Will Cessna Certify Its Mustang Early?

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With Eclipse and Adam seeming to make it across the finish line, whither Cessna? Will we also see a certified -- full, partial or provisional -- Cessna Citation Mustang in the near future? Maybe before or during the upcoming NBAA annual meeting and convention? While AVweb was unable to get anyone at Cessna to comment on the speculation, it is pulling out all the stops it can find to secure certification of the Citation Mustang VLJ before NBAA, and we wouldn't bet against it. As we have noted in the past, Cessna has earned an enviable reputation for bringing its new aircraft types through the FAA's paperwork process and into its customers' hands in a clockwork-like fashion. Now, word has reached AVweb that the company is making a big push to complete the required testing as soon as possible.

In fact, published reports indicate Cessna is down to the final 150 hours of flying necessary to complete its certification testing. Those tests mostly involve ensuring everything on the aircraft meets reliability targets and functions as it should. Additionally, there is every indication the Citation Mustang will meet FAA requirements for flight in known icing conditions -- unlike the Adam A500 and Eclipse 500 -- when Cessna gets its first batch of paperwork. In addition to the icing certification, Cessna would really be stealing some thunder if it managed to certify and begin deliveries of the Mustang within, say, a few days of the Eclipse certification. Then again, you have to ask yourself: What if Cessna actually beat Eclipse?