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.
Cessna Citation Mustang
The lightest end of the business jet market gained another player last month as Adam Aircraft Industries of Englewood, Colo., unveiled a mockup of a twin-engine jet based on its all-composite Adam 500 centerline piston twin. Powered by Williams International FJ33 turbofans, the $1.995 million, six-seat Adam 700 is expected to make its first flight in about 10 months and be in the hands of its first customers by late 2004.
Will Cessna’s newly announced Mustang light jet spur Piper to action? Though the company has contemplated introducing a jet for years, the official answer is still “no immediate plans for a turbofan.” But at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., last month, Piper president Chuck Suma said the Mustang “validates that segment of the market,” and could lure investors to back Piper in such a project.
Cessna unveiled a new entry-level jet at the NBAA Convention last month. Called the Citation Mustang, the new twin turbofan will be powered by either the Williams FJ33 or the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615, producing somewhere between 1,350 and 1,450 lb of thrust each. An announcement about the winner of that competition is expected by year-end.
Cessna will construct a new plant in Wichita to manufacture the Citation Columbus. The Kansas Senate voted to provide $33 million for the project early last month. In other news, Cessna delivered a Mustang in March to the University of Dakota, the first Cessna VLJ to be used by a flight school.
Cessna announced that the Citation Mustang very light jet has surpassed the 500-order mark. Last April, the Wichita-based airframer delivered its first Mustang and finished the year having handed over 45 of the VLJs. This year the company expects deliveries to total 100 and plans to reach its targeted peak rate of 150 Mustangs annually next year.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has received certification of its new PW306C turbofan engine from both Transport Canada and the FAA. The PW306C is the latest addition to the eight-model PW300 family and has a flat-rated thrust of 5,686 lb. Cessna’s Citation Sovereign is the launch aircraft for the PW306C. The Sovereign flew for the first time with twin PW306Cs in February.
Garmin announced yesterday that it has received FAA supplemental type certification for a synthetic-vision system it is incorporating into the G1000 cockpit. Called SVT (synthetic vision technology), the upgrade uses GPS-derived aircraft position and internal topographical databases to create 3-D images on the G1000’s large XGA displays.
The first customer-owned very light jet to sustain major damage, Cessna Citation Mustang S/N 049, returned to service on February 29 some two months after suffering the collapse of its left fuel tank and two broken wing ribs while on a ferry flight. According to the FAA, the twinjet received “substantial damage” during the December 19 flight from Cessna’s Independence, Kan.
As most in the industry have come to understand, business aviation follows the general economy, but lags behind it by a year or two. The last few years were no exception.