Cessna mates wing of first Citation Mustang

 - February 5, 2007, 4:57 AM

The first Citation Mustang conforming prototype got its wings on the morning of February 3. Workers at Cessna’s Pawnee facility in Wichita mated the wing to the fuselage in a process that took less than 20 minutes, according to the company.

The program continues to maintain its aggressive schedule due to the coordination of an integrated team, which includes 50 employees from Cessna’s Independence, Kan. and Columbus, Ga. facilities who have temporarily relocated to Wichita to help build the first five Citation Mustangs. The Independence plant will assemble the very light jet, and the Columbus facility is manufacturing the airplane’s wing assembly and empennage.

According to a spokeswoman, five airframes–three flight-test aircraft and two ground articles– are in various stages of assembly at the Pawnee facility. Cessna will conduct static, cyclic, reliability and component tests at its structural test facility in Wichita. The aircraft manufacturer has already begun testing on the Mustang engine (the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F), Garmin avionics and autopilot, landing gear, environmental system and flight controls.

This month Cessna will begin “power on” tests, which entail supplying power to aircraft systems such as the avionics on the first Mustang prototype. First flight of this aircraft is tentatively planned for May, which means rollout of the Mustang should occur next month or in early May.

Meanwhile, the manufacturer launched a worldwide Citation Mustang mockup tour on February 14. The 10-city tour began in Chicago and will conclude on May 20 at EBACE in Geneva. The traveling mockup display features a full-size cabin with interior and a fully functional cockpit equipped with the new Garmin G1000 avionics suite. For specific tour dates and locations, call (800) 4-CESSNA or (316) 517-6056.