Citation M2 Will Share Customers, Production Line with Mustang

 - May 2, 2012, 3:50 AM

Cessna’s new Citation M2 will share a production line with the Citation Mustang in Independence, Kan. “We have capacity there,” said Brian Rohloff, Cessna business leader for the Mustang and M2 programs. Rohloff also confirmed that Cessna will offer its Clairity wireless cabin management and entertainment system on the M2 as an extra cost option, but that the system will not be driven by the aircraft’s Garmin G3000 avionics.

“You will need a wireless router in the cabin. The Garmin is not infinitely expandable at this price,” Rohloff said. “There will be the ability for communication between cabin and cockpit. It will not be the full-blown system you will see on the Citation Latitude or Ten. The goal is to be able to use a personal device in the back of the airplane.”

Rohloff said he expects the G3000 system to provide unspecified weight savings and make avionics access easier for maintenance. He also said that Williams International is “tweaking” the M2’s, 1,965-pound-thrust Fadec Williams FJ44-1AP-21 engines, which he expects to yield some “reliability improvements.”

The first M2 prototype made its maiden flight on March 9 and has been joined by a second test aircraft in a program Rohloff characterized as “flawless” to date, expressing confidence that the aircraft will meet performance goals that include a 400-knot maximum cruise speed. Rohloff declined to reveal the size of the M2 order book, but said a “majority” of customers are current operators of the Citation Mustang. Cessna delivered its 400th Mustang on March 27. Rohloff said a large proportion of M2 customers are owner-pilots, some of them current operators of single-engine turboprops. “Market demand is right where we expected it,” he said, adding that the M2’s $4.195 million price “has been big with this airplane. We continue, as a team, to find ways to improve our product and manage our costs,” he said.

While Cessna recently announced plans to build the Latitude and Sovereign in China, Rohloff said there are no plans to build the M2 there anytime soon. “At this time no. The challenge with countries like China is that they don’t have the infrastructure for short-endurance aircraft. Now, once that infrastructure is in place, I’m sure we will always be looking for different ways to expand our products and our market share. Obviously China is going to be a huge market,” he said.