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Cessna's 'plus' models take step to production

Cessna's upgraded CJ2+ light business jet is due to fly this month, joining the CJ1+ prototype that has been in flight testing since October last year. With the Citation Mustang entry-level jet expected to fly in May, the company will soon have three aircraft in certification testing.

The latest members of the CitationJet family are upgrades to the Model 525 CJ1 and larger CJ2 (525A) incorporating improvements developed for the stretched CJ3 (525B), which was certificated in October last year. The $4.1 million CJ1+ features Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated avionics and digitally controlled Williams FJ44-1AP engines. The $5.25 million CJ2+ has the same Pro Line 21 flightdeck, with three large-format liquid-crystal displays, and derated versions of the CJ3's FJ44-3As with the same dual-channel full-authority digital engine control.

The CJ1+ is 20kt (37km/h) faster than the CJ1 at 41,000ft (12,500m), and a 45kg (100lb) increase in gross weight allows the aircraft to carry a pilot and four passengers 2,380km (1,285nm), says Cessna. The CJ2+ offers im­proved payload and performance over the CJ2.

Cessna is switching to the up­graded CJ1+ at aircraft 525-0600, with the first production aircraft to begin moving down the line this month. Certification is due the third quarter of this year, leading to first deliveries in the fourth quarter. The switch to the CJ2+ has been made at aircraft 525A-0300, which began moving down the line last month. Certi­fication is set for the fourth quarter, leading to first deliveries early next year. The CJ1+, CJ2+ and CJ3 are being assembled on the same tooling, allowing production rates to be adjusted more efficiently, says Cessna.