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Cessna Announces Mustang Step Up Jet

By J. Mac McClellan, Director of Publications, EAA 747337

M2
Cessnaís rendering of a flying Citation M2, which the company says will fly for real starting early next year with first deliveries in 2013.

M2
The Garmin G3000 integrated avionics systemís three glass displays span nearly the entire width of the instrument panel, while two GTC 570 touch screen controllers are seen ahead of the throttles on a new "tilt panel."

M2
The M2ís interior features seats and materials matching those from Cessnaís most expensive and newest jets.

September 27, 2011 – Cessna has announced the M2, a light business jet that the company believes will be the step up in performance and cabin room that pilots and owners of the entry level Mustang jet are looking for. The M2 cabin mockup makes its first public showing at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas in October.

The M2 is really the popular CJ1+ light jet upgraded with Garmin touch-screen G3000 avionics, increased performance from advanced Williams engines, and a new and very sleek interior, including the option for an aft lavatory with solid a door.

Most importantly Cessna is able to roll the price of the M2 back to $4.2 million from more than $5 million for the CJ1+ that has just gone out of production. The price reduction is due primarily to savings on the avionics and engines.

Cessna has delivered more than 380 of the Mustang light jets with many being flown by owner-pilots. The Mustang has been a big success by any measure, but a number of owners want more speed, range, cabin room, and - high on the list - a fully enclosed private lav. But Mustang owners don’t want to change from the Garmin flight deck. That’s what the M2 can deliver.

The M2 is expected to have a top cruise speed of 400 knots, which is about 60 knots faster than a Mustang, and about 15 knots faster than the CJ1+. And at its certified ceiling of 41,000 feet, the M2 is predicted to have a cruise speed of 385 knots, much quicker than either the Mustang or CJ1+. IFR no-wind range with reserves is 1,300 nautical miles and required runway for a maximum-weight takeoff is 3,250 feet.

The M2 performance gains come mostly from new fuel schedules in the full-authority digital engine controls (FADEC) on the Williams FJ44 engines. Unlike the mechanical fuel controls on older turbofan engines, the computers in the FADEC can be programmed to deliver exacting amounts of fuel at each altitude and air temperature.

The new FADEC programs produce more thrust at higher altitude than the previous version without shortening engine life, so the M2 flies faster. The extra cruise speed makes up for the slightly higher fuel burn, so range remains unchanged, but you get there quicker.

The Garmin G3000 integrated avionics system - which has also been selected for the HondaJet and Piper’s single-engine jet - features touch-screen controllers for data entry, frequency selection, and all other tasks.

The three big flat glass displays occupy nearly the entire width of the instrument panel. Two GTC 570 touch-screen controllers are located on a new “tilt panel” ahead of the throttles.

The M2 cabin is a total redesign with as many as six passenger seats available. The design of the seats and the materials used for the entire cabin match those from Cessna’s most expensive and newest jets. All cabin lighting is LED and the entertainment system operates using wireless devices. Passengers will be able to use most popular smartphones and other personal electronic devices while in flight.

Cessna plans to fly the first M2 early next year and complete certification and delivery toward the end of 2013.

In case you are wondering, the “M” in M2 doesn’t stand for Mustang. Cessna says the M is just a name for another jet in the long line of Citations. But if Mustang owners take a close look at the M2, Cessna won’t mind.

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