In The Works: Cessna Citation Mustang

 - January 29, 2007, 4:48 AM

As the Eclipse 500 was being rolled out last month, the Citation Mustang very light jet was fast taking form at Cessna’s Pawnee facility in Wichita. At press time, workers had already assembled forward and aft cabin sections, and the Mustang’s wings were being assembled.

According to a spokeswoman, several teams from Cessna’s Independence, Kan. plant are helping to build the prototype at Pawnee. These people will help train workers in Independence once Cessna transfers Mustang assembly to this facility, where Cessna currently makes piston singles.

Cessna continues to fly one of the Mustang’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F turbofans on a CitationJet testbed, and last month had reportedly logged more than 120 hours on the engine. Regarding the very light jet’s integrated avionics suite, Garmin recently took delivery of a CJ2 and is flying the G1000 autopilot on that aircraft, while Cessna continues to test its G1000 hot bench in Wichita.

The OEM spokeswoman said the company has chosen a majority of the Mustang’s suppliers, and at press time Cessna was about to choose who would supply the airplane’s de-ice boots and battery. Now that this list has become more firm, Cessna told AIN that traffic information system, terrain awareness and warning system, single DME, weather, XM Radio and digital anti-skid brakes will be standard equipment on the Mustang. In addition, the twinjet will come equipped with a Citation diagnostic maintenance system that will diagnose nearly all electrical systems in the aircraft, as well as a standard heated glass windshield that can be quickly removed and replaced.

The spokeswoman said the program is still on schedule, with first flight slated for the third quarter (and perhaps even earlier), certification in the third quarter of next year and deliveries starting in the following quarter.