Cessna Citation Mustang: Buyer’s and Investor’s Guide

Corporate Jet Investor Staff
By Corporate Jet Investor Staff March 17, 2015 15:16

Cessna Citation Mustang: Buyer’s and Investor’s Guide

The $2.75 million Cessna Citation Mustang aims to bring large cabin comfort to the very light jet market. Perfect for saving time of short-haul journeys, it’s like the TARDIS of private aviation in more ways than one.

Our verdict

For: The Cessna Citation Mustang is a well-built small jet that can comfortably carry two or three passengers for a few hours. If you regularly fly short distances – such as London to Nice – a Citation Mustang could be the perfect aircraft.

The fact that the Citation Mustang is popular in the charter market tells you everything you need to know about the aircraft’s value and efficiency. Of course, its success and its competitive price tag go hand in hand, but its low operating costs are just as attractive.

Against: The low range of the Cessna Citation Mustang means it is a niche aircraft. First delivered at the top of the business jet market, the Citation Mustang had a great start but demand has definitely fallen (the same is also true for its closest competitors like Embraer’s Phenom 100 and the Eclipse 500).

It really is hard to find much fault with the Mustang when it is priced so much lower than its main competitors, but if you’re add an extra $2 million to your budget, you might find that the Mustang suddenly looks rather humble in comparison to some of the better performing – and slightly larger – light jets.

Cessna Citation Mustang, GlobeAir

A Cessna Citation Mustang operated by GlobeAir.

What is it?

The Citation Mustang – along with Cessna’s incredibly popular Excel/XLS series – is the golden child of the National Business Aviation Association. Whenever the Association – and its No Plane No Gain campaign – sells the benefits of flying short-haul in a private jet to small and mid-sized businesses in the US, they are effectively describing the benefits of the Mustang.

“The Citation Mustang is a well-built very light jet that can carry four passengers for a trip of about two hours,” says one aircraft broker. “You can get a pre-owned one at very attractive prices and flying on it is smooth and quiet. It is perfect for a short trip. But if you want more range it may be worth paying more for a light jet.”

Igor Alekhin, one of the co-founders at Charterscanner, an online charter broker, says that many of company’s new charter customers often have no idea that it is possible to book a one-hour flight in Europe on a Mustang on for as little as €3,000 or €4,000. However, he says that they are often just as surprised when they see how small the aircraft is.

The Mustang received full type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration in September 2006, with the first delivery following in April 2007. Deliveries have been falling year by year from an all-time high of 125 in 2009 to a dismal eight deliveries in 2014.

The light jet and VLJ markets were hit the hardest by the economic downturn, forcing Cessna to slow-down production of the Mustang – as well as the Citation CJ2, CJ3 and CJ4 – but the aircraft manufacturer appears to have weathered the storm, having united with a reinvigorated Beechcraft under the new banner of Textron Aviation.

Flying in a Cessna Citation Mustang

The Citation Mustang has a maximum range of 1,207 nm, meaning that is primarily used for shuttling passengers on flights little more than one hour.

The Citation Mustang has a maximum altitude of 41,000 ft – which is higher than most commercial airliners – and it takes 27 minutes for the aircraft to reach this height.

The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F turbofan engines, mounted in pods on the aft fuselage.

The cockpit houses a three-screen Garmin G1000 avionics suite, which has been designed to reduce single pilot workload, while consolidating all flight data onto large flat-panel displays.

Cessna Citation Mustang interior

Cessna Citation Mustang interior.

Travelling in a Cessna Citation Mustang

The Mustang offers one of the largest cabins in its weight class, measuring 9 ft 9 in long and 4 ft 5 in high and providing 63 cubic ft of baggage space. But for someone who has never flown on a VLJ before, the inside of a Mustang will feel no more spacious – and certainly no more luxurious – than a BMW or a Jaguar.

Built in Independence, Kansas, the Mustang can seat four passengers in its standard configuration (or five passengers at a push) with enough space for a side-facing lavatory (sealed off by a removable curtain) and two pilots in the cockpit, however, like most VLJs, the Mustang is approved for single-pilot operations.

Unlike the Phenom 100, there is not enough space to fit skis inside the Citation Mustang. The walls are well insulated and Cessna claims that this contributes to an overall quiet cabin environment even when the aircraft is travelling at high speed. Adjustable air vents and reading lights are positioned above each seat, which sit next to fold-out tables. At the front of the cabin, the pilot is able to adjust the temperate in the cockpit and cabin settings separately.

There are storage cabinets on both sides of cabin behind the cockpit. Drinks and any other refreshments can be chilled along with ice and cups in the right-side cabinet (which also contains a single 12-volt DC outlet), while the left-side cabinet can be used to store any other items carried on board.

Owning a Cessna Citation Mustang

A brand new Mustang has a list price of $2.7 million. For pre-owned models, prices are around $2 million, but it is possible to find a model that is older than five years for under $1 million. Outside the US – which has a wide choice of financiers – it is generally harder to find finance for less than $15 million.

However, Textron Financial Corporation, part of Cessna’s parent company, has helped finance Mustangs around the world. The Mustang has proved popular amongst air taxi operators, including Blink in the UK and GlobeAir in Austria. “The Citation Mustang was the first aircraft type available to give us the opportunity to jump on the air taxi hype,” says Bernhard Fragner, CEO of GlobeAir.

“Looking at statistics we can see that the Citation Mustang is well accepted in the market that originally appeared hostile. Currently the Mustang counts for 22 per cent of the overall air charter market in Europe – this is a significant number.”

Hard facts

Range: 1,324 mi/2,130 km/1,150 nm
Maximum speed: 391 mph/630 kmph/mach 0.595
Typical passengers: 4-5
Typical crew:
1-2

Competitor aircraft: Embraer Phenom 100Cessna Citation CJ1+ / Cessna Citation CJ2+ / Cessna Citation M2 / Eclipse 550 / HondaJet

List price for a new jet: $2.75 million
Price range for a pre-owned jet: $1-2.5 million

First delivery:
2007
Next slots: Now
World fleet: 455+

Corporate Jet Investor Staff
By Corporate Jet Investor Staff March 17, 2015 15:16