Upgraded Citation 501 Makes First Flight

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Sierra Industries late last month said an airframe incorporating its newest set of modifications to the venerable Cessna Citation 501 models made its first flight on June 14. The new modification, dubbed the "Stallion" by Sierra, features uprated Williams FJ44-2A engines offering greater speed and higher climb rates, among other benefits. The Stallion offering fits between the stock airframe and the Sierra Eagle II set of modifications in the company's product line. In addition to uprated engines, the Eagle II mods include a longer wing and greater fuel capacity. Company CEO Mark Huffstutler piloted the Sierra Stallion's first flight, noting, “The tradeoff between the higher performance of the Stallion against the longer range of the Eagle II is the perfect sweet spot for many of [our] customers.”

According to the company, preliminary data from the Stallion's first flight indicate the new engines will allow the modded Citation 501 airframe to achieve a range of about 1400 miles, a value some 350 miles less than the longer-legged Eagle II. However, time to climb, maximum cruising speed, and specific fuel consumption will likely exceed that version. Sierra says it will be able to convert a customer’s Citation 501 to a Stallion with a lower investment in time and money than required for the Eagle II mods. Even so, a Citation 501 upgraded with the Stallion mods can be further modified to the Eagle II configuration at a later date. The Eagle conversion adds 730 pounds of fuel capacity to the aircraft. The Stallion conversion is priced at $1.6 million.