Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today announced that the Citation M2 has commenced its initial production run in the company's Independence, Kansas facility. The front and aft cabin assemblies for the light business jet are built at Cessna's Wichita, Kansas facility and are then transported to Independence for final assembly and delivery.
Unit 800 is slated for demonstrator purposes, and is expected to roll off the assembly line this April. Lily English, General Manager of Cessna's Independence Plant, says the production start is a rewarding moment that possesses its own challenges and benefits. "It's great to see production begin, and see a product take shape. The team members are ready, and they're thrilled to be a part of bringing the M2 to customers."
The much-anticipated business jet is on track for certification in the second quarter of 2013. "The M2 looks to be a fantastic product for the market in the light business jet category," said Brian Rohloff, business leader for the M2. "We asked our customers what they wanted, and we worked their requests into the M2 design. 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."
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," said Rohloff. "The M2 is faster than many comparable airplanes, has a faster climb rate, and has strong value at the entry segment."
Other Cessna aircraft expected to hit the market in 2013 include the new Citation X, the world's fastest civil aircraft at Mach .935, the new Citation Sovereign, the Jet-A fueled Turbo Skylane JT-A, the TTx, and the Grand Caravan EX.
The nearly 500 full time Cessna employees at the 500,000 square foot Cessna Independence facility are trained to assemble, paint, and install interiors on the majority of Cessna single engine piston models including the 172 Skyhawk, the 182 Skylane and the 206 Stationair. Opened in July of 1996, the Independence facility also manufactures the Citation Mustang and celebrated its 10,000th aircraft delivery during 2012. Flight test and customer deliveries are also handled out of the Independence location.