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Citation M2 Makes Its Maiden Voyage: How Many Aircraft Does Cessna Need?

The Cessna Citation M2 made its first test flight on Friday and was met with all of the typical quotes from the people involved.  They talked about how it performed just as expected and how it will be such a blessing to their customers.

That’s great that everything went so well, but I for one have to wonder if Cessna really needs another aircraft.  According to the press release from Cessna, the M2 “fills the gap between the Citation Mustang and the Citation CJ family”.  Exactly how big of a gap do they think exists there.  If you look at the Mustang, various CJ aircraft, and the new M2, most people would be hard pressed to tell you the difference.

I understand that the avionics is an upgrade over previous aircraft, but do you really need an entirely new aircraft to roll out some new avionics?  How about upgrading one of your existing aircraft instead of coming out with a new aircraft every other year?

Cessna is THE American aircraft company in my eyes.  They cover pretty much the entire general aviation market with the exception of the airline size aircraft.  They make great aircraft that are a testament to the quality of American manufacturing, but this constant roll out of new aircraft almost makes them look desperate.

Maybe I am forgetting someone, but I can’t think of a single aircraft manufacturer that offers half as many business jets as Cessna.  I would start listing them all, but just the thought of it makes my head hurt.  Most companies offer 5-10 aircraft at the very most, but without even trying I can think of at least 20 jet aircraft that Cessna offers.

You have to wonder if spreading out so much is hurting their business.  Instead of just focusing on a smaller number of aircraft and making them awesome, I get the feeling that they are trying to be a jack of all trades, but master of none.

It also seems to me that people almost start ignoring new aircraft from Cessna because there are so many of them.

I really hope that this does help their business as Cessna is a very important company in this country, I just can’t help but wonder what they are trying to accomplish with releasing new aircraft all the time.

March 12, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Cessna’s New Citation M2 Makes First Flight Today

WICHITA, Kan., March 9, 2012 — Cessna’s new Citation M2, announced less than six months ago, made its first prototype flight today. The flight lasted a little more than an hour and a half and included tests of the avionics system, autopilot, engine system, aircraft systems and instrument approaches. The prototype took off and landed at Wichita, Kan., Mid-Continent Airport (ICT) where Cessna’s main manufacturing facility is located. Cessna Aircraft Company is a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.

“I am excited to say the aircraft performance, handling characteristics and Garmin G3000 avionics were exceptional, just as we had anticipated,” said Peter Fisher, Cessna’s engineering test pilot who flew the Citation M2. “With this essential program milestone complete, we are looking forward to a successful flight test program and FAA certification so our customers can soon enjoy this great aircraft.”

The Citation M2 is a new light business jet that fills the gap between the Citation Mustang and the Citation CJ family and gives customers another entry point into the Citation product line. Federal Aviation Administration certification (Part 23) is expected in the first half of 2013, followed by deliveries beginning in the second half of 2013.

“The Citation M2 development team is focused on bringing this program to maturity, and their dedication is reflected in the speed in which the program is moving forward,” said Brian Rohloff, Cessna’s Citation Mustang and M2 business leader. “Bringing this sleek airplane to market, so quickly, strongly positions Cessna in the marketplace and allows our customers to take advantage of its capabilities sooner.”

The Citation M2’s clean cockpit design is anchored by the fully integrated Garmin G3000 avionics suite and the aircraft is powered by a pair of FADEC-controlled Williams International FJ44-1AP-21 turbofan engines. It has an all-new cabin design, including the optional Cessna proprietary cabin management system that includes the latest interface options for greater in-flight productivity and connectivity.

With room for two crew and up to six passengers, the $4.195 million 2012 USD Citation M2 has a maximum cruise speed of 400 knots true airspeed (741 kilometers per hour) and a range of 1,300 nautical miles (2,408 kilometers). The aircraft can operate at airports with runways as short as 3,250 feet (991 meters) and will climb to 41,000 feet (12,497 meters) in 24 minutes.

From the cockpit divider aft through the rear lavatory, the main passenger cabin of the Citation M2 is 58 inches wide (1.47 meters) and 11 feet (3.3 meters) long with a 5-inch dropped aisle providing a cabin height of 57 inches (1.45 meters). Eight large windows, roomy pedestal seats and intuitive cabin appointments highlight the all-new interior.

A video highlighting the Citation M2’s features can be viewed on Cessna’s YouTube channel. Visit our gallery of Citation M2 images.

Cessna is the world’s leading general aviation company. Since its inception in 1927, Cessna has designed, produced and delivered more than 192,500 airplanes around the globe. This includes more than 6,100 Citation business jets, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world. Today, Cessna has two principal lines of business: aircraft sales and aftermarket services. Aircraft sales include Citation business jets, Caravan single-engine utility turboprops, single-engine piston aircraft and lift solutions by CitationAir. Aftermarket services include parts, maintenance, inspection and repair services. In 2010, Cessna delivered 535 aircraft, including 179 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of $2.6 billion. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at cessna.com.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at textron.com.

I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.