Cessna Aircraft celebrated Christmas two days early with first deliveries today of both the new Citation M2 and the Citation Sovereign+ models. Deliveries began immediately following certifications by the Federal Aviation Administration, with the first M2 going to best-selling author, pilot and former Citation Mustang owner Stuart Woods.
Cessna Citation Mustang
Cessna Aircraft is looking to beat back encroaching entry-level light jet competition with its new M2. But can a nearly 25-year-old fuselage design do the trick? The market is about to find out. The new Citation M2, a refreshed version of the company’s smallest Model 525–the CitationJet–is nearing certification. A demonstration model is on display here on the NBAA static line.
FlightSafety International’s Orlando Learning Center caters to the full range of Cessna Citation clients. Many return to the center for recurrent training while their aircraft undergo maintenance across the street at Cessna’s factory-owned and -operated regional service center.
UK-based ConnectJets has launched Jet Card Europe as an occupied-hours, all-inclusive block charter program that incorporates a loyalty plan through which members can earn free flight hours and other benefits. Clients can join by signing up for 25 hours or more per year and earn one free flight hour for every 50 hours flown.
The AeroNimbus NMX is another entry in the very light jet market, from a Malaysian company that hopes to begin delivering a new jet in the first quarter of 2016. What makes the NMX different from established VLJs such as the Cessna Mustang or Embraer Phenom 100 is its multirole cabin, which can be switched from six-occupant seating in the business version to seven occupants for air-taxi or five plus patient in medevac configuration.
Deliveries of light business jets in the first quarter climbed by almost 60 percent to 30 shipments, compared with 19 a year ago, according to data from Utica, N.Y-based business aviation information provider JetNet. The very light jet segment–in which JetNet includes the Citation Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100–didn’t fare as well, with deliveries dropping from 11 VLJs in first-quarter 2011 to eight this year thanks to three fewer Mustang shipments.
The Cessna Citation M2, a CJ1+ derivative announced in late September at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, flew on Friday 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 1.5 hours and included tests of its Garmin avionics, autopilot, Williams engines and aircraft systems.
Spurred by sluggish demand for light and midsize jets and the threat from Brazil’s Embraer, Cessna has enlarged its midsize cabin cross-section and refreshed one of the lightest jets it builds. The new contenders were revealed last fall in the form of the 680A Latitude midsize and the M2 update of the CJ1+. They compete with, respectively, the Embraer Legacy 450 (slated for certification in late 2014 and service entry in early 2015) and the Phenom 100 (in service since 2009).
The 400th Citation Mustang rolled off Cessna Aircraft’s Independence, Kan. assembly line on Friday, marking a milestone reached slightly more than five years since the first twinjet was delivered. “What an achievement for Cessna and for the employees in Wichita and Independence who engineer, design, support and manufacture this airplane,” said Citation Mustang and M2 business leader Brian Rohloff.
Europe’s still-fledgling entry-level charter jet market is showing some positive signs of growth, according to leading operators and analysts.
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