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August 27, 2013
By Jim Moore
Cessna Aircraft Co. announced the first flight of a production Citation M2 from Independence, Kan. Aug. 23, marking another step toward certification of the six-passenger (seven with a single pilot) jet that is, in essence, an updated CJ1+ designed to compete head-to-head with Embraer’s Phenom 100.
Announced in 2011, the $4.195 million M2 is Cessna’s answer to the Phenom 100, with four passenger seats and a jump seat, which has trounced Cessna’s CJ1+ in recent years.
“When we announced the M2 less than two years ago, we knew a need existed for a jet of this size, capability and value,” said Brad Thress, Cessna senior vice president of business jets, in a news release. “You will see operator feedback and owner insight practically everywhere you look in the M2. The Garmin G3000 avionics are familiar to pilots while at the same time bring advances they want with features they need. The M2 is the leader in the next generation of aircraft, and a great step ahead for any light jet operator who needs a new, more advanced business aircraft.”
Cessna announced in 2012 that the first 47 Citation M2s will be sold at a discounted price of $4 million. Embraer’s Phenom 100 retails for just under $3.8 million with basic equipment. The M2 will boast slightly longer range, 1,300 nautical miles compared to 1,160 nm for the Phenom 100.
The first production flight of the M2 was made in the same month as the first production flight of the new Citation X, both of which followed the first production flight of Cessna’s Citation Sovereign in April.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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