By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
Less than six months since it was announced, a prototype of Cessna's new eight-place (including two crew) Citation M2 has successfully flown, Friday, March 9. The timeline was helped along by the jet's extensive mechanical similarities to the CJ1+, and pilots will need the same C525 type rating to fly it. There will, of course, be some differences in training. The roughly $4.2 million M2 has a maximum cruise of 400 KTAS and a range of 1,300 nautical miles, according to Cessna, and will reach 41,000 feet in under 25 minutes.
Cessna's engineering test pilot, Peter Fisher, flew the jet on its first flight. According to Fisher, "the aircraft performance, handling characteristics and Garmin G3000 avionics were exceptional." The company is hoping to achieve certification in the first half of 2013, with first deliveries reaching customers in the second half of that year. The earliest orders for the jet were placed sight unseen. The M2 is powered by two FADEC-controlled Williams International FJ44-IAP-21 turbofans. Cessna touts the jet's "all-new" cabin design that includes a 5-inch dropped aisle for a 57-inch cabin height, "large" windows and pedestal seats.