott Aviation, plans to use the Mustang to prepare buyers before sending them to FlightSafety International in Wichita for their type ratings. Buyers who don’t qualify or who aren’t ready for type ratings will fly with FlightSafety mentor pilots, he said. Scott believes that 60 percent of Mustang owner-pilots will need the mentors to be insurable.

Scott took delivery of the Mustang at Dallas Love Field and traveled with the airplane back to Fresno. A 15,000-hour former Boeing 747 pilot, Scott got to fly his new Mustang during the leg from Albuquerque, N.M. to Fresno. “It’s a marvelous airplane,” he said. “The engines are phenomenal. It’s the first jet I’ve flown with no residual thrust. It has such an advanced Fadec system that it meters just enough fuel in taxi mode to keep things at the right temperature but you’re not wasting fuel. You have to apply thrust to move and keep some on or it will coast to a stop.”
At 40,000 feet, the Mustang’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615s burned 250 pounds of fuel per side per hour and the jet exceeded AFM speeds, Scott said. “It’s very steady, smooth and quiet. I hand flew from 40,000 feet to Fresno using the Garmin flight director, and the control surface loading was perfect.”

An hour after arriving at home base, Scott had to say goodbye to his new airplane because Cessna needed it for testing. But Cessna did bring the Mustang back to Fresno on December 7 for the day so Scott could show it off. “People are really astonished at how large it is,” he said. “It’s not a miniature airplane.”

Scott’s leaseback deal with Cessna ends in October, and there is no agreement about the maximum number of hours that Cessna can fly the Mustang. “I’m happy to have it fly as much as possible,” he said. “It’s a great chance to show what Cessna can do. It’s in the hands of good professional pilots, so it’ll be fine.”

Cessna plans to deliver 40 Mustangs this year, then ramp up to fulfill the current order book for more than 250 airplanes.

Sam’s Mustang
Sometime early this year, a buyer will take delivery of an unusual Mustang, one that was for sale at discount retailer Sam’s Club. The Mustang was part of a special “Citation Mustang Package” available to the first qualified person to wire transfer $275,000 and complete purchasing details with Cessna between last November 9 and December 29. Average retail value of the package was listed as $2,734,600 in the Sam’s Club information. According to Sam’s Club, the Mustang is already sold.
The Sam’s Club Mustang is, according to the sales information on the Sam’s Club Web site, Serial Number 510-0002, the second customer Mustang built by Cessna. Cessna hasn’t reported who the buyer is, but has said that this Mustang serial number is next in line for delivery.

The buyer gets not only the Mustang but also lifetime membership in Sam’s Club, jet transportation to Cessna headquarters to select interior and exterior options and another jet flight to pick up the Mustang.