When Cessna launched the Citation Mustang back in 2002 at the National Business Aviation Association there was much buzz about how this newest Cessna jet would change the aviation world. After all, the Mustang, a six-seat, an 8,645 lb twin jet with revolutionary new PWC engines and then-brand new G1000 avionics suite, would be the most advanced, most affordable, easiest to fly and most economical Citation ever. What could stop it from being the biggest selling model in that series?
When it launched the program, Cessna was asking $2.7 million a copy for the Mustang. By the end, that price had risen to $3.5 million, which some took as proof that it was still very expensive to build a twin-jet no matter how small the engines or the airframe was. Cessna parent company Textron Aviation didn’t officially give a reason for pulling the plug on the Mustang after it had sold 470 copies, but in its press release announcing the discontinuation of the jet, it touted its Citation M2, the entry-level version of the 525 CitationJet, as the natural successor to the Mustang. And maybe that’s the real story, that for 25 percent more, customers can get a single-pilot jet that roundly outperforms the Mustang in every way, including being faster than the smaller jet by around 60 knots.
And while Textron celebrated the success of the Mustang—it did, after all, sell almost 500 copies of the plane in 12 years’ time—the Mustang showed that while the VLJ concept was solid, finding a profitable niche for these little jets was far less so.
Learn more at Textron Aviation.