Cessna launches Mustang engine flight-testing
Flight testing of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F–the engine Cessna selected for the Citation Mustang–got under way in Wichita on April 27. In an unusual move, initial flight testing is being conducted by Cessna on its own CitationJet testbed instead of aboard the engine manufacturer’s test aircraft. Cessna said this is the “first time” a P&WC engine has flown on an aircraft manufacturer’s testbed before flying on the engine maker’s own Boeing 720.
According to a spokeswoman, Cessna will continue to flight test the engine as part of a “very aggressive program to expedite [its] certification” (scheduled for the fourth quarter next year) and that of the Mustang airframe (scheduled for late 2006). Simultaneous flight testing of the engine by P&WC is set to start in the fall.
The 1,350-pound-thrust PW615F–the first in the PW600 series of light jet turbofans–is in the running to be the powerplant for two new very light jet proposals: the single-engine Sport-Jet and the twin-engine Avocet ProJet.
The second engine in the PW600 series, the 900-pound-thrust PW610F, was selected early last year to replace the Williams International EJ22 engine in the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet. P&WC expects to ship the first PW610F engines to Eclipse in Albuquerque, N.M., late this year for the Model 500’s first flight with the new powerplants on or about December 31.