Sierra Cessna 501-SP Stallion
When it comes to doing bizjet refurbishments, there are few players out there with the experience of Sierra Industries. For the past 20 years Sierra Industries (sijet.com) has been taking last-generation Citations and making them not as good as new but demonstrably better than new with the addition of next-gen engines, aerodynamic modifications and avionics upgrades. One of the company’s best-sellers has been its Stallion conversion for the Cessna Citation 501-SP, the single-pilot version of the venerable straight-wing Cessna jet. This is, by the way, the only airplane in our refurb lineup that isn’t privately owned (though that will likely change within a few days of this story hitting the stands).
While Sierra customers can do as much or as little to their Citation as they’d like, the Stallion featured here has gotten the entire treatment: engines, avionics, interior and paint. And more. In the end, the customer winds up with a gorgeous hot rod of a Citation with flat-panel avionics, performance that’s competitive with that of new jets costing twice as much and an interior that’s roomy and luxurious.
The engines are the Williams FJ44-2As, which put out 2,300 pounds of thrust a side and feature a mechanical engine control system that’s like full-authority digital control for much-improved ease of operation. The performance improvement is tremendous. At better than 400 knots true (50 knots faster than the original) and with a full fuel payload of 1,670 pounds, the Stallion takes a decent airplane and makes it faster, stronger and longer-legged (1,400 nm IFR range) to boot.
Moreover, the FJ44s are quieter and far more fuel-efficient than the original Pratt & Whitney JT15D-1As on the Citation. The sexiest part of the conversion is surely the panel. The modification takes a Garmin G1000 panel and marries it to the 501-SP, making it look for all the world as though it was made for the airplane. Our featured airplane has a dual air data attitude heading reference system, dual PFDs, a center MFD with moving map, FMS, satellite weather, navcoms and WAAS GPS, radar display, and a pedestal-mounted FMS keyboard. There are also Sierra’s Meggitt electronic engine instrument displays and a digital all-in-one standby instrument. It’s a fabulous panel by any standard.
The interior is also completely redone, with rebuilt seats, new carpet and upholstery, refinished galley, tables and lighting, and more. The nearly 13-foot-long cabin is one of the best selling points of the Citation to begin with, with a great galley, optional lavatory and room for seating seven to eight in great comfort.
At around $2.75 million with everything you see here, the Sierra Stallion is a lot of airplane for a price that makes the refurbishment option sound smart indeed.