Cessna's Citation M2 has commenced its initial production run at the airframer's Independence, Kansas facility as the light business jet advances towards certification in the second quarter of 2013.

The Williams International FJ44-powered twinjet, derived from the CJ1, is meant to be a step-up model between the entry-level Mustang and the light-cabin CJ2+.

The M2's forward and aft cabin are built at Cessna's Wichita, Kansas plant and then transported to Independence for final assembly.

The first aircraft, "Unit 800", will be used as a demonstrator and is expected to roll off the assembly line this April, Cessna says.

"We asked our customers what they wanted, and we worked their requests into the M2 design," says Brian Rohloff, business leader for the M2.

"The outstanding customer response is proof that this aircraft delivers on their needs for mission scope, performance and finishes. Designing and manufacturing products based on customer use and needs is at the heart of Cessna's legacy and is what has shaped the company's aviation pride through the years," he adds.

The M2 features the Garmin G3000 avionics suite, offering design commonalities with the larger jets in the Citation family such as the Citation Sovereign and Citation X.

"The M2 has space for six passengers and a private lavatory, features that many of our Mustang customers said they wanted in their next jet," Rohloff says.

Other Cessna aircraft expected to hit the market in 2013 include the new Citation X and Sovereign midsize business jets, the Jet A-fuelled Turbo Skylane JT-A and TTX piston singles, and the Grand Caravan EX single-engined turboprop.

Source: Flight International