Flashback: Textron ends Citation Mustang production

 - May 3, 2022, 10:10 AM
AIN June 2017, p.14

With AIN Media Group's Aviation International News and its predecessor Aviation Convention News celebrating the company's 50th year of continuous publication this year, AIN’s editorial staff is going back through the archives each month to bring readers some interesting events that were covered over the past half-century.

REWIND: (June 2017) The final production Cessna Citation Mustang has rolled off the assembly line and will be delivered in the coming weeks, Textron Aviation announced on May 11. Cessna built 470 of the entry-level jets during the type’s 12-year production run. The Mustang received FAA certification on Sept. 8, 2006, just weeks before the Eclipse 500 received full FAA certification, at a time when there were wide expectations of a burgeoning VLJ market. “The Mustang has been at very low rates of production for a few years,” JetNet iQ managing director Rollie Vincent told AIN. “It was a tough call to end Mustang production, but it’s not a profitable use of scarce resources to keep the line open. It’s also tough to manage supply chains with so many disparate product lines at such low volume rates of production.”

FASTFORWARD: Of the original number of production Mustangs, all but nine are still in operation on nearly every continent, according to JetNet.

The first of the very light jets to enter major production, the Mustang was intended to be the harbinger of skies darkened by clouds of personal jets, yet it was perhaps a case of the aircraft being ahead of its time. While the competing Eclipse also saw a premature end, current VLJs such as the HondaJet and the Cirrus VisionJet are seeing widespread popularity in the post-Covid business aviation boom, and fractional operators for the former are thriving.