The Cessna Citation M2, a CJ1+ derivative launched in late September at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, achieved its maiden flight today from the aircraft manufacturer’s headquarters at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. According to Cessna, the M2 prototype’s inaugural flight lasted a little more than an hour and a half and included tests of its Garmin G3000 avionics, autopilot, Williams FJ44-1AP-21 engines and aircraft systems.
“I am excited to say the aircraft performance, handling characteristics and Garmin G3000 avionics were exceptional, just as we had anticipated,” said Peter Fisher, Cessna’s engineering test pilot who flew the Citation M2. “With this essential program milestone complete, we are looking forward to a successful flight test program and FAA certification so our customers can soon enjoy this great aircraft.”
The twinjet derivative will fit into the Citation line as a step-up for Mustang owners or as a higher entry-level Citation between the Mustang and CJ2+. Using the CJ1+ airframe as its platform, the new variant features the Garmin G3000 avionics suite, 1,965-pound-thrust Fadec Williams FJ44-1AP-21 engines, subtle winglets and, compared with its predecessor, higher-quality interior furnishings and greater speed.
Perhaps more important, however, the M2 lops about $800,000 off what the CJ1+ cost when Cessna quit building that airplane last year. Competing nose-to-nose with Embraer’s $3.91 million Phenom 100, the M2 carries a price tag of $4.195 million. The cost savings stemmed mostly from switching to a Garmin suite from the CJ1+’s Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 system, as well as better pricing on engines from Williams
For certification and pilot type ratings, the M2 retains the type designation C525. Among the M2’s specs: max cruise speed, 400 knots; time to climb to 41,000 feet, 24 minutes; mtow, 10,700 pounds; mission fuel, 3,309 pounds; and full-fuel payload with one pilot, 500 pounds. FAA certification is scheduled for the second half of next year, with entry into service by the end of next year.