At the National Business Aviation Association Convention in Orlando in September Cessna announced that it will build an all-new very light jet, the Citation Mustang, and will also develop a new Citation, the CJ3, which has a larger cabin and more powerful engines than the wildly successful CJ2.
The Mustang, priced at $2.295 million, is a four-passenger jet that will weigh around 8,000 pounds, cruise at 340 knots and have a ceiling of 41,000 feet. Cessna has not yet made any of the major component supplier decisions, but the engines will likely be either 600- series Pratt & Whitney or FJ33-series Williams turbofans in the 1,500-pound thrust category. The avionics supplier has not been selected either, but Cessna says the cockpit will feature large electronic displays with a standard flight management system (FMS).
The Mustang is expected to have a 1,300-nm IFR range and a full-fuel payload of 600 pounds, not counting a single pilot. Takeoff distance is forecast to be 3,120 feet, and that is with engine-out minimum climb profile requirements that all other jets so far certified deliver.
Cessna made the surprising announcement?even though the existence of a very light jet program had been rumored for some time?very early in the development cycle. Certification of the Mustang is slated for the summer of 2006 with first deliveries late that year.
The new CJ3 cabin will be two feet longer than that of the CJ2. To carry the extra cabin size and weight, the wing-span will be increased 21 inches by stretching the wing root and flap while retaining the CJ2's outer wing. The vertical fin will also gain six inches in height.
Maximum takeoff weight goes up to 13,870 pounds, so Cessna needed more power for the CJ3. After a tough competition between Williams and Pratt & Whitney, Cessna selected the new Williams FJ44-3-rated at 2,780 pounds thrust for takeoff with a full authority digital engine computer (FADEC). The new engine has 14 percent more takeoff thrust, and 12 percent greater thrust at cruise, compared to the FJ44-2 engine on the CJ2.