Cessna Mustang Gets Its Paperwork

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Although it likely means little in the very light jet (VLJ) sweepstakes, Cessna won the race to full certification with the announcement that its Mustang VLJ (Cessna prefers the term entry-level jet) got the FAA blessing on Friday. (The Eclipse 500 was granted provisional certification in July.) The Mustang is now approved for delivery and has been signed off on everything except flight into known icing conditions. A test aircraft will be sent north for icing tests in the next few weeks as the weather cools. The Mustang was announced in 2002 and the certification came a month earlier than scheduled. "This is an immense achievement, marking another point in history where Cessna has led the aviation industry into new territory," Cessna CEO Jack Pelton said. The Mustang program began about three years after Eclipse embarked on its VLJ effort. The Eclipse schedule was set back a couple of years when it switched engine suppliers in 2002 and has suffered some delays since then, most attributed by the company to supplier problems.