Monday, August 25, 2008
Mustang Reaches 100 Deliveries
The commemorative Mustang is owned and operated by long-time customer Supap Puranitee, a businessman based in Thailand. Puranitee put a deposit down on the Mustang on the same day the entry level jet program was unveiled at the 2002 National Business Aviation Association meeting and convention.
"After seeing this fantastic looking airplane unveiled, I immediately placed a deposit. That same year I had the opportunity to take delivery of the 1,000th Grand Caravan, so I requested that I receive the 100th Mustang," Supap Puranitee said. "I enjoy a wonderful relationship with Cessna employees, and I consider them to be extended family. Already in 2008, I have received two new Cessna 172s that I am going to use to give private flying lessons."
The first retail Citation Mustang entered service in April 2007, and Cessna delivered 45 Mustangs in 2007. The company expects to deliver a total of 100 Mustangs by the end of 2008, and next year Cessna plans to reach a full production rate of about 150 aircraft per year.
"It's fitting that this special aircraft go to a loyal, international customer; about three of every five Mustangs are going to customers based outside the U.S.," said Roger Whyte, Cessna's senior vice president, Sales & Marketing. "Delivering the 100th Mustang is wonderful for everyone at Cessna who has worked on this program, but even more gratifying is the market response and positive customer feedback. Orders have surpassed 500 and are coming not only from owners/operators but flight schools and large-fleet air charter and air taxi operators."
The current fleet of Citation Mustangs has accumulated more than 17,000 flight hours, and the high-time aircraft has logged nearly 500 hours.
The six-place Citation Mustang has a top speed of 340 knots (630 kilometers per hour), a range of 1,150 nautical miles (2,130 kilometers) with NBAA IFR Reserves and a service ceiling of 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), enabling more efficient operations above most weather and commercial traffic. The aircraft features a Garmin G1000 system that includes two 10-inch primary flight displays, one 15-inch multi-function display and the integrated GFC700 dual-channel, fail passive, digital autopilot.
First CJ4 Production Aircraft Flies
In other news, Cessna completed the first flight of the first production Citation CJ4 last week, just more than three months after the CJ4 prototype initially flew May 5.
The 41-minute flight departed McConnell Air Force Base in east Wichita and completed numerous systems evaluations. Flown by Cessna Engineering test pilots David Lewandowski and Dan Morris, the CJ4 returned to Cessna's facility on Mid-Continent Airport as scheduled and where it will continue development and certification testing.
The first production aircraft, Serial 0001, will primarily be used for avionics and systems certification. The second production aircraft, Serial 0002, is nearing completion at Cessna's Pawnee Advanced Engineering facility in Wichita and will fly function and reliability along with company service tests.
Since the CJ4 prototype completed first flight in May it has logged 59 flights and accumulated more than 90 hours. The aircraft has completed system verification flight tests - such as speed brakes and flaps systems - and has been cleared through its operating envelope. Certification tests for the prototype and production airframes are on schedule to begin later this year.
Configurable for seven to eight passengers in the main cabin, the Citation CJ4 is expected to have a maximum speed of 435 knots (806 kilometers per hour), a full fuel payload of 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms) and maximum payload of 2,100 pounds (952 kilograms), more than 300 pounds (136 additional kilograms) compared to the typical CJ3. It will be certified for operations up to 45,000 feet (13,700 meters).
The aircraft will debut the new Williams International FJ44-4A electronically controlled (FADEC) engines and will feature the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and Venue, the next generation cabin management system. All current production Citations employ new generation turbofan engines, which meet or exceed the most stringent noise requirements and allow Cessna's line of business jets to be among the most fuel efficient and achieve some of the lowest emissions in the industry.
Cessna plans to achieve Federal Aviation Administration type certification in the second half of 2009, followed by customer deliveries beginning in the first half of 2010. Concurrently, Cessna is working toward European Aviation Safety Agency certification.