The Cessna Citation M2 prototype made its maiden flight March 9, and Cessna parent Textron hopes the new jet—essentially a Citation CJ1+ with an updated interior and Garmin avionics—will log its first sales in 2013.
The Citation M2 will be priced and equipped to compete with the Embraer Phenom 100, which has seen sales get mushy, if not actually stall, after trouncing the CJ1+ in recent years. General Aviation Manufacturers Association data for 2011 show just two CJ1+ sales, while Embraer sold 41 Phenom 100s—a sharp decline from previous years. Cessna designed the Citation M2 to do battle with the Phenom, and fill a niche between the Mustang (43 units sold in 2011) and the Citation CJ2+ (15 aircraft sold in 2011).
With seating for a crew of two and six passengers, Citation M2 will offer more seating (the Phenom 100 seats four passengers in standard configuration, with a jump seat to carry a fifth passenger), a faster cruise (maximum 400 KTAS vs. 380 KTAS for the Phenom 100), longer range (1,300 nm, according to Cessna, compared to 1,160 nm for the Phenom 100), and a price tag about $285,000 higher than the Brazilian light jet ( Aviation Week reported in October that the first 47 Citation M2 jets will be sold at a discount price of $4 million; the list price is $4.195 million, and a Phenom 100 with basic equipment retails for just under $3.8 million).
A fully integrated Garmin G3000 avionics suite will anchor the Citation M2 cockpit. Photo courtesy of Cessna.
Cessna test pilot Peter Fisher declared the Citation M2’s handling “exceptional” following the March 9 flight from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, where the factory is located. The first flight included tests of the avionics system, autopilot, engine system, aircraft systems, and instrument approaches.
The Citation M2 is equipped with a fully integrated Garmin G3000 avionics suite, and twin Williams International FJ44-1AP-21 turbofan engines with full-authority digital engine control (FADEC), reducing pilot workload. Cessna expects to make the first deliveries in the middle of 2013, with Part 23 certification expected in early 2013.