One of Cessna’s newest bizjets, the Citation M2, took to the skies on Friday for its maiden flight, remaining airborne for approximately an hour and half as the prototype’s crew conducted the first round of preliminary tests of the aircraft’s Garmin G3000 avionics suite, autopilot and engines.
During the flight, which also included tests of other aircraft systems as well as instrument approaches, Cessna test pilot Peter Fisher said the M2’s performance and handling was “exceptional.”
The milestone comes a little less than six months after Cessna first announced the Citation M2, which is based on the CJ line yet seemingly intended as a next-tier aircraft for Mustang owners.
Equipped with Garmin’s G3000 avionics suite and two Williams International FJ44 engines, the aircraft boasts a projected range of 1,300 nautical miles and top cruise speed of 400 knots, making the M2 around 20 knots faster than the CJ1+, which was taken out of production last year.
Cessna officials pointed to the test flight as an indication of the speedy progression of the M2 program, emphasizing the company’s commitment to a quick maturation of the aircraft. According to Cessna, the $4.195 million jet is slated for FAA certification in the first half of 2013, with deliveries set to follow later that year.