One month ahead of schedule, the first Citation Mustang production aircraft (S/N 0001) took to the air on August 29. The very light jet (VLJ) flew for exactly two hours, performing basic systems and avionics checks, including engaging the autopilot, testing handling characteristics, operating the gear and flaps, activating the de-ice system and evaluating engine response and performance.
Cessna Citation Mustang
Cessna has selected FlightSafety International (FSI) to provide training for pilots and mechanics of the Citation Mustang very light jet (VLJ), and the training firm will design and build two full-flight simulators and two avionics training devices.
John and Martha King this month plan to take the wraps off a new online training course developed for pilots transitioning from traditional instruments to the Garmin G1000 integrated cockpit. The course will include about four hours of video with interactive quizzes at the end of each training session.
Quest Aircraft selected the Garmin G1000 as the standard avionics for its under-development Kodiak, a 10-seat STOL turboprop single scheduled to be certified in the first half of next year. The G1000 avionics system has been certified in a variety of piston airplanes and has also been selected by Cessna for the Citation Mustang very light jet. Meanwhile, Quest has opened its 57,000-sq-ft Kodiak production facility in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Following the successful introduction last year of the three-inch 4300 Lifesaver backup attitude indicator, Mid-Continent Instruments has gone one step better by unveiling an even smaller product, the two-inch 4200 series indicator.
By the middle of last month Cessna’s Citation Mustang had made rapid flight-test progress. Since its first flight on April 23, the Citation Mustang has logged more than 36 hours in 19 flights. Testing has already begun onall Citation Mustang systems,including the Garmin G1000integrated avionics system andthe Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F engines and FADECs.
GE Honda Aero Engines, though it has yet to announce an airframe application for its engine, continues to develop its HF118 1,700-pound-thrust turbofan. The company validated durability and performance enhancements on rig tests held in March at Honda’s facility in Japan.
Two more established OEMs–Embraer and Raytheon Aircraft–confirmed they are looking at introducing aircraft into the light or very light jet market. But they have yet to commit to firm projects as Cessna has with the Citation Mustang.
Embraer, which has sustained a presence in the business aviation market with the Legacy, a corporate version of its ERJ 135 regional jet, last month announced two clean-sheet additions to its business jet portfolio–a light jet and a very light jet (VLJ).
The champagne corks were surely popping in Wichita on September 8 when Cessna Aircraft announced it had earned full type certification of its newest jet, the Mustang. The paperwork was signed just short of four years after the company announced the project at the 2002 NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.