First Citation Mustang Demonstration Aircraft Takes Flight

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Cessna's first production Citation Mustang took flight last week, according to the company. The aircraft, the first jet assembled in Independence, Kan., flew two weeks ahead of schedule. Cessna said the new "baby" Citation will enter service in December as its first Mustang demonstrator aircraft. It is the fourth Mustang produced, and the first one that will not be used for FAA flight testing. Mustangs 0004 through 0015 are currently on the production line at Cessna's manufacturing facility in Independence. The three Mustangs dedicated to certification are the Mustang prototype and serial numbers 0001 and 0002. Certification flight hours on the three airplanes now total more than 1,250. FAA certification is expected later this year. The first Mustang customer delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2007.

The Citation Mustang program was announced at the 2002 NBAA convention. Cessna said in 2002 it planned to obtain FAA type certification in the third quarter of 2006 -- delivery of the first customer aircraft is expected in fourth quarter 2006 -- and the company has been relentless in making those deadlines in recent years. The company adds that the Citation Mustang will be certified as a single-pilot, FAR Part 23 aircraft, with an anticipated cruise speed of 340 KTAS and a maximum operating altitude of 41,000 feet. Other features include Pratt & Whitney PW615F engines and Garmin International's G1000 integrated avionics. Cessna has orders for more than 240 Mustangs.