It’s a David-and-Goliath story, but lately it has been getting tougher to tell just who’s the Goliath.
Cessna Citation Mustang
The very light jet segment got a bit more crowded early last month when Westport, Conn.-based startup Avocet Aircraft and Israel Aircraft Industries publicly announced a partnership to develop a six- to eight-seat (including pilot) twinjet.
The wraps officially came off Garmin’s new G1000 integrated avionics system late last month at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wis. Picked to fly aboard the Cessna Citation Mustang personal jet and Diamond DA-42 piston twin, the G1000 represents the first complete cockpit from the Olathe, Kan. avionics manufacturer.
Van Nuys, Calif.-based JetAviva is expanding its jet training program to include the Cessna Citation Mustang. The company, which has had such a program for the Eclipse 500 since September, plans to begin offering the pre-type rating training in the Mustang later this year. The program is offered in three packages: basic, intermediate and advanced, providing 10.5, 25 and 45 hours of flight time, respectively.
Jim Christy, vice president of Hayden, Idaho-based Aerostar Aircraft, continues his search for an investor or investors willing to put up $50 million–while not demanding the whole store– to bring the proposed turbofan-powered derivative of the Piper Aerostar 600/700 through certification and into production.
The first batch of Cessna Citation Mustang pilots started initial training last month at FlightSafety’s Farn-borough Learning Center. Once the sessions start in earnest the electric-motion simulator is expected to be in use for up to 20 hours a day to meet demand from European pilots transitioning to the Garmin G1000-equipped compact very light jet.
Twenty years ago owner-pilots of high-performance airplanes often supplemented their flying skills by offering the right seat of the airplane to a young CFI whose role was to help keep the left-seat aviator out of trouble. That usually meant working the radios, stowing the charts and generally acting as another set of eyes and hands when the weather was bad or the traffic was dense.
Madrid-based Gestair Private Aviation (Booth No. 413) appears on plan to double its size over the next three years by taking on new business opportunities, internationalizing its business units and strengthening its infrastructure. The company was recently awarded a two-year contract for its FBO joint-venture with Assistair at Barcelona El Prat Airport, where the companies opened a new business aviation terminal in March.
Next month, the first very light jet (VLJ) full-flight simulator to enter service outside the U.S. will be approved for training Cessna Citation Mustang pilots. The simulator, installed at FlightSafety International’s Farnborough facilities in the UK, will begin training in August and is already booked through the end of this year.
Delta Aero-Taxi plans to start a fractional aircraft ownership operation in Europe with the new Citation Mustang. The Florence, Italy-based company, which now operates a Citation X, placed an order for seven of the very light business jets. The Mustang is “ideal for Europe because of the relatively short travel distances and the [airplane’s] low acquisition cost,” said Delta Aero-Taxi president Carlo Panerai.