Are we easing out of the recession? Hope so. Here’s some more ammunition for the positive thinkers: Cessna has delivered its 300th Mustang—to a retail customer in Australia; and Bombardier has delivered its 100th Challenger 605. Coming on the heels of Pilatus’ recent announcement of a record 100 PC-12 NG deliveries in 2009, there is evidence that the core market for these airplanes remains healthy.
The $3 million Mustang was announced in 2002 and made its first flight in 2005, and first deliveries began in April 2007. “Demand for this entry-level business jet has remained fairly resilient during the past year,” said Jack J. Pelton, chairman, president, and CEO of Cessna. The Mustang has a max cruise speed of 340 knots, and a max range of 1,200 nm.
The Challenger 605 is at the other end of the business jet continuum. It’s a Mach 0.82 airplane that can fly as far as 3,100 nm and carry as many as nine passengers. Powered by General Electric CF34-3B turbofan engines, the 605 has a 1,350-lb payload with full fuel, and is priced at $27 million. That price includes a four-screen Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite, complete with dual autopilots, autothrottles, TCAS II, TAWS, and much more.