The Cessna Citation Mustang prototype made its first flight from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita on April 23 at 10:26 a.m. CDT. Test pilots Scotty Jergenson and Dave Bonifield flew the very light jet (VLJ) on a 2.5-hour mission, climbing to 11,000 feet, where the airplane underwent various stability and control tests, including cycling of the landing gear, flaps and speed brakes. The flight concluded at 12:47 p.m.
Cessna 208 Caravan, Round Rock, Texas, Oct. 18, 2005–After losing power, the FedEx Caravan, operated by Baron Aviation of Vichy, Mo., was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The sole-occupant commercial pilot was seriously injured. The flight had originated at Austin, Texas, at 10:15 p.m. and was en route to Fort Worth in night VMC.
Cessna has recently added online access to Service Bulletins and Letters for all Citation models at its support Web site (www.cessnasupport.com). In addition, all available pertinent documents are now accessible online specifically for the 525B, 680 and 750. Only documents from May 5, 2005, to the present are available for the remaining Citation models.
How has this year been for Cessna?
ellers of used turboprops, many of whom AIN contacted at last month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., generally remain optimistic that the turnaround that began last year will continue well into next year.
Manufacturers delivered 738 general aviation turbine airplanes in the first nine months of this year, some 28 percent more than the 577 delivered in the same period last year, according to data released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Start-up Spectrum Aeronautical of Encinitas, Calif., joined the crowded very light jet segment last month when it unveiled a nine-seat, $3.65 million all-composite VLJ at the NBAA Convention. Managing director Linden Blue (known to many as the father of the Beech Starship) bills the 7,300-pound-mtow Spectrum 33–powered by a pair of Williams International FJ33 engines–as a “full-size airplane at half the weight.”
More than eight months after the start of reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) in North America, about 70 percent of U.S.-registered business aircraft are approved for RVSM operations, and only four models have achieved 100-percent fleet compliance, according to data provided by technical consulting firm CSSI.
Beyond the merriment that the very light jet is coming to market, the insurance industry is preparing to drop the curtain in the final act.
One year after CitationShares introduced its Vector jet card, the fractional provider has curtailed sales so as “not to exceed the capacity to fulfill” charter and owner flights. “We have reached the capacity we targeted way earlier than expected,” according to CitationShares president and CEO Steve O’Neill. “We expected a renewal rate of about 35 percent, but about 75 percent of cardholders are renewing.