• Cessna Citation Mustang From Flight One

    Flight One Cessna Citation Mustang

    By William Werrlein (21 July 2010)

    Introduction:

    The Cessna Citation Mustang is the smallest jet of the Cessna Citation line. The Mustang boasts some rather impressive specification such as its 41,000 feet certified ceiling, single pilot capabilities, range of over 1000 nm. Of course something that appeals to all real world jet owners is the operating cost of the jet...and this certainly has one of the lowest operating costs in the market, obviously attributed to the VLJ aspect of the aircraft. Based on information taken from the Cessna web site the operating cost of this jet is approximately $722 U.S dollars per hour. So the market for this VLJ will remain wide open as oil prices soar higher and higher. Perhaps Mr. Trump may think about trading in his 727 for this?

    The Citation Mustang is a four seater VLJ with an onboard lavatory and storage units. Leather seats, cabin tables, individual lighting, cabin flood lights, three large oval windows on each side of the fuselage amongst other things, however we are pilots and what is most important to us in the cockpit...however I will let the suspense build as I continue this review but let me say if you like the G1000, you will certainly like this airplane. So without further ado, may I introduce the Flight One Cessna Citation Mustang!

           

    Documentation:

    The aircraft comes with a manual in PDF format consisting of a total of 93 pages. Included in this manual are various performance charts from Cessna provided specifically for this VLJ, as well as the exact checklist taken from this remarkable aircraft. However perhaps the most necessary thing that all developers fail to include is a detailed page set aside specifically detailing how to get the max performance out of your computer and into FSX without causing harm to your computer. The manual gives specific instructions to those who have certain video cards, etc. The manual is well written with color coded words and many visuals. I can certainly see here that Flight One has put hard work and effort into the manual as they always do in their software. If you want to read the manual before purchasing this aircraft you can read it freely here. All in all you can't go wrong with this detailed document, and if you are new to the G1000, VLJ's or just jets in general this will become a valuable tool, especially for those who want to take it to the next level and fly with the listed specification to the dot!

    Exterior:

    Amongst the systems of an aircraft what else keeps us drawn to Flight Simulator? The detail of course...after all could you ever think about ever going back to FS98? Of course not, the level of detail is just well below par by today's standards. But I must stay on topic so let me tell you about this aircraft. Well if you've yet to see it there is an excellent video on YouTube that highlights the exterior detail very well. If you would like to see it click here.

    Now perhaps it's fair to mention that you can expect much more detail let's say in a Cessna 172 add-on than you can in a Boeing 747, just because of the size differences. This aircraft is most certainly detailed, so much so that you can see the individual rivets on the windscreen and the pilot's eyes blinking! Not to mention the detailed fan blades, interior/exterior match ups (meaning you lose cabin pressure at 40,000 feet and you see the O2 masks drop on the inside; you will also be able to see it from the exterior).

           

    A really neat tool for those eye candy lovers is the auxiliary panel. This has five tabs which allow you to remove/add the Captain and/or a First Officer. You can also give them sunglasses, and you can have the First Officer call out V-speeds. Again going back to the loss of cabin pressure or if you're flying commercial flights in the U.S. you will need to have your pilots wear O2 masks while flying at 25,000 feet plus...which of course can be done. The second tab gives you all the eye candy. You can add/remove carpets (for those high end charter flights), engine and pitot covers (especially if parking for extended periods of time), wheel chocks, forward and aft baggage doors and of course...the impatient pilot. The reason I say he is impatient is because Flight One took the time to even animate his hand tapping on the wing as if to say "where are those meddling passenger"? All jokes aside, this brings this VLJ to a new dimension of realism.

    One of the most prominent tell tale signs of a Flight One product is the fact that every little marking, sticker, placard, etc. is clearly readable. For instance right outside the door seal there is a very small square which if zoomed into can be clearly read...and these are the default paints folks!

    Again Flight One has introduced a new concept increasing the realism to ever higher levels! Try flying in snow, rain, through a cloud, etc. without having engine heat, wing boots, and windscreen de-ice on...after just a short period of time you will see ice build up on the engine, leading edge of the wings, and windscreen! If you are not familiar with de-icing boots basically what they do is inflate over a set number of minutes and these small tubes break the ice away. This however does affect the aerodynamic smooth airflow as its breaks away at the leading edge of the wing. However Cessna has decided to keep this system over the weeping wing (which is like a very fine mesh that leaks anti-freeze basically. However this is obvious as it would increase weight of this VLJ. As for the heated leading edge I am not sure why Cessna did not do that, as it would give the Mustang a higher cruise speed but this system functions just fine. Lastly if you see ice on the wings DO NOT PANIC! Just go into the flight deck and click and hold the wing de-ice switch in the up position for a few seconds. This will clear all the ice from the wing.

           

    All in all Flight One could not have possibly done a better job on the exterior! This aircraft was excellently modeled and on top of that is extremely frame rate friendly on the exterior...how Flight One got away with that boggles me. But I enjoy this aircraft either way.

    Interior:

    Very, very, very impressive! Flight One has once again knocked another part of the aircraft out of the park. Starting off in the cabin, this VLJ has four passenger seats, two tables that stow in the wall, five operable compartments (two empty, three full). Now what private jet on this Earth is not stocked with the finest wines and drinks from all over the world? None. Even this VLJ is stocked with clearly readable labels on each drink. The cabin also features animated window shades for each passenger window plus. animated armrest.

    This is a VLJ, and being that can we expect much in Cabin amenities? The answer is yes! Unlike any VLJ this aircraft features a toilet, which has a cushion seat that closes over it. If you're not one that minds lack of privacy this can be put to good use. I was certainly impressed with the exterior, but the same can easily be said about the interior because this aircraft to my surprise has a "no smoking and fasten seatbelt" signs that illuminate when turned on! Although perhaps it would just be easier for the pilots to turn around and tell the passengers?

           

    Again all jokes aside the aircraft has five total lights inside the cabin/cockpit than can be controlled individually. There are four flood lights in the cabin that when not in passenger safe mode can each be turned on one at a time. The cockpit also features a flood light but that is seldom used to prevent loss perception and visual acuity during night flights. To top it all off most animations have a unique sound to them such as the drawers opening and closing, tables, etc. And if you are used to the Captain Sim 757 4.3 and 767 you know that there are often problems with the sounds...not in this aircraft.

    All in all there is really only two bugs. One is that the armrests becomes transparent when looking at them from the bottom (although they stow into the seat so you won't easily see it). And the G1000 brightness control knob seems to be labeled backwards as to when you turn the knob towards day the panel looses its brightness which is the opposite procedure for day flying with the G1000. I would also like to see the emergency exit become animated. However this is a Flight Simulator and not an Emergency Sim.

           

    Flight Deck:

    Glassapalooza! This is the best way to describe the flight deck of the Mustang. The cockpit is equipped with a G1000 Garmin glass display specifically tailored for this VLJ. From my experience with the G1000 I can say that this is 95% just like the real thing. There are a few minor issues that I will start off with. First, the direct to button on both the main NAV MFD and the pilot's flight information PFD. When flying the G1000 navigating using landmarks I often reset my direct course just to get a relative idea as to my required courses to get to my destination. This does function on this plane however in some cases in order to get the autopilot to recognize the course after hitting direct to on the MFD's keypad you will need to do the same on your PFD and instantly the autopilot will follow the course. A really neat feature about the real G1000 is that on the radio control stack there is a large red button. This button when pressed shuts off all non-essential electronics. This is an emergency power loss procedure as this aircraft does not feature a RAT. This however is not simulated, but once again this is a flight sim...not an emergency sim however this might be appreciated for those FS Passenger owners. Enough with the bad let's talk about the good!

           

    Unlike the Garmin Synthetic display this glass setup will not give you three dimensional terrain info; it will however give you a terrain index. This proves useful when doing those famous Aspen approaches. Ever wonder how many antennas were in your area? A lot! Trust me one look at your MFD and you will see hundreds of red objects when on the ground. These are obstacles that are higher than you. Once you pass the top in altitude the marks vanish. If you've ever flown at night in a small plane you'll know that antennas are lit up but not the easiest to see, especially when you are flying in an area with little ground light. So this will become useful to those shooting VFR approaches into some of the smaller airports.

    Tisk, tisk, tisk, no I am not disappointed in anything TISK is actually the G1000 version of TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System). This shows all traffic with a Mode C altitude reporting transponder. This really becomes useful for those with X Traffic and other traffic add-ons. However unlike the real G1000 I often in fact almost always got the "TRAFFIC" warning when taxiing on the ground as another airplane would just get airborne or as it would be rolling. Granted TISK does have a few issues in reality such as the fact that when flying over an airport I may pick up airplanes on the ground or itself...so some error is quite acceptable. Really neat tool though, it displays where the aircraft is headed, the altitude and then above or below you. Now you can confidently fly through class Bravo airspace in this VLJ.

           

    My knowledge on SID/STARS is rather lacking at the moment however as read in the manual and seen visually you can select a SID out of any airport and a STAR into any airport that supports them. The MFD has many pages one of which is kind of like an airport diagram. This however shows where you are in relevance to the runways at any given airport. You aircraft will move along the map. However is does not give taxiway info. This is a ground based tool however can be extremely useful to better visualize the downwind leg for your pattern entry into a specific airport. If you are familiar with the default G1000 from FSX you will be quite pleased to see a new level of realism put into this specific display. Everything from flight plans to cabin pressurization can be controlled threw this panel. Now onto the conclusion for this section.

    The flight deck is always the most complex part of an aircraft to model due to its abundance of systems and with the newer EFIS flight decks the abundance of systems are just increasing as more information becomes available to pilots. With that said Flight One once again takes the cake. Beautifully done. This is about as close as you can get to the beginner to glass and the more advanced instrument pilots. However the fact that not all systems are modeled I can confidently say as a G1000 pilot that this does behave, feel, and look very much like the real thing. I've never flown a Citation Mustang but I've flown plenty of C-172/G's (Garmin equipped plane for those that are not familiar with filing VFR flight plans).

           

    A quick mention though, as we all know at night pilots try to minimize bright light exposure to increase their visibility. This is often done by dimming the PFD's and MFD's. There is a typo which can be seen in the VC and 2D panels. It controls the brightness of the glass display (which is another really cool feature not seen on single G1000 flight sim aircraft). However the titles are day/night. When bringing the PFD and MFD brightness switch to day the brightness goes down, and visa versa for night. This I am sure is an easy fix. However if you like the look of the G1000 at night, you'll leave the brightness up like me as it just looks SO COOL!

    I realize that not every system can be simulated. But this is not a fault of the developer but simply FSX limitation. Be aware that this is a glass display so go into your display settings and uncheck hi-res cockpit as you will see a drop in FPS when in the VC with the G1000 on.

           

    Flight Characteristics:

    Cessna is known for their training aircraft. They are docile, easy to fly, and always try to keep themselves out of trouble....or as my instructor puts it about the 172 "It doesn't have a mean bone in its body" This probably stands true for this aircraft. I flew most of my flights using FS Passengers and every single time with the exception of one landing even when flying MVFR->IFR I always got a touchdown VS of -40 to -80 feet! That's not even a light tap! So landing this aircraft is as easy as flying the plane with the autopilot on....which of course you can do.

    This aircraft has very good ILS capabilities. Although it does not display the horizontal diamond strip you can tell how many degrees you are off from the horizontal ILS beam by referencing your CDI needle which in my opinion makes shooting an ILS that much easier. The aircraft has a max certified ceiling of 41,000 feet and I can always get the plane to 40,000 feet, no problem. Just be aware you will consume 20-30% of your fuel doing so. Suggestion: follow the power setting callouts. As soon as you've climbed to a safe altitude above the runway immediately reduce power to the "climb setting" then reduce to cruise once you reach your cruising altitude. If you do not do this be prepared to shell out a lot of virtual cash for virtual fuel! The plane will drink it like water....perhaps not the best term to use when talking about fuel. But if you follow the recommended power settings this airplane will average 1% of fuel every 5-10 minutes depending on environmental factors.

    This aircraft handles like a dream! It flies like a light airplane remains stable like a heavy aircraft!

           

    Conclusion:

    This aircraft is remarkable, so much so that if I had the money I truthfully think I would consider purchasing the real Mustang. The performance is just incredible. The feel and information available is second to none and it is an overall well modeled detailed aircraft! The exterior lacks nothing! The 2D panel lacks a few systems but again that's an FSX limitation. This aircraft was a real joy to fly and has probably become one of my favorite add-ons. If you want to take a step into the high flying world of jets you need to purchase this now. If you've always wanted to fly a VLJ stepping down from your heavy Boeing 777 buy this now. The aircraft is a tad expensive but with the time, effort, and hard work that went into this I know that this is certainly equal and expected. Great job Flight One and please keep them coming!

           

    Test Machine

    • Windows Vista 32 bit
    • 3 GB RAM
    • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+ 2.60 GHz
    • Geforce GTS 250 Graphics card
    • Microsoft Flight Simulator X SP1, SP2, Acceleration
    William Werrlein Concorde614@yahoo.com

    System Requirements:

    • Microsoft Flight Simulator X with Service Pack 2 (required)
    • Compatible with Accleration Pack and DX10.
    • Windows: Windows XP or Vista
    • Processor: Duo or Quad Core Recommended
    • Video Card: 512 MB
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Drive: 650 MB

    Some real Mustang videos in HD:

        

    William Werrlein
    Concorde614@yahoo.com

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