I have 3 Cessna Citations for this review. All three corporate jets are new additions to my FSX inventory and are a good representation of what Cessna and our Developers have to offer today. I have an entry level, a first step up level, and the top of the line Flagship. Each Citation is so different from the other two you might not even know they all come from Kansas.
Because these FSX add-ons have already received individual reviews soon after their release, this is going to be a practical review of using these aircraft with an external cockpit, moving maps, add on scenery and such. All 3 of these add-ons have been available from their respective Developers for some time now so there should not be any surprises on how they look and perform in FSX.
Key questions will be how will they perform with newer add-on hardware and equipment and being flown as close to real world type operations as possible. Many times when the FSX box is challenged with the design, the functionality suffers when using additional 3rd party hardware and newer add-ons with more recent versions of those supporting programs.
As a real world pilot, I will be looking at this from the viewpoint of “Hey, I just got a new personal jet, let’s get properly checked out, add another type rating and see what all the hoopla is about?”
I have set this up as a relaxing, easy to read story. I run a startup Jet Charter service on the outskirts of Los Angeles in Southern California and like everyone else, I am just trying to make ends meet and enjoy a little flying and an occasional change of scenery.
As with any budding charter service, I run the sales department, I am also the chief pilot, fuel truck driver and janitor. I keep a list of active airline pilots living close by that moonlight as charter pilots when their time and schedules permit. This helps with those short runs and holds down the payroll roster.
The two smaller jets are set up for single pilot operation but the fast mover requires a two man crew with the pilot holding the appropriate type rating. The FAA has minimal certificate requirements for the copilot, but this plane is so fast, so complex, and so different from the average entry level versions that I require someone in that seat that is at least as qualified as me. My insurance company would have a fit it I put a low time commercial pilot certificate holder with no jet time in the right seat, even though this would technically meet regulations.
What’s in the hangar?
First, I have the most affordable pure jet available, which also happens to be the most popular corporate jet; I also have a slightly faster one step up version; and then I have the top of the line, hair on fire, screamer that owns the title of fastest general aviation airplane in the sky in any category. This is the one that climbs above the airliners just to pass them up and makes jokes about the slower moving tube-shaped people movers down below.
The first one is Cessna’s most successful jet to date with over 400 delivered in the first five years of production.
Does everyone know which one I am talking about? Correct, it is the only Cessna Citation with the Garmin1000 navigation system with a horse name and logo, the Citation Mustang.
The next one is the second upgrade to the successor to the Citation Jet. It had a modest upgrade but that wasn’t enough to make it stand out in the crowded low end corporate jet world. But when it became the first corporate jet in the world to receive the Rockwell/Collins Pro Line 21 flightdeck they added a ‘+’ to the designator and for the last ten years or so it was the first choice of many first-time jet buyers and remains an alternate to the entry level Mustang.
This is the one that entices the King Air B200 owners to give up their large cabin and headroom to gain about 20 additional flight levels and a bunch more speed for not much more moo-la and a lot less noise and vibration. This is the Cessna Citation CJ1+. It is one of those outstanding straight-wing beauties.
For the 3rd one we move up right to the head of the line and totally bypass those in the 400 – 499 knot cruising range. As a matter of fact we can also skip the entire FL4xx altitude band. This one has been in the news lately because a Gulfstream 650 flew a half-knot faster and took the ‘fastest airplane’ title to Georgia for a couple of months. Not to be outdone, Clyde’s gang called up Rolls-Royce, ordered a few pots of strong coffee and had a series of those legendary early morning and late night Kansas brain sessions in the ‘Mach One Conference Room’ and came up with just enough speed increase to the top end to recapture the speed title and bragging rights.
Our FSX version cruises at FL510 and Mach 0.920. Looking from behind and down at this one, it looks to me like a cross between a Starship and a futuristic jet fighter with winglets or as some say, an eagle stalking its prey. BTW, that is 604 miles per hour max cruise. This is the Cessna Citation CE-750 X eXtreme, not to be confused with the TEN or New X. It was first delivered back in July 1996. Hard to believe that it has been flying for 17 years.
We have a few more VLJs and corporate business jets available for FSX and I have most of them but we are going to limit this story to just the Citations. The others of note however are the FSD Cirrus SF50 Vision, Lionheart Epic Victory, feelThere Phenom 100, the JustFlight Hawker 800XP and the ESDG Raytheon Premier 1and Beechjet 400A. The only ones in this ‘other bunch’ that would be considered competition would be the last three mentioned. Rumor has it that one of our big-time Developers is about to spring a surprise Corporate Jet on us but we have to wait and see. It may even be a collaboration project. Pant. Pant.
Here is the plan
I have these three corporate jets to compare to their real world counterparts but, also to use to push FSX to the limit and a little beyond. As in other recent reviews, I also have Aerosoft’s latest offerings of outstanding scenery to use as our home base and final destination. Plus, I have a copy of the official Cessna Flight Planning Guide, FPG, for each plane to use for mission planning and cross checking to see how good our developers are replicating these planes for our simulator of choice.
The Citations are no different than most any other company’s corporate jet, a passenger in every seat and full fuel tanks seems to never meet. Just because the specifications say a Citation can Fly 1,200 miles, seat 6 and carry 2,500 pounds of Jet A doesn’t ever mean all at the same time. It is always a balancing act between endurance and payload. But, the good news is that all the Citations do fly fast and fly high, some way more than others, but even a slow Citation is faster than most turboprops and vibration free and they all look so cool - more along the lines of a super-fast aerodynamic limo from the passenger’s point of view.
How about some details?
First, the Aerosoft scenery package is the even larger, even better, outstanding U. S. Cities – Los Angeles X for FSX/PSD where we can choose from a dozen or so enhanced airports and pockets of improved scenery in the LA/Orange County area.
Using our Cessna Citation X Flight Planning Guide with the realistic down-to-earth, nitty-gritty charts and tables we can plan a nice long flight from the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank to Ted Steven’s International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska – non-stop with four full sized passengers. Our route will take us up the center of California almost directly over Vancouver Island then on to the Gulf of Alaska and straight to Aerosoft’s Anchorage X airport. Maybe we can glance over at the Puget Sound and see if any missile boats are docked at Bangor. This route will take us over some of the new Orbx Southern Alaska region.
The background for choosing this particular destination is the phone call I received from my financial planner. It seem a team of 4 just pulled off some virtual back room gamble that netted their stockholders an unexpected windfall and the CEO wants to give this team the weekend off and foot the bill for a fly fishing jaunt to Southern Alaska. When asked if I could do it, I replied I have the perfect equipment ready for the job. Then the details started coming in – the clients are scattered all around the area but all are eager to get to Alaska.
One is just North of San Diego, one is here in LA and wants to be picked up at KSNA, John Wayne/Orange County airport, one is in Las Vegas and the final one is on a golf course on the coast of Oregon.
We need to make a run up to Gleneden Beach on the Oregon Coast to pick up the one playing golf. Our destination for this flight is S45, Siletz Bay State Airport, Bill Womack’s latest hometown airport at 4 cm/pixel texture level.
I think I will take the Flight1 Model 510 out of the corral for this run as it appears to be an ideal test for the Mustang to strut his stuff as we have to land and takeoff on a 3,200 foot runway. This will also give us a chance to see how well it performs in FSX flying in an Orbx area with the enhanced G1000 panel. I bet Client #4’s first request will be to come up front and fly the leg back to LA.
These shorter runs are perfect for either our Citation CJ1+ or the Mustang with their 1,200 mile range. The operating cost/hour is about 40% higher for the CJ1+ than the newer, more efficient Mustang. But, other than that, they have a lot in common.
I was watching The Aviators segment on VLJs last night on TV and the Eclipse 550 CEO stated what Cessna knew all along – 70% of all business jet flights are less than 750 miles with 2 or 3 passengers.
The big dog, Citation X is not economically suited for short runs, although it is certainly possible and even practical in cases where you need an extra seat or two or more baggage capacity or you are really in a hurry. Sometimes we just simply want to put on the show and impress the clients with this gorgeous flying machine. Most clients’ first impression seems to be a ‘Wow’.
S45 is 700 NM as the crow flies and a small out of the way airport, so when in Oregon we need to hop over to a neighboring airport to load some jet fuel for the return leg. This client picked this area for semi-retirement. He plays golf nearly every day and flies a small twin for his $100 hamburger. I am eager to see what everyone is so excited about with this one. I know Cessna approved every detail of this Mustang. Of course, I am talking about the Fight1 simulation edition for FSX. I hear it is so close to the real deal that the Cessna Sales team has been giving FSX to potential customers to get them excited and envisioning flying their own Citation.
It is a toss-up on whether to take the CJ1+ or the Mustang for the shorter flights. I have to pick up all 4 clients in a short period of time for this trip to Anchorage. We have a friend with Aerosoft’s Twin Otter on floats for the final leg. It is a given that we will use the Citation X for the main leg of 2100 nm. Fortunately, our Aerosoft’s Anchorage X scenery also includes the adjacent Lake Hood seaplane base. Did you know Lake Hood is the busiest seaplane base in the world? Yep, sure is.
I can’t fly alone in the left seat of the Mustang because I have to complete my Flight Safety International on-line training course before I can get my type rating check ride in the simulator. I’m on my third day of the two-day course if that helps. Lots to learn in a very short time. Rumor has it the FAA is especially tough on guys and girls that are stepping up to the pure jets for the first time.
A typical Flight Safety Mustang type rating course for the Part 23 single pilot takes from 14 – 21 days for most first time buyers. The other good news is it is now official that single pilot jet ratings will require a proficiency check ride every 6 months. Crank up those full motion simulators, Flight Safety.
Fortunately, I already have a Citation type rating, just not for the Model 510 with the G1000. The flying part should be similar enough to my CJ1+ and two or three prep flights should have me ready for the check ride next week. I will do most of the flying up to S45 and back to help with the necessary familiarization.
Because my Jet Charter service is based in Burbank, I need to use the CJ1+ and Mustang to pick up the other three clients. One will meet us in North San Diego, one at the John Wayne/Orange County Airport near Long Beach and the final fly-fishing executive is waiting in Las Vegas. The goal is to get all four back to the Bob Hope Airport and loaded onto the Citation X with a fully stocked bar, Wi-Fi running and the HD movie loaded and ready to play.
Let’s see, six full sized adults needing to go 2,100 nautical miles with IFR reserves. Hmm, I will have to break out the FPG to pick the best altitude, but, this is a typical scenario for the eXtreme Jet. Most really high flight levels require several step climbs as the weight deceases with the fuel burn. But, I do love being in the FL510 club. You do realize that is almost 10 miles high. Oh boy.
Each of the chosen 3 Citations has a totally different panel and cockpit. The smaller two have similar shapes, size, cabins, speeds and engine size but are as different as night and day in the cockpit. The Citation eXtreme is in a league of its own and not similar to anything, real or simulated.
The Flight1 Mustang
The Flight1 Mustang has the large 3-panel G1000 with the integrated GFC-700 Autopilot with the "can’t get along without" MFD Controller that is used to punch in identifiers and numbers directly. No twisting and turning the inner, no outer, no inner, oh crap, knob for data input, unless you choose that option for input. I do like using that miniature keyboard for the direct alpha/numeric keystrokes. The addition of the Flight1 panel manager puts the most used pop-ups only one click away and is a nice feature. I hope other developers follow suit and adds the MFD controller in future add-ons.
The ESDG Extreme version of the Citation CJ1+
The CJ1+ from Eaglesoftdg is the Extreme Edition v2.0 for FSX that was in-work by some of the best brains in the business for several years. ESDG has faithfully reproduced practically every function of the Rockwell/Collins Pro Line 21 system that makes sense to design for FSX. For those sim pilots that are not quite ready to commit to ‘all glass’ with the G1000 then you have the predecessor to the all glass panels in a fast mover with an airliner type system. The Pro Line 21 has had the reputation as the best integrated system for the last so many years. This was the first application that made use of the PFD and MFD in general aviation. Just wait ‘til you see the popup maps in the panel, TCAS, CAWS, GPWS, FMS, etc. with co-pilot callouts. Oh, and a fully implemented VC cabin.
Unfortunately, a few of the smaller sub-panels graphics were carryovers from earlier versions and are built as gauges with the end result being a mix of some old and some new for FSX, but overall a very impressive net result.
The Citation eXtreme Jet
The Citation X, yep the one that Arnold Palmer has as S/N 750-003/N1AP, has everything a pilot, sim or real, could dream for. Five large color panels lined up with a MCP (autopilot) just under the glare shield, dual full function FMS, and everything else one would expect in a near the sound barrier executive jet. This one is outfitted with the Honeywell Primus 2000 System. The X has had a few updates and upgrades along the way to keep all those high flying Cessna owners happy but the system is generally unchanged from a one-time update in 2001. One look at this Citation CE-750 and you will understand why it is called the ‘eXtreme Jet’.
“Honeywell dual FMZ-2000 FMS. Zoom up, one of my favorites.”
The annual Citation Owner Survey usually has the after purchase customer service performance rating either #1 or a close second. Evidently Team Cessna knows how to keep those picky, well-heeled duds in check. I read the basic rule is to give the Citation owner whatever he asks for, usually at no extra charge, and as quickly as possible. Team Cessna flies replacement parts to Citation X owners in another special delivery dedicated Citation.
Even the best needs a facelift as the years flash by. The X is getting much more than a panel upgrade later this year with the Garmin 5000 suite and a totally redesigned and modernized cockpit. Three oversized widescreens and 4 small touch screens and switches with integral led lights in easily accessible locations. The hard part was coming up with a suitable marketing name for this new edition. After adopting TEN in lieu of X was a flop, Cessna Marketing came up with a not-so-surprising new name – The New X. It must something in the Kansas water that causes these lapses in creative thinking.
. . . the Sim version
This is also an Eaglesoftdg Extreme v2.0 edition with HyperGauge technology, and so many exclusive features designed in that it takes a couple of pages to list them. Yes, it has VNAV and LNAV and fully flyable from either pilot seat - no single pilot exemption for this one. Cessna is good but not that good. It has working FADEC, APU, GPWS, Navigraph, SIDS/STARS, Airways, Vatsim, and saved conditions. About the only acronym I missed was WAAS and that didn’t exist on this model.
And one of my favorite items – it comes with an Example Flight as in ‘Tutorial’. It also has links to a series of professional level mini-tutorials made by a real Citation X rated Captain that gets us up-to-speed with programming the Flight Management System, FMS.
This one is the real McCoy. Probably to finest two-pilot FSX add-on to date in the non-airliner category. It comes with extensive documentation. I don’t mean just a stupid amount of pages that we never read. I mean extensive, useful documentation that is probably required reading if we are to master it and enjoy the features available to us. I need to pay more attention to those discount coupons at Office Depot. I’m sure it costs more to print and bind all the manuals and guides than we paid for the add-on. There are 6 or 7 separate pdfs that read like individual chapters that could be combined into one flying guide or pilot’s manual for convenience. Hint, Hint.
Eaglesoftdg experienced some temporary grief with the initial introduction of V.20 for FSX but quickly addressed those concerns with some hot fixes, added some nifty utilities, gave parts of the VC a facelift, added more documentation, posted a series of instructional FMS tutorials, and addressed user concerns in their support forums.
The Eaglesoftdg Citation X v2.0 Extreme Panel Description
Three years in development, the ESDG Citation X Extreme v2.0 cockpit is as pleasing to the eye as it is functional. Although the newest Citation Ten or New X is being updated to the Garmin 5000 with a lot of touch screen technology with larger widescreens and somewhat thinner and more energy efficient panels it would be difficult to program and transfer this newer technology to a desktop simulation. Especially one like FSX that is primarily mouse button controlled. Not that it couldn’t be done, just difficult for sure. Multiple iPads or tablets may be in our future for these future cockpits. Even one of those oversized smart phones might do the trick. I hear the Google Nexus 7, an iPad mini lookalike, is getting popular in the cockpit.
One glance at the ESDG cockpit and the drooling starts. I think the cup holders can be used to catch the dribbles. This has to be one of the most impressive collections of avionics and navigation gear packed into any simulation. Not only does it look good, but the resolution and sharpness is impressive. Remember this is a couple of years old and was done prior to all the recent advances in FSX VC resolution. Rather than attempt to describe the full panel with words, let’s start with some images and go from there.
“This is a photo of a real world Citation X that we can use for reference.”
“All the others are ESDG screenshots (click to zoom).”
All of this is basically the work of one gifted gauge designer. Simply amazing that it can even be accomplished, but there is more to the story.
A programming feat in itself, but to ensure that it doesn’t bring FSX to its knees when a little weather and AI traffic is added to the flight, the ESDG Citation X uses Windows 7 threading technology to spread the workload. As far as I know, this is the only add on that does that.
So when you read those posts from the so-called experts that recommend not using the windows threading component for FSX, it does not apply when flying the ESDG Citation X v2.0. This should give most users really smooth flights with minimum stutters and higher FPS.
We often see the question concerning the use of FSUIPC for the throttle/FADEC setup for the X in FSX. The freeware FSUIPC works fine for me, although those simmers that have the payware version swear that it is one of the most useful add-ons available. I think the payware setup provides smoother and more precise or automated FADEC engine management whereas the freeware version requires more attention of the engine management and throttle settings by the user.
This is the Honeywell Primus 2000 flightdeck that has been the system of choice for the Citation X since inception. This system has five 7×8 inch color screens that replace standard analog instruments with clean, easy-to-read electronic flight instruments and EICAS displays. It has a dual flight management system and comes standard with a Honeywell GPS. I understand the GPS for our simulator version is built into the system and the autopilot programming is almost pure original work for FSX.
The Citation X truly merits all of the excitement and hype it has garnered. It is a versatile jet that can efficiently handle both short trips and international flights, and is unmatched in speed, efficiency and reliability. It isn’t without good reason that Cessna calls it the “fastest, most efficient business jet ever built.”
Cessna claims the Citation X, flying at 47.000 feet at a speed of Mach 0.80, uses 30 percent less fuel than a Gulfstream II sitting on the airport ramp with the engines at idle. Woah. Really? Wow.
Most of the Cessna Citation models are ready for test flights within months due to the mating of already proven and previously available large sections being adapted or slightly modified. The Citation X was not like these evolutionary models, it started as a clean sheet design and required almost 2 and one half years and 3,000 hours of design and rigorous flight testing.
The Eaglesoftdg Citation X Cabin
Now the cabin is just as impressive. This looks like photos of the many real citations that we see in the magazines and online. Loads of animations and many not so obvious details here. I haven’t spent much time back here, as my office is up front, but, it appears that our clients are pampered and well cared for.
I walked through the Example Flight and picked up a few tips on an abbreviated startup. Learning the FMS programming is a whole new ballgame. The 5 YouTube videos are almost a necessity. What a time saver.
I couldn’t find a good answer to when and why the Extreme moniker was also added to the CJ1+ v2.0 but I suppose it helps to keep the confusion down between earlier FSX models and newer FS9 model releases from Eaglesoftdg. I think the CE-750 Citation X should be the only one with the eXtreme title.
The Cessna Citation Mustang Story
Practically every book I pick up about Cessna or Citations has a chapter or more dedicated to the Mustang. It was obviously ‘the’ right design at the right time for the market. Even my oversized coffee table book, The Legend of Cessna, covering the first 75 years of Cessna, by Jeffrey L. Rodengen, has the Mustang on the cover and several dedicated chapters.
The Citation Mustang was a surprise announcement at the NBAA Convention in Orlando in 2002. In 2004, Cessna reported that it had begun building the Citation Mustang prototype’s tooling and parts. Type certification was awarded in May 2005 with first customer deliveries starting in late 2006. The Mustang was aimed at the owners of hundreds of light, pressurized propjet aircraft and those that could afford an airplane upgrade in the couple of million dollar range.
Published accounts state that 170 firm orders was placed that first day at the convention for this new Mustang after the announcement and seeing a mockup of the cockpit and cabin. A month later the list had grown to 215 orders.
By mid 2009, 200 Mustang’s had been delivered to customers. In February, 2012, Cessna announced the 400th Mustang had been delivered and had started a 2nd generation VLJ although not a replacement but a new Citation to fill the niche between the Mustang and the CJ1+. I could not find how many additional Mustangs were delivered in the last 12 months, but, evidently sales have dramatically dropped off.
A huge boost in the number of Mustangs sold was a direct result of the collapse of Eclipse Aviation in early 2009 when many of those with purchase positions for the Eclipse 500 jumped over to the Mustang and Phenom100 short waiting lists.
This was the real start of the single pilot, fast Jet rage. Many Cirrus pilots and many fast singles and twin Cessna owners now had an easy upgrade path to the high altitudes and high speed private travel. Cessna teamed up with Flight Safety International and included the necessary training for the type rating along with the airplane purchase.
The new Garmin G1000 flight deck with the integral autopilot in a new high speed pure jet required double study for almost all the new owners. The Cessna/Flight Safety team tried to accommodate the low time, short on experience, but well-funded new buyers. Many spent 3 to 4 weeks or longer engaged in classroom and simulator training programs and then spent another month or two flying with a mentor pilot that was usually an employee of Flight Safety. This was evidently a winning combination as the safety record of the Mustang speaks volumes.
The other stroke of genius was the Cessna Team concept of taking care of the newest Citation owners by expanding the Cessna Care Centers around the world. It seems many of the happy Mustang owners tend to upgrade to a faster and more expensive Citation just as Cessna envisioned.
The Citation Mustang
The Citation Mustang is a revolutionary jet whose low acquisition price and operating cost have made the dream of jet ownership a reality for many new owners and operators that previously had not even considered a jet aircraft. The Mustang delivers fairly impressive performance with a 1,150 NM range, max cruise of 340 Knots and cruising altitudes up to FL410.
Although a Very Light Jet, VLJ, by definition, it is spacious and comfortable for two pilots and four passengers. The decision to use panel mounted flight yokes similar to standard general aviation airplanes simplified production and also gives the cockpit more elbow room. The Garmin 1000 system with three flat panels makes for a simple and clean panel layout.
Unlike many small jets, there is no overhead panel. All the switches and gauges are on the instrument panel and the center console. The thrust levers, pitch trim wheel, flap lever, an alphanumeric keypad for the Flight Management System and the switches for aileron and rudder trim are also located on the center console. The instrument panel is dominated by the huge, centrally mounted 15 inch multi-function display (MFD), the largest in the industry, and each pilot has a 10.4 inch Primary Flight Display (PFD).
Power is supplied by Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F turbofan engines, mounted in pods on the aft fuselage. The landing gear is retractable and has anti-skid protection.
The estimated direct operating cost of $1,034 per hour is quite impressive. This estimate is based on recent prices for Jet A and other costs but all are continuing to escalate.
OK. Now about the Flight1 edition
In partnership with Cessna, Flight1 pulled out all the stops in the development of the FSX version. When first introduced to great fanfare in late 2009 some of the older PCs struggled a bit with the G1000 and the dual seat VC. With the recent advances in more affordable hardware for FSX and newer graphics cards with more and faster memory, it is now smooth as butter.
The Avsim reviewer used the Flight1 Mustang review as impetus to finally do a clean install and add the recommended tweaks to his aging dual core quad PC and found it would run the add on just fine with limited weather and traffic. The recommended FSX slider settings are still leaning to the left to accommodate the masses with the less than ideal hardware. Mine purrs like a kitten. In addition to all the external and auxiliary features that we have come to expect from Flight1, this one has some extra items of note. The visible icing effects are very realistic and the call for fuel truck is a nice feature along with the copilot call outs. Does this one have the bugs splatting the windshield? I know the Flight1 Cessna 182T does. I will have to check that out.
Many flight simmers were delighted with the Flight1 decision to include the 2d panel set with the multiple views for both pilot and copilot. The one-click to enlarge the PDF and MDF and click to return to the panel is greatly appreciated by this set of old eyeballs. A panel manager organizes a half dozen or so useful popup panels including the throttle and switch panels and such. I keep the autopilot panel and MDF controller box up most of the time. There are also some totally hidden click spots to bring up some of the more frequently used panels.
The cabin is also modeled in 3D with plenty of camera views and animated features. If it moves in the real one, it probably moves in the Flight1 edition. They may have gotten carried away by adding the movable toilet seat cover. Really now.
The most impressive features to me are the inclusion of WAAS instrument approaches and the FADEC engine management with throttle detents that are achievable without having to buy the additional FSUIPC program. I especially like the fact the Flight1 model will import a loaded FSX flight plan from the default Flight Planner, but yet you can add/delete waypoints on the fly. The Crew Alert System, CAS, panel is also well appreciated. It even plays your favorite music in the wav file format.
The decision to include SIDs and STARs with the Navigraph worldwide database ensures this will be remain the add-on of choice for many serious flight sim pilots.
The included 92 page Mustang Pilots guide is packed with well organized, easy to understand instructions and illustrations and lots of performance charts and checklists. I added Yoda’s tutorial flight, the Cessna supplied Flight Planning Guide and a few pages of personal notes and had my local Office Depot print and make me a binder for a single handy reference book.
If I was given only one word to describe the Flight1 Mustang it would be ‘incredible’. It is well modeled with excellent flight dynamics and a gorgeous exterior; totally full-featured with most of the real world systems available with an impressive high resolution VC with plenty of preset views but also has a full 2D panel with enough pop-ups to make everyone happy.
Although as incredible as it is, there are still a few items that would make it even better. VNAV and selectable airways for flight plans make for a very short wish list. I don’t think it is practical to even ask for Synthetic Vision.
Mustang comparison pictures are the real one on the left, the Flight1 FSX edition on the right. Click for full sized shots.
Some really sharp repaints are available at the Flight1.com download site. I especially like the High Sierra Edition repaint that includes a new exterior with 3 selectable interiors made available by Nick Preston. Thanks Nick.
The Citation Mustang is a breakthrough combination of power, speed and true jet affordability. Certified to be flown by a single pilot, the Mustang features state of the art engines delivering speeds of up to 340 KTAS, and passengers relax in one of the largest cabins in its class.
Unlike many light jets, there is no overhead panel in the Mustang. All the switches and gauges are on the instrument panel, and on the center console. All primary flight, navigation, and engine and sensor data is consolidated onto a three-screen Garmin G1000 avionics suite. These large, easy-to-scan flat-panel displays will significantly reduce your workload, while providing you with unprecedented situational awareness. The Mustang is, simply put, a pilot’s dream.
This is the home-page at www.mustang.flight1.net that will direct you to either the Flight1.com page or the real Cessna.com or a flight training site. Very impressive.
Learn the Garmin G1000 system
I think this is a necessary line item for my bucket list. I must have a full handful of add-ons with some version or edition of the G1000 panel.
All these FSX G1000 Panels look alike or at least look very similar at first glance. Some have a custom page or two for engine monitoring or fuel leaning but all except the Flight1 edition should be considered ‘Lite” versions. Some being really Lite or maybe less than Lite, some a little more, but none can be seriously compared to the real world equivalent. This is partially because of the price that flight simmers are willing to pay, but mostly due to the limitations of FSX and the time and expense a developer would have to devote to simulate more of these real world features. Synthetic Vision immediately comes to mind, along with the weather, smart taxi, moving map features, and in-flight email and texting. WAAS and LPV approaches will eventually creep into some of the other G1000 panels being offered for FSX but we should expect to be willing to pay a premium for these features.
Some are even less capable than the Microsoft default versions in FSX and some have a few added features, but none are as capable as the Flight1 Mustang edition.
This is due in part to the addition of the GFC-700 Automated Flight Control System and the MFD Control Unit. It should be obvious that many of our future add-ons will be Garmin flight deck equipped. Maybe some of the newer ones will have the G2000, G3000 or G5000, but for sure, some version of Garmin integrated big screens. A visit to the Cessna.com site will reveal touch screens galore starting at the Corvalis 400 TTx level.
The trend is to have larger, lighter, brighter primary panels and several small support panels. The larger ones are hardware interchangeable with some limited touch spots while the smaller ones will be dedicated to location and systems but, all will be touch screens.
The FSX equivalent can be additional monitors for the large screens and iPads, iPad Mini, or small tablets with touch capability for the individual small panels.
I am also assuming that if we learn the G1000 we will be better prepared to tackle the newer versions. I have just completed the Flight Safety International eLearning online G1000 Mustang course. This is the course Flight Safety uses for preparing the new Mustang owners and pilots for their Model 510 type rating. It was a real eye opener for me, as I didn’t appreciate how much hardware is required to be installed in the airplane to make up the G1000 flight deck and autopilot. I also didn’t realize how much more capable the real world units are than the simulated versions that we use. I am really looking forward to those future FSX add-ons that include realistic weather and synthetic vision in the Garmins. Well, I can hope, can’t I?
The real world training courses are naturally more expensive than simulator training courses as well they should be. Of course, a good book or two or a CD or DVD based training course is highly recommended for anyone planning on flying these type aircraft. I have them all on my Amazon Wish List.
Pro Line 21 Avionics Suite (real world) in the CJ1+
“The fully integrated Pro Line 21 avionics suite aboard the Cj1+ has features and functionality on a level with far more expensive aircraft. Actually the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 systems in the CE 525 family of Citations offer the most features of any of the current production Citations, including the Citations X and Sovereign.” This was written in a review in April 2006 by Business and Commercial Aviation magazine. I suppose it remained accurate until just recently when the Citation X panel was upgraded to the new Honeywell Primus Elite suite. The Elite upgrade adds cooler running, thinner, HD panels with greatly improved graphics but the suite functionality is basically unchanged.
Standard equipment for the Pro Line 21 includes three, eight by ten inch, active matrix LCD displays, dual digital flight guidance computers, a single three-axis autopilot, dual solid-state attitude-heading reference systems, dual RVSM-compliant digital air data computers, dual sets of Pro Line 21 comm/nav/surveillance radios controlled by instrument panel mounted radio running units, a single full-function, multi-sensor FSM-3000 with 12 channel GPS receiver, dual audio control panels, solid-state 24-watt Weather radar and XM Radio data link weather receiver, plus Skywatch HP TCCAS-1, Integrated Standby Instrument system and Landmark TAAWS, all furnished by L-3 Communications.
Pro Line 21 Avionics Suite (ESDG FSX Edition)
What sets Pro Line 21 apart from the competitive avionics systems in the light jet class is the availability of the optional data link weather and electronic charts. We all know FSX only has weather around the airplane and not out in front of us when we are flying but Eaglesoftdg has included their version of the electronic chart capability and it should be useful for single pilots flying the simulator. You can load up the database with any pdf file that is freely available on the internet for downloading and with a click or two have a zoom able approach plate, airport diagram and taxi chart that you can view in the popup location or undock and move around, even to a second monitor. It is set up to handle all the charts for a given airport, just step thru the list for what you need at the time.
Our FSX edition has most of this designed into the add-on with the exception of the weather radar and XM radio, and we have a panel mounted default Garmin GPS500. Those simmers with the Reality XP units will want to see if their installed WAAS and LPV approaches can be added to this one.
A big surprise to many will be the ESDG FMS-1F for FSX edition also has the choice of Navigraph data or FSX database. It does not have WAAS capability though. A real world pilot that I know has more than a thousand hours in a Citation with the same universal FMS that ESDG used for the CJ1+ and he says ‘If anything is missing, it must not be that important because it would be something that I never use’ This pilot uses the ESDG CJ1+ v2.0 for cockpit familiarization training while prepping for enrolling in CJ3 school.
watch a one-minute interior video.
watch a taxi and takeoff. Good sounds and very short takeoff roll.
OK, Let’s fine tune the flight plans
Let’s make the short flight in the CJ1+ down to Miramar CNAS, KNKX, located just North of San Diego, and pick up passenger number 1, then stop in at John Wayne/Orange County, KSNA on the way back to KBUR. We will make it a low altitude IFR flight so we can get a first look at Aerosoft’s U.S. Cities – Los Angeles. The low hanging clouds in the valley tend to hamper flying VFR along a given path. By filing IFR we can stay low enough to see the scenery but legally punch through an occasional cloud.
The scenery background for this area is Blue Sky’s ChiliView Series photo scenery. This is a free product and is a work in progress. I am waiting for BlueSky to upload the San Diego area. Just this month they added a new block of scenery for Miramar, Ramona and Carlsbad. My opinion is this is fine large area photo scenery available for FSX and is a free download that blends in great with the U. S. Cities – Los Angeles. It will do nicely until the new 50 cm MegaSceneryEarth v2.0 photoreal scenery works it way to California. PCAviator chose to start with New England and work their way South and West with state by state releases. They have recently released the last state East of the Mississippi River and are working day and night to bring the remaining states to market.
U. S. Cities - Los Angeles scenery for FSX
This is the latest release in the U. S. Cities series by Aerosoft and by far the largest coverage area to date. There are staggering numbers that explain how much work and how many new buildings, heliports and square miles of enhanced scenery are added by just this one affordable package. You can read about it here but just to let you know there are fourteen airports that have been updated including the downtown central business district for Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Irvine/Santa Ana plus selected geographical areas, like Disneyland, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and other high visibility areas.
All fourteen airports are covered with new high resolution ground images and custom mesh terrain, but no new building structures. A few of my favorites that can handle biz jets are Van Nuys, KVNY (of one six right fame), Santa Monica, KSMO, Long Beach, KLGB, Whiteman, KWHP, El Monte, KEMT, Northrup Hawthorne, KHHR and Compton Woodley KCMP. Of course, Los Angeles, KLAX, John Wayne/Orange County, KSNA, and Burbank’s Bob Hope, KBUR are included and Catalina Island’s ‘Airport in the Sky”, KAVX got a special makeover including new building structures.
More than a thousand major buildings have detailed 3D renderings and 150 new helipads, some of them famous, along with new traffic on the major roads and animated ships and boats running between the port and Catalina Island. There are downtown sound effects and animated birds to catch your attention.
You can spend all day hopping from airport to airport and checking out the sights and not fully see the entire area. It is the most impressive scenery add-on outside the Orbx areas that I have seen. Pack a picnic basket and make the flight out to Catalina Island for a nice day away from the hustle and bustle. The coastline now has a realistic look. The default scenery is just awful in this area.
With all this added autogen and structures the PCs must take a hit of some magnitude. A separate Scenery Density Tool is included so we can tailor our individual hardware and setups with the new scenery to find the most enjoyable settings, even on slower systems.
Oh, BTW, USC LA X has realistic looking palm trees for all those still complaining about the other developer missing all the palm trees in the Miami City X add on.
You can visit the Product Page for details and download.
The External Hardware setup
The original idea for this review was to test some of our best twin-engine add-ons with the Saitek hardware cockpit to see how well they play together. I chose to break the review into two parts because the corporate jets flight characteristics, especially their speeds, endurance and flight levels were so vastly different from their piston brothers. Part one can be found here.
I am not going to repeat the details of the Madcatz/Saitek hardware here as the only new items are the Apple IOS gear. Please take the time to read Part one to fully appreciate and understand the full review.
The Madcatz/Saitek external FSX hardware is a desktop setup with a Cessna Yoke, Combat rudder pedals and an X52 Pro flight control system for the higher performance planes and helicopters. I have the Switch Panel, Backlit Information Panel, BIP, dual Radio Panels and an array of eight Flight Instrument Panels, FIPs, with many custom gauges. The pedestal grouping has the TPM panel on the bottom for single-engine add-ons, with the Multi Panel, which is a full autopilot, flaps, trim and auto throttle in the middle. On top are dual power, conditioners, prop and mixture levers and the large elevator trim wheel from the Cessna Yoke package.
I have a wireless keyboard and mouse in the middle of the console. The active viewing area is twin Dell 24-inch wide screen HD monitors. I have a 2nd PC networked with its own monitor, keyboard and mouse with a 2nd copy of FSX installed for reference material and data storage.
I recently added an Apple iPad and iPhone connected by servers that are used as touch pad screens and displays. This may be the answer to the future FSX cockpits that use touch screens. I have high resolution flight and engine gauges, moving maps, flight charts and plates, radio and avionics stacks and such on the IOS gear. Read the RemoteFlight review here.
Although I have a three monitor arrangement, only the middle one has the active FSX flight. The one on the right is for pop-up screens, Aivlasoft’s EFB maps and planning, or my new FSWidgets world maps, or any reference images that I may use during a flight. The monitor on the left is for the networked PC. I bounce between full-screen and windowed flights, depending on how well or how poorly the scenery is performing.
I recently added coverage for the world with all manner of flight charts set up as Cloud based moving maps and flight planning charts and maps. I can switch from sectional, terminal, or WAC charts to low or high altitude instrument charts or a Google clone map with a simple touch on the iPad or a click or two on the windows screen. You can check this out here.
You can see the maps in the QuickPlan review here.
Does it all hang together?
This is not a detailed review of each of the FSX add-ons but it has lots of history and descriptions of the real world versions and some practical day-to-day coverage of flying the corporate jets in FSX, using add on scenery packages and an external hardware cockpit and a few new maps, gauges and screens. This is done to highlight the practicality of it all working together and how the sum of the parts enhances or exceeds the whole. The 3 Citations are as different in the real world versions as they are in the simulated editions.
Each of the separate corporate jets has already had an online review with a couple of Avsim.com Gold Stars attached so I am going to skip all the “this is that and this is included or not and this does that when you do this” kind of stuff. What I would like to do is to demonstrate with words and pictures a few flights that are tailored to the theme and see if it all holds together.
Again, the theme is that I have a shoestring jet charter operation based in Burbank CA with 3 Cessna Citations and I have just received a request to gather up 4 high rollers scattered around Southern California, Oregon and Nevada, and fly them to Anchorage for a fly fishing getaway. As I understand it, I am to deliver them to a long-established fly-fishing service in Anchorage and that pilot will get them to the secluded camp in his Aerosoft Twin Otter on floats.
We may or may not be asked to fly them back to Los Angeles. That will depend on how impressed they are with our service of getting them collected and delivered to their getaway happy and on time and the availability of the equipment.
Comparisons and use of our fleet
OK, we have chosen the Eaglesoftdg CJ1+ for our first leg from Burbank to Miramar then a quick stop at John Wayne airport then back home to Bob Hope Airport for dinner. Another flight will be a quick run up the coast in the Flight1 Mustang to a secluded small airport on the Oregon coast and back and the last local run will to Las Vegas and back. Then we will load up the 4 clients and head North to Alaska for the longest leg I have ever flown in a GA aircraft. It will be a record setting flight for altitude and speed knocking off any existing personal records in the NGX, MD-11, or Airbus X.
A comparison of the three Citations for FSX.
We will also be carrying a light load of fuel for these local flights. I keep the fuel onboard on the low side because I have so little extra money for my charter operation and I tend to use small airports for the convenience of the customers and I can get in and out quickly. This practice avoids some landing fees from time to time. Every dollar counts when the price of Jet Fuel is $8.05 a gallon at KLAX, even higher down at KSAN at $8.33, while here at home in Burbank it is an almost reasonable $5.81. Just like with the family car, I fill up when I find a low price.
In round numbers, the direct cost per hour of our 3 Citations are, $1,000 /hour for the Mustang, $1,500/hour for the CJ1+, and $3,800/hour for the big Citation X. All these numbers are getting progressively larger due to the insane increases in fuel costs. $1.25 per pound of fuel is hard to swallow.
Every cost comparison I find has the hourly operating costs rising at an alarming rate. I think as soon as someone publishes a cost estimate it is instantly out of date due to these rapidly rising costs.
Here are some of the specs covering dimensions and out-of-date operating costs for our Citation collection.
Now you see why we use the two smaller planes for running around on local flights and the shorter runs. The Mustang is a welcome addition with those high efficiency engines and lower operating costs.
Some dimensional drawings for size comparisons.
Which one of these FSX models is for me?
This is a fairly common question that often pops up in the forums. We are most commonly asked to help someone choose between the Flight1 Mustang and the EagleSoftdg Cessna Citation X. This is not a very practical comparison because they are such different airplanes with dissimilar speeds, number of seats, base and operating costs. A much more practical comparison would be to compare the Eaglesoftdg CJ1+ and the Flight1.com Mustang because they are much closer aligned in speeds, seats, and operating costs. Ironically, with a recent price adjustment, the Flight1.com Mustang is also the least expensive of the 3 FSX models, but it may only be temporary.
Most recommendations tend to say buy both for FSX and if you can’t afford both then flip a coin, either one will be a great addition. But, if you do it this way, be sure to put the other one on your wish list. Don’t forget to seriously consider the 3rd one.
A closer look at the Cessna Citation CJ1+ and the Eaglesoftdg Citation CJ1+ for FSX
For those of you that like to know more about your chosen add on than you find in the developer provided documents, a detailed search using the specific model number will reveal a wealth of useful information for flight simming. Here are two basic documents that do not come with the ESDG download. The Specifications and Description booklet is 26 pages of minute detail on the plane, each system and subsystem, interior and exterior dimensions, floor plans, emergency equipment, and very useful weights, capacities and performance data.
The Flight Planning Guide is 32 pages packed with Specifications and more detailed performance specs and speeds than I thought possible. It is far more than is included in a typical POH or PIM. It has pages and pages of takeoff and landing performance tables and charts with weight changes for every 500 pounds, different flap settings, elevations, with and without bleed air, Anti-Ice, etc. Similar details for cruise performance, descent and landing phases. How about 24 different stall speeds, depending on weight and flap positions. If you like details, this one is for you. Yet, a third free 14 page color brochure is filled with cabin and cockpit photos along with these two pages of specs and performance.
At 389 knots (448 mph), the CJ1+ cruises as much as 150 mph faster than the turboprop it typically replaces.
Cessna CJ1+ Sales Brochure
These are all official Cessna Citation pdf documents that can be found online and downloaded for free.
Cessna has announced that they would end production of the CJ1+ aircraft. You may want to stop now and perform your searches and downloads before they are removed and archived. Keep in mind there are model years for these aircraft and the weights tend to creep up as new and more equipment is certified and installed in the aircraft. If an FSX model is even close to an actual aircraft’s true specs we should consider ourselves fortunate.
Take a look at these simple tables for the CJ1+. The Max Allowable Fuel is spot on, while the MTOW matches the CJ1 not the CJ1+. No big deal. We use what we have.
These images and quotes are taken from the official Cessna sales brochure for the CJ1+. Notice the modern padded yoke (click to zoom). Also notice the panel mounted Garmin GPS is very similar to the default GPS500 in the ESDG FSX panel.
I took the CJ1+ out for the first three legs to collect Client #1 and #2 for the fly fishing trip. The easy flight from KBUR to KNKX Miramar was totally uneventful but you have to be alert for crossing traffic going into KLAX. The next leg was an almost straight line just off the coast to KSNA John Wayne/Orange County airport. I got a straight in approach to runway 01 and the same runway for departure. The assigned altitude was 8,000 feet for the first 30 miles or so and just a reminder of the advantages of filing IFR vs. VFR for these short hops - a layer of puffy clouds was setting smack on the 8,000 foot level so VFR would have been illegal and required a flight level change or two. The third leg was the return back to KBUR from KSNA.
I made a few notes during the flight for sim pilots that may be considering the CJ1+. Speed control is essential, more so than most other add-ons. This is a slick airframe design with plenty of power, so you can bust the 250 Knot speed limit in a blink of the eye. Nothing like a friendly reminder from ATC to be aware of the speed limit.
After sneaking up on the 250 Knot limit a second time, I requested a higher altitude and was immediately assigned FL120. This made it easy to add another 70 knots to the cruise speed. Five miles a minute just feels so much better. After all, it was Clyde Cessna that said ‘Speed is the only reason for flying’.
It only takes a few minutes to get familiar with the FMS-1F. Pos Init is a one click Acceptance on this one. Recalling saved FSX flight plans is also a snap. Adding Cruise Altitude wasn’t intuitive for me but I got in added. I found out that one switch in the proper ON position will extinguish those 3 yellow caution warnings that I couldn’t read. (hint – Pitot Heat)
I was most impressed with the flight dynamics of the CJ1+. It has a real solid, well balanced feel on rotation and climb out. The same for the manual descent and approach to touchdown. I was even more impressed with the ground handling qualities. I don’t remember any recent add on that was as easy to maneuver on the ground – mostly just rudder and opposite engine power. This one has a nice tight turning radius for getting into and out of those tough parking spots.
The visibility from the pilot’s seat is outstanding. The left window is like an oversized picture window and the ‘A’ pillar only blocks a small area. The view over the nose is also great as the airplane design has the nose dropping off rather rapidly.
The engine sounds seem very acceptable to me. The inside and outside sound levels are different enough and the Sound Cone works as expected. A quick check of the posted feature list states these are based on real world CJ1+ sounds.
I never did get the popup maps to work the way I expected them to. I was either waiting for Adobe or something to massage the pdf format and when I thought I was moving to the next image it would zoom in on a 2 inch by 2 inch area of the chart. It is probably nothing at all to do with the ESDG product but more in the version of the Adobe reader that I am using. I liked the Adobe reader so much better when it was a simple, free pdf reader. Nowadays it wants to do way more things than I am willing to agree to. I think Adobe must attempt to install an upgrade twice a day.
There is a statement in the ESDG documentation that some of the later versions of the free Adobe Reader has a conflict with the pseudo EFB that comes with the CJ1+ and it gives a link for an older version that is known to work. My problem is I just installed the new SimPlates X Ultra with 80,000 pages of charts and plates that are cloud based and it requires the ‘Latest Version’ of the Adobe Reader. I just can’t win.
Fortunately, I have ample display space on a second monitor for charts and approach plates and I can zoom them up quickly and easily for my weak eyesight.
“Old style CJ1+ yoke”
“More modern style yoke for CJ1+”
There must have only been one or two early CJ1+ models built with the old style yoke that ESDG chose to use for their FSX model. Almost all the photos I found have the more modern looking padded yoke at shown in the screenshot. This would be on my suggested list if an update is ever considered.
So my initial thoughts after some short flights in the CJ1+ is first, it has excellent handling qualities both on the ground and in the air. Attempting to relate feel and touch for an FSX add on to someone with a totally different hardware setup is hard enough, but suffice to say I have flown several dozen similar add-ons and this one feels as good as or better than most.
I like the rate of roll, the view inside the cockpit, the mostly unrestricted view over the glare shield and out the windows, and I especially like the ease of using the popup screens with a simple right mouse click directly on the instruments. I like the clarity of the PFD and MFD and the large bright frequency readouts of the Collins radios.
The general cockpit layout and panel arrangement of the CJ1+ seems to be superior to many other similar models. This is true for both the real world and the FSX simulator editions. The placement of the most used knobs and switches just seem to be more sim friendly to me. The FMS is very readable in the VC mode and can be popped up if needed using one strategic click.
To sum it up, the ESDG CJ1+ v2.0 is like your favorite Lazyboy recliner. It may be beginning to show its age and have a few worn spots and maybe even a weak area or two but you know where those soft spots are and once you are firmly seated and positioned properly it does its job perfectly. A couple of the smaller, seldom used subpanels are poor at best on my wide screen monitor but, this is more of a distraction than anything else and can be sometimes corrected by changing the selected graphics resolution. This did not work for me but is the suggestion from ESDG.
Looking past these minor irritations, the exterior is as good as any and better than many. The CJ1+ is still a sharp looking modern design. I recently contributed some new repaints. You can find them in the Avsim library.
The most frequently used flying gauges, the PFD, MFD, FMS and radios are visually as sharp as any you will see in FSX including some of the most recent high end introductions. These particular gauges are so sharp they actually make those low resolution subpanels look even weaker in both the VC and 2d popup views. It is almost like they don’t belong in the same cockpit or panel.
Image resolution is one of those subjective items that can be argued because there are so many choices of graphics cards, monitors, and choices of resolution. I use an ultra sharp Dell widescreen monitor set at 1920 x 1200 -32 bit and it tends to make the better VCs look better and the weaker VCs look weaker. As they say elsewhere, you mileage may vary.
These panels probably looked fine in FS9 and the early days of FSX on the smaller monitors with lower resolution but not in today’s FSX with the large widescreen monitors. With the recent advances in VC resolution they sure look dated.
The good news is the large glass screens for the flight information and new radios are crystal clear like the 5-color fully functional FMS. The one-click to enlarge feature is really handy for the chart viewer, PFD, MFD, EFIS, Radios, FMS and a couple of the sub panels.
All the same popup panels are available in the VC as in the full 2d view. Most of the pop-ups can also be activated with the Shift + # keystroke sequence or the drill-down top-menu selection method.
More good news is the panel looks great when flying at night. The lighting is excellent in most cases and this covers up the weaker text for the switch labels. This was a pleasant surprise for me.
There are areas where a switch, knob, instrument or status indicator is just barely readable. This is unfortunately not user correctable but, some additional somewhat creative click spots makes flying from the VC much easier for me. I wish there was some way to improve the readability of the yellow status boxes. They can be enlarged, which helps a little, but not enough.
Even though most of the pop-ups have the convenient right-click click spots directly on the screens, there doesn’t seem to be one for the AP, HDG, and ALT knobs. Having a handy AP on/off switch along with easy access to the Altitude and Heading adjustment knobs seems like a natural to me. (Also on my list)
Some real world happenings for the CJ1.
The 525 series has proven to be one of the most successful product lines in business jet history, spawning seven different derivative models with over 1500 Citation aircraft delivered to date and no end in sight. A good argument can also be made that we would not have seen products like the Citation Mustang, Premier and Phenom 100/300 had it not been for the success and popularity of the original CitationJet.
A most recent upgrade is to take a basic CJ1, not a CJ1+, and perform a total makeover by removing the entire Pro Line 21 avionics system and replacing it with a newly certified Garmin G1000 system with winglets. This leapfrogs many of the CJ1+ features with one of the newest systems.
Other than the lack of FADEC, the G1000 upgrade offers a fully integrated avionics solution for the CitationJet similar to the capability of the new Citation M2. The installation also provides approximately 100 pounds in weight savings over the original CRT and electromechanical system. The $385,000 G1000 upgrade offers a wide array of standard and optional features.
A close-up view of the Cessna Citation Mustang and the Flight1.com Cessna Mustang – the very first VLJ.
Cessna went to great lengths to distance the Mustang and the Very Light Jet moniker, but hailed the receipt of the type certification from the FAA in 2006 as a historic moment because the Citation Mustang was the first of its class to receive full type certification as a VLJ.
It was also the first to receive certification to fly into known-icing conditions, the first VLJ to be delivered to a customer, and Cessna was the first company to obtain a FAA Production Certificate for a VLJ.
As mentioned earlier, the Flight1 Citation Mustang comes with a highly detailed User Manual and a Quick Reference Guide. This is full of large color images and is formatted and written much better than the average FSX user or flight manual. A good candidate for color printing and binding for ready reference.
For those that may not be aware, the Flight1 Cessna Citation Mustang comes with the well-respected Flight1 security wrapper and has the 30 day, no questions asked return.
The real Cessna Citation Mustang
I think it is safe to state there have been more articles and books written about the Citation Mustang than any other aircraft in recent history. This includes the Cessna Flagship Citation X.
The Mustang doesn’t seem to be any sort of record breaking design, no new or innovative construction process, or have any extraordinary features, and it certainly does not have any special performance capabilities or super cabin layout. There is actually nothing special at all. It is not the most inexpensive entry level business jet, not the quietest, not the fastest, or highest flying or the most inexpensive to own and operate. Not the slickest design, with the least drag, the most powerful, or even the most attractive.
Cessna has been building small single pilot corporate jets with all these qualities or even superior specifications for decades now. What then, makes the Mustang so special?
Is the Mustang really a stellar performer, a stylishly sophisticated personal jet that is easy and intuitive to fly? Is it all of these things and the perfect jet as stated in the opening paragraph of the sales brochure?
Come on, it has a cabin height of 4 feet 6 inches and is only one inch wider than that with only 4 seats in the cabin. The payload with full fuel is 590 pounds. Sounds like somebody is going to get left standing on the ramp for a decent length trip.
Isn’t this the same G1000 panel found in the Cirrus SR-22 but with smaller PFD screens and less features? Doesn’t the SR-22 have the same full fuel payload but it only has 4 total seats, not six.
Maybe it is the warranty or the world-class transition training or the after purchase customer service. Maybe it is all of these things.
One thing is for certain. There is something special about the Cessna Citation Mustang or they wouldn’t have sold 400 in the first five years of production and it wouldn’t be on the cover of every flying magazine in the world. Something is obviously creating this unprecedented enthusiasm and interest. Are there really any so called state-of-the-art advantages of have a personal jet?
Does it really come with a discount card for purchasing Jet Fuel? Let’s see if we can find out what they all must already know.
Here is the image Cessna would like for you to remember. Are you parking the Mercedes or the flying the Mustang?
A review of several national publications that interviewed owners and operators of Mustangs seems to be a good starting point. I figure if Flight1 has built the perfect FSX model then a recap of thoughts from real world pilots would be a good starting point. Let’s see.
When asked to name the things they like the most, Mustang operators were fairly consistent in their response.
- Easy to fly, has comparatively low V speeds and excellent cockpit ergonomics. (Stall speeds 76 – 91 kt)
- Flight controls have a soft feel, aircraft is docile in the landing pattern and the FADEC manages the engines.
- Ability to climb above bad weather, substantially quieter than turboprops and virtually vibration free.
- Trailing link landing gear makes you look like a pro when landing, you can’t make a bad landing in a Mustang.
- Great avionics, easy pilot workload, so much capability, super reliable, nothing ever seems to go wrong.
The list of least favorites was sparse, but several wished for more range, more speed and more payload.
One quote that seems to sum it up for all is “For hauling two or three passengers 1,000 nm, it’s hard to beat. It outperforms a King Air for direct operating costs, plus the passengers love the airplane because they are looking down at the weather and have a smooth ride in the clear air”.
Well, from simulator pilot’s point of view, wouldn’t most of those positive things be on our list of desirable features? I think so. Remember, if you want to move up for more range, more speed and more payload, then select the Citation CJ1+ that we just described. Easy Peasy.
Transitioning to the Flight1 Cessna Mustang
For the sim pilots, I would guess there would be two broad groups – those with G1000 flight experience and those without G1000 flight experience. Obviously, to enjoy flying the Mustang you will have to master the avionics and navigation. This, of course, assumes that you know how to fly and your instrument skills are somewhat up to par.
The group without G1000 flight experience can now be divided into those with Garmin 430/530 flight experience and those without Garmin 430/530 flight experience. Those with Reality XP GNS experience get bonus points as they are so much closer to the real world versions. Those without any GPS experience will have to study hard, and practice smart flying and fly as many tutorial flights as you can find. Actually, that applies to both groups, it is just those with applicable experience will have a much easier go at it and feel more comfortable and relaxed much sooner.
Those sim pilots that have been flying the Flight1 C182T will have smooth sailing provided they can adapt to the new much higher speeds and flight levels. My first 3 hours in a real jet, a Lear 20, was mostly a waste of time because I was so far behind the aircraft in thoughts, actions, and reactions. The old silver haired check-pilot was reassuring in his statement that all Cessna pilots are like that. Yeah, right.
The best pilots are those that read and study the manuals thoroughly, makes notes, uses checklists, understands the aircraft systems and procedures and fly the simulator flights as realistically as possible. A huge advantage of the flight simulator is the convenience of the ‘Pause’ key.
As a real world pilot and old time flight instructor, I use the Pause Key all the time when transitioning to a new aircraft. I have so many questions about comparative speeds, procedures, where to find specific information, etc. Most of the add-ons I see are way too far on the ‘Lite’ side when it comes to aircraft description and performance documentation. Fortunately, all three of these Citations have good documentation and much more can be found with online searches and free downloads.
What is in the Flight1 Mustang Pilot's Guide? In a word, Plenty.
The 92 page pdf file is by far the best Pilot’s Guide available for any of the FSX Citations. Taking a look at the Table of Contents, we see a guide within a guide. You will not only learn about the add on, but how to use it, how to install and set the FSX sliders for optimum performance, but you will need to study the yellow boxes to find all the click spots.
Nearly every knob, switch, button, key, and lever can be clicked on and has an associated function. In addition to the multiple click spots located on the panel, a nifty Panel Manager is included that uses a visual icon for selecting seven pop-ups. You can still use the keyboard Shift+# shortcut. I keep a couple of the popup panels up most of the time. A small magnifying glass icon is positioned on the main panel to aid in opening some of the pop-ups.
The chapter for the 2d panel has a panorama screenshot showing the locations of an additional 8 click spots not controlled by the Panel Manager or keyboard shortcuts. Wow. Just about anything and everything is zoom able on this panel. Cockpit and cabin lighting is covered. They yokes are removable to enable better viewing of the large PFD panels. As previously stated, anything that moves on the real one, probably moves on this one. In addition to the cabin tables, window shades, cabinets, drawers, the cabin oxygen masks will automatically deploy if cabin pressure is lost during flight. In the cockpit, the armrests and sun visors are movable.
The Auxiliary Control Panel is a popup with 5 tabs to allow us to select the options that affect the look and operation of the crew and aircraft. Copilot callouts are selected here along with sunglasses and the crew themselves. Spend some time learning what is selectable using the tabs. You can also reload the add on to clear any failures and just to refresh the load.
A handy Quick Reference for weights and speeds is one of the tabs. The exterior is feature rich with the expected cones and covers, but what is new is the pilot waiting at the wingtip and the red carpet rolled out. The all-important fuel truck can be called from here.
The big difference in the Flight1.com G1000 PFD and MFD coverage is they don’t just point out where things are located, they have a full explanation of what it is for, how to interpret the indications and how to use it. For instance, beginning on Page 31 there is a detailed discussion on Flight Planning. But, not just how to create and modify flight plans, but how to input waypoints, how to activate the plan, how to modify while in flight, including the all-important Direct To feature then continues with selecting, loading and activating SIDS, STARS and approaches.
This is not an overview, this is directions for ‘how to’. The sub-section on Loading and Activating an Approach requires two full pages and includes activating Vectors-to-Final, Setting V-Speeds and selecting minimums.
Each panel or quadrant is covered in detail with plenty of large colored screenshots with sufficient detailed descriptions and examples.
Standby Instruments, Pressurization, Ice Protection, Fire Protection and the extensive Master Warning System is covered in detail. One of the big differences in the Mustang add on and the CJ1+ is that the Cautions and Warning can actually be read and understood in the Mustang.
Starting on Page 57 is the limitations and Memory Items. This is where the real world pilots would take out their highlighter and notepad. If you can’t remember these items, you would never pass a check ride for the single-pilot type rating. Fortunately for flight simulation you can just have them handy for reference.
The balance of the guide is the Normal Procedures checklists and the voluminous cruise tables. These cruise tables are the most extensive I have ever seen for any aircraft, real or simulated. This add on is most definitely the exception to the rule of specific aircraft documentation being provided by the developer. I hope the sim pilots make good use of all this data.
Time to load up the Mustang - The definitive business jet for FSX! According to Jim Rhoads.
It should be no surprise to anyone that you must read the Flight1 Pilot’s Guide to be able to properly navigate and pilot the Mustang using their G1000 system. I found the online flight tutorial by Yoda invaluable and use it as a refresher course often as a confidence builder. There is simply no substitute for good flight experience. I seem to learn something new with each flight and to more fully appreciate just how complete and how detailed the Flight1 Mustang model in FSX is.
For those of you that are just getting started with the Mustang, the flight tutorial and the pre-tutorial will make life a lot easier and you will understand how to input and execute a typical flight using standard departures and arrivals and approaches. It is super easy to make slight modifications to the flight such as changing runways, arrivals and approaches, or even using different airports, or using default ATC, etc.
A case could be made for either of the 2 aircraft for the 700 NM flight to S45 but I have already made the local runs with the CJ1+. Time to fly the Mustang. The 3,200 foot runway leaves the big Citation X out of the equation. Using some local knowledge of how the arrivals and departures are set up for KBUR, I chose an abbreviated SD to quickly get on our way North. Because this flight is for profit, and time is of the essence, we will not be using the economy cruise calculations. Nope, we will be at fast cruise coming and going.
Even at high cruise, one can see why once the newness of Mustang ownership wears off, the owners start dreaming about stepping up to a Citation with a couple of more seats and another 50 knots or more cruise speed. It turns out the chosen route is almost a straight line from departure to arrival. Just to be different and a slight change of the beautiful scenery, I chose a closer to the coastline route back to Burbank.
One point on selecting your own route when flying in the flight level altitudes is to be aware of MOAs around the country. The primary reason the Victor airways make unexpected changes in direction is to avoid or circumvent a Military Operating Area or other protected airspace.
Because S45 does not have any fuel facilities, a short hop to KNOP about 20 miles South was just the ticket. A nice quiet airport with almost no traffic so we can get in, refuel, and be on our way back South. The tips from the Yoda tutorial on how to use FLC as compared to VS comes in handy for the climbs to altitude.
Most of the Saitek external hardware works properly with the Mustang. The exceptions are the AP Nav light blinks, when it should be solid on the Multi panel and the altitude selection is hit or miss. Sometimes it is correct, other time not on the Multi large screen readout. An altitude of 99000 is not uncommon. What does work nice is the gauge for the Flight Instrument Panel that was designed for twin engine jets.
Just yesterday my friend Tom Tsui, sent me a custom airspeed gauge that he designed specifically for the Citations. This is for the Saitek FIP hardware. I suggested Tom make one with a higher top end with both analog and digital readouts. See it here. Thanks Tom.
Everything went smooth as silk coming and going using the Mustang for this last hop to gather up the 4 clients before we head North for the relaxing weekend. I have no doubt that I will breeze through the checkride next week. I feel very confident when flying the Mustang with the G1000/GFC-700 system.
For my flight from KBUR to KLAS I looked at some of the historical routes and altitudes. There are not many variations of routes for the one hour flight and the flight levels tend to mostly be in the mid 20s. Leaving NW Los Angeles and heading NE over the mountains, one should climb quickly and try to avoid all the airliner traffic coming and going from KLAX. I used FL270 going and FL260 returning. The only hitches were the long taxi at KLAS and the very long sweeping pattern to land on Runway 08 when returning to Burbank. I was seeing expected Mustang speeds of 336 TAS on this trip.
I observed more traffic than I usually encounter on this route, KBUR DAG KLAS. It seemed to be one constant caution of oncoming 737 traffic either a thousand feet above or below me. Just a reminder to stick to your assigned altitude at all times.
The initial arrival for KLAS starts rather early and ATC tends to use large sweeping turns depending on whether you are landing to the East or to the West. I have additional add-ons for downtown scenery and for the KLAS airport so it all sums up to lots of visual enjoyment bringing the Mustang into Las Vegas. I was given the Clarr2 Arrival which is mostly a 90 degree right turn that aligns you with either 1R or 1L. ATC advised me to expect an ILS for 1R but I actually was given the ILS for 1L. You just have to be on the lookout for little changes such as this.
How to choose . .
Here is a cut and paste spec sheet to help choose which to fly when you have both. You can print the page out and keep in your reference binder. I only compared the Mustang to the CJ1+ because the big, fast X is not in the same ballpark. Each of the smaller jets have something that will outdo the other and vice versa.
Most of the numbers are really close; the CJ1+ has larger but less efficient engines, an extra seat or two for short flights, holds more fuel but burns more fuel. They are almost dead even at economy cruise in speed and distance, but when you choose to fly fast the CJ1+ has a full 50 knots airspeed advantage.
Takeoff, climb and normal cruise performance is fairly close. If you take the price of fuel out of the equation (and why wouldn’t you in a simulation?) then the CJ1+ will usually be the better performer, but only slightly. The physical sizes are all a matter of inches up to 2 feet difference in length and slightly more in wingspan for the CitationJet.
So bottom line is, in the real world when not in a hurry, the Mustang would probably be chosen most often, but, in the simulator with no real world costs, the CJ1+ might the first choice due to that extra 50 knots of fast cruise.
I think many simulator pilots will be influenced by the G1000 panel and the Proline 21 with the full-function FMS rather than the flight performance. Of course, you can always flip the quarter and then fly the other one the next day. When you switch from one to the other, it is kind of like night and day, old and new, but, they both have a place near the front in my hangar.
Words of Wisdom from an experienced FSX Flight1 Mustang Pilot.
I asked Joe Brown for some advice on flying the FSX Mustang. Joe has more than 500 logged hours in the Flight1 Mustang. I got a two page doc file explaining Joe’s approach to flight planning and flying the Mustang in FSX.
Joe uses TrackIR, dual monitors and a Laptop to support his active flying and several free supporting programs in addition to RadarContact and REX. FltPlan.com for wind, weather, charts and routing or sometime RouteFinder. He inputs this data into PlanG to get a PLN file, edits the altitude for IFR, then reads the plan into the FSX Flight Planner. All flights are IFR and he uses SIDs and STARs, real routes, real weather and flies by the book and flies the approach down to minimums. He considers the passenger’s comfort levels when choosing climb speeds and angles to provide a smooth ride. This also means he uses the checklists, takes time to enter V-speeds, minimums and destination elevations. His other free programs are the Precision Descent Planner and AirNav.com.
Prior to take off, I preset my AP. I have my departure heading set, my assigned initial altitude and my vertical speed, usually between 2000 - 2500 depending on airport altitude, air temp and performance charts. After the "positive climb" call out and flaps up, I like to engage the AP as soon as practical. It helps with the work load and gives the passengers a smoother ride.
After TO and during the initial climb, I keep a sharp eye on my airspeed. Reduce throttle from TO to CLB after flaps up. As the AS passes through 150, I switch from VS to FLC. Depending on your altitude and weather conditions, you should maintain around 1200 to 1500 VS.
Once at cruise ALT, offer the passengers a drink from the cupboard. Keep up with the handoffs from ATC. Those guys at RCV4 get testy it you miss a call.
I use AirNav to get the destination weather and a good idea of which runway I'll be assigned. I'll use that to load my STAR and approach. Depending on the arrival and clearance from ATC, I may fly Direct to my IAF, fly the arrival or activate and fly the approach or vectors to final. I'll fly the AP all the way down to "Minimums" or "over the fence".
Joe recommends reading every page of the Pilot’s Guide, flying the tutorials, and visiting the F1 Mustang Forum often.
Comments about the Cessna Citation Family of jet aircraft.
During the months of research for this review I have read just about everything available about the history and production of these amazing little corporate jet aircraft. I think it is safe to state that just about any model you happen to be considering you will find it is made from bits and pieces of previous models that may have had their own success story during the more than 50 years of production.
The latest numbers on the web are 6,300 Citations have been built to date, with 1,500 of those being in the CitationJet family. The calendar year 2008 was a major blow to all aircraft sales and especially to the more expensive corporate jets. Practically every model from every manufacture took a direct hit on the value and most will never fully recover.
A recurring theme seems to be that any follow-on product in the Cessna Citation family can be expected to be lighter with new or improved engines that develop less thrust, yet can fly farther and faster than the predecessor. It will have better climb performance and better one-engine-out performance and a higher ceiling. It will also have a slightly larger cabin, a slightly larger payload, will be quieter inside and out, with a slightly lower approach speed. Is it any wonder why they are so successful?
The latest trend is to install 2 or 3 very large glass panels in the cockpit with several smaller touch screen panels for support data. Although, the new M2 is not being advertised as a replacement or upgrade of the phenomenally successful Mustang, it meets just about every one of those increases or decreases as stated above.
What is interesting to me is the new M2 will have a new Garmin 3000 Intrinzic panel that is built around the 3-panel arrangement but each of the new panels are 14.1 inches in diameter with a cluster of 2 small touch screens mounted immediately below the MFD. Of course, this one will be the most up-to-date to-date panels with moving maps and charts for position and weather and dual WAAS enabled GPS receivers. The full list is all that one would expect for a near entry-level jet priced at almost $5 million with a few options like synthetic vision, interactive weather, lightning detection and the latest edition of traffic monitoring.
The New Citation X will also fly faster, just not higher and have the 3 large widescreen panels but will have 4 of the smaller touch screens and a new intelligent layout of switches and knobs. With the FADEC engine controls, they will all have a simple dual throttle that is seldom used by the pilot. Some new innovative touch screens will enable the passengers to manage their cabin activities from way high while moving way fast.
Some Notes and Observations about the Citation X
Ten miles a minute is fast no matter what type aircraft you happen to piloting that day. This truly is faster than a speeding bullet. Having one with such a pleasing, ultra-modern design is just gravy. The performance of the ESDG Extreme V2.0 is close enough to the real world equivalent that I tend to use mostly Cessna supplied data for calculations and comparisons.
Max cruise for the Citation X is Mach 0.92. This converts to 604 mph, about 100 mph faster than a Boeing 747, the fastest airliner or the typical Airbus A320. The New X recorded a cruise speed of Mach 0.935, or 711 mph, recently during a test flight.
Here are a few rules of thumb and truisms that I use:
- Plan on using between 5,000 and 6,000 feet of runway with a full load of fuel and 4+ passengers. You can land on shorter runways but the fuel tanks better be near empty if you plan to takeoff from that same runway.
- You have a choice of either 15 degree flaps or 5 degrees for takeoff, I have not found an occasion to use the 5 degree setting so far.
- The best practical economy will be somewhere in the FL450 – FL490 altitudes, but you will need steps to get there.
You are also given a choice of two climb speeds – 270 kt/0.78 M or 300 kt/0.80 M with the lower speed resulting in the minimal time to reach altitudes and the faster speed providing a balance of forward speed and rate of climb.
- Most of my time at altitude is spent monitoring fuel burn. FL410 / 0.88M uses 2,217 pph, FL450 0.87M 1,800 pph.
- During FSX flights, the fastest is the most enjoyable for me. I typically climb fast, use high cruise, and have fun.
This is the only aircraft I have that will climb directly to FL430 when fully loaded. None of the airliners or smaller corporate jets will do it.
- There are really only two models of the X. Those prior to A/C #173 and those after (2001 u/g). We have the latter one with all the updates and optional winglets (visual only).
- The more time I spend reading the documentation, the more amazed I am at the capabilities of this add on.
- Only attempt to fly at FL510 at 0.90+ near the end of long flights – with minimal fuel remaining or when you can reserve a block of flight levels. Control is mushy at best so look for smooth air.
It should be apparent to all this add-on can be used as a simple fire it up and go fly, with minimal FMS initiation and setup, or as a complex aircraft startup using full checklists with realistic steps and features or anything in-between. I recommend using the cold and dark routine with the APU assist. Do notice a valid flight plan for this one must have at least one checkpoint between the Departure and Arrival airports. I don’t remember this being the case with any of the other add-ons.
For those looking for depth to the systems and procedures, the ESDG Citation eXtreme v2.0 should be just the ticket. Just like the ones flying over your house, there is not much you can’t do with this one provided you study the documentation and stay current.
An experienced eXtreme Pilot talks about speeds and altitudes.
I was seeking advice from experienced sim pilots for the ESDG Citation X. Here are some pearls of flight planning information from GrahamB3, a Vatsim Citation X pilot.
I usually fly from 410-450. Occasionally I go up to 470 to see if I can get out of a strong headwind or if I want the fuel flow way down. I've never even gone beyond 490. One thing I do on Vatsim is ask for a block altitude from say 410-450. Then I put the plane in FLC at Mach .90 and let the plane drift upwards as it gets lighter. I almost always fly at max cruise.
For climb, I usually use 250/300/.80, sometimes 250/285/.83. If I'm trying to stretch the range, I use 250/270/.78 to get to altitude faster.
Flight planning for the Citation X eXtreme
You probably will not find a lot of historical routes and altitudes for your pre-planning because all the other traffic flies lower and slower than the X. Routes maybe, but not much else is in the FL450 - FL510 altitude band. The Cessna supplied Flight Planning Guide can be condensed from 36 pages to about 5 pages of realistic planning data. I have done exactly that for this mission.
I am using real weather for this flight to see how the performance of the ESDG eXtreme Citation’s performance compares to the Cessna data. Cessna supplied performance data has the reputation of being conservative, which is usually means dead-accurate.
Any of the 4 runways at KBUR will accommodate our near fully loaded Citation X but we could request the longer runway if in doubt. We will be heading North over the mountains so we will want to be alert for any terrain warnings. The computed 2,000 nm distance to PANC is easily within the X’s range at high cruise. None of that lower Flight Level economy cruise required. Who would want to mix it up with all those Alaska Airways 738s and FedEx MD-11Fs down there anyway?
I’m thinking we will use the 300 Knot/0.80 climb speed directly to FL430, just because we can get up there and save some fuel. We are at 777 feet elevation for takeoff, so we will use the sea level to FL430 numbers for our target. The FPG numbers are 29 minutes, 1,489 pounds of fuel and covering 201 nautical miles. Let shoot for 30 minutes, 1,500 lbs and 200 miles.
Then we will step up to FL450 or decide if one of the other altitudes is better for the winds. I hear ATC assumes if one requests a block from FL450 – FL490 it is usually a CE-750 doing the asking. The FPG mission planning criteria reflects our choices of speeds and initial cruising altitude using standard conditions and zero wind. They provide a Wind Correction Factors table so we can better estimate the effects of wind on our flight time and fuel burn.
One of the nifty features of the ESDG Citation X is that we can also let the FMS choose our cruise altitude by selecting Optimum rather than a user selected cruise altitude. I failed to find a straight forward method of selecting the alternate climb speed in the X. It turns out the FMS documentation is not really very deep. The example and not much else, but, like most good add-ons; it is probably the user and not the system.
Checking the Mission Planning tables near the back of the FPG we find a 2,000 NM distance should require between 4:06 and 4:10 time for the FL450 – FL490 cruise altitudes and burn between 7,413 and 7,898 pounds of fuel. This compares to the last entry in the high speed cruise section of 2,800 NM in 5:48 minutes using 10,548 pounds of fuel. Our estimated route distance is 2,057 nm.
I asked a few of the active forum members for suggestions on flight planning for the X, especially with the upper altitudes being available, but, none made a positive response. Two suggested using FltPlan.com. This is a real world flight planning site that has free registration with lots of depth. You can download winds aloft charts and check real time weather for your route planning.
The route choices for this particular mission are all quite similar. It is mostly how far from land do you want to be on the leg from Vancouver Island to Anchorage. I am more of a landlubber than a seafarer so I chose to stay closer to the Canadian shoreline. I climbed directly to FL430 and got settled down and comfortable and then performed a one-step climb to FL450 for the reminder of the trip. My best speed was in the 0.88 Mach area, which is the fastest I have flown a long leg to date. All four of our clients in the back are sound asleep.
Enroute to PANC
I am cruising along here at 501 knots TAS. All passengers asleep.
Some of the many features that should be utilized in the ESDG eXtreme Jet are the FMS/Altitude Restrictions/Difficult Approaches capability. This flight seems very routine.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport – PANC
I installed the new Southern Alaska scenery package from Orbx a few days ago so the view has improved over the default scenery for the latter part of the flight. Using the Aerosoft Anchorage X airport add-on along with the Orbx area makes for some greatly improved scenery. Maybe I can get some more charters to this area in the future.
The Orbx site has some very specific recommendations on how to fix the conflicts between their new Southern Alaska and the Aerosoft Anchorage X scenery. This is mostly choosing whether you prefer the expanded photoreal scenery from Aerosoft and some priority stacking in the FSX global library. The scheduled train and associated sounds are new to FSX. Thanks Holger for the detailed fixes.
The night arrival did nothing to show off the Anchorage X scenery improvement for the VFR or daylight fliers but it is all there and can be found at this link.
As far as I know, there are no competing products for the Ted Steven’s International Airport so seriously consider this upgrade. It is in many ways a remarkable airport. PANC is the main connection to the other US states (a connection mainly flown by Alaska Airlines 737 in their characteristic livery) and as a hub for intercontinental flights, it is also a bush airport with a large dirt strip for the small planes that do not really like concrete and tarmac. It has one of the largest seaplane bases in the world on Lake Hood located next to the airport. Add the violent weather and the long hours of darkness in the winter and you end up with a remarkable airport with superb rendering for FSX.
As of 2010, it was the fifth busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic, after Hong Kong, Memphis, Shanghai, and Seoul. FedEx and UPS operate major hubs for cargo heading to and from the Far East. NWA Cargo operated a major hub here until it closed in 2009. FedEx has the largest cargo facility. Both FedEx and UPS forecast large growth over the next several years as trade with China and other Far East countries increases and plans to expand their Anchorage facilities comparatively.
Here is the coverage area of the Anchorage X software package. The month of April for Anchorage X is still snow covered runways, while the Orbx Southern Alaska has springtime green for April. That is Elmendorf AFB in the upper right of the screenshot.
for an excellent short overview of AnchorageX. (2:43) This really does show it all in amazingly animated detail. I highly recommend that you watch this short video.
The Arrival at PANC
The flight North to Alaska was mostly non eventful with no surprises. The ESDG Citation X v2.0 Extreme proved to be a superb handling aircraft. Any fumbling around by me could be attributed to the few hours that I have flying the X.
As far a performance for the flight, all the actual numbers were dead on with planned numbers from the Cessna Flight Planning Guide. I can see where you would benefit from keeping some detailed notes of various flight, altitudes, and conditions. Most of this data will be required when filing a flight plan if you choose to use the recommended www.FltPlan.com system.
The LHD Seaplane Base is a part of PANC and is a sight to behold. This is a plane spotter’s dream spot. There is not much that one cannot see coming and going from this area when the weather is good.
I plan to turn my passengers over to the local Fly Fishing guide who will probably put them up at the Courtyard or Hampton for the rest of the night and have them up and ready to go at first light tomorrow. This is such beautiful country you hate to sleep when you could be doing something outdoors.
Rust’s Flying Service has been doing these runs up to Lake Creek for more than 50 years. Even if our passengers don’t catch anything, which is highly unlikely, they will have a gourmet meal while relaxing at the lodge overlooking the Yetna River.
Of course the flight over with the views of the Chugach Mountains and tidewater glaciers will get them into the spirit of things to come. The secluded Wilderness Place Lodge is only accessible by floatplanes.
A few final thoughts for those that are still shopping for a BizJet
Many add-ons seem to have some strong points, some weak points, and many things just right but leave me immediately thinking of things I wish had been included or done in a slightly different way.
None of these 3 Citations fall into that category of add-ons. Each one leaves me with the feeling of a complete, well designed, and ready to fly full package. Generally, the few minimal weaknesses are a matter of learning the systems, procedures, speeds, etc. Because I jump around among my extensive collection of complex aircraft, I have to make notes for some of the not-so-obvious differences between some of the panels, click spots, and nuisances. My list of notes is quite short for these 3 Citations.
At times I envy those flight simmers that stick to one aircraft for most of their flying, then other times it seems like a useless self-restriction and I think they are missing some great experiences by not flying most everything in the hangar.
I tend to favor tutorial flights for my introduction and orientation and I do greatly appreciate the extensive time and effort expended by those guys and girls that prepare them for our pleasure. Naturally, some are much better than others, but all are welcome by me. I downloaded the newest digital copy of PC Pilot a couple of days ago and I was rewarded with a ‘mini-tutorial’ flight by Jane Whittaker, one of the mainstay writers for the magazine.
She chose a short, simple flight from Bangor, ME to New York Metro with KBOS as the alternate using the Flight1 Mustang. This can be flown with any of our 3 Citations or actually any aircraft with similar capabilities. Using real weather, default ATC, and her choice of altitude and route it makes a great comparison of our Citations. Should you wish to fly this one, the route is KBGR – BGR – ENE – HFE – LGA – KLGA FL260, Alternate KBOS, with an ILS landing. Expect extensive vectoring and step descents by ATC as our little jets are not a priority in busy NYC.
I mention this simply to confirm how similar, yet how different our FSX Citations perform using exactly the same criteria for a flight. Each it its own way, will leave a lasting impression on how well designed they are but may leave you with 3 totally diverse experiences.
The sum of it all. 1+ 1+ 1= 3 Recommendations
The three FSX Citations cannot be directly compared to each other. There are just so many differences in speed, complexity and most of all, basic panel design and avionics packages. Because each one is a dead ringer for their real world counterpart, the same holds true from either point of view. The good news is that most likely one of the three will be a perfect add-on for most anyone that is in the market for a fast jet.
As far how well they work with the other add-ons is a mixed bag. They each work well enough to be highly recommended. I have enough redundant programs and gauges that a blinking light or a non-lit light doesn’t spoil my day.
If you don’t have a corporate jet in your FSX hangar, you really should select one, two or all three of these. I can easily recommend each and all. The ramp presence speaks for itself, but the speed, range, and cockpit complexity are my favorite features.
As all these screenshots and descriptions detail, it comes down to personal preference. If you tend to like or would like to learn the Garmin G1000 with the GFC-700 autopilot/ MFD control panel then you can do no better than the Flight1.com Mustang. There is simply nothing else in its class available for FSX. The popup panels, multitude of click spots, choice of 2d or VC panel, and the superior documentation and flight tutorials makes this an easy favorite for many pilots.
If you are looking for a fully integrated panel with large easy to read screens then the CJ1+ would probably be your choice. With the fuel tanks only partially full or minimal passengers you can get into and out of almost any decent sized airfield with this one and it is indeed fun to fly. Cruise speed is faster than the Mustang by about 50 knots but nothing near that of the big X.
If you want a cockpit packed with just about anything you could wish for in a corporate jet then the ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ Citation eXtreme is for you. Not only will you have the fastest non-military airplane in the world but you can fly so high you can see the curvature of the Earth. Not quite high enough for astronaut wings, but close.
If you are still flying with a mouse and joystick then I recommend you start looking at building a cockpit. This can be as simple as adding a yoke and rudder pedals, and maybe a set of throttles with a big trim wheel. Keep adding a box here and there and before you know it you will be flying the way Clyde intended for you to fly. Mad Catz/Saitek has everything you need to get started.
The use of add-on airport scenery for Anchorage Airport is almost a necessity. The transformation from FSX default to the level that Aerosoft delivers is nearly unbelievable. Even more impressive is the wide area scenery improvements by U.S. Cities Los Angeles X. The LA valley is an enormous area and must be one of the most built-up areas in America with so many towns and airports in such close proximity. Having a realistic coastline and literally a thousand new 3d buildings is astonishing to me. Both are highly recommended.
Wishful Thinking – Improvements and Upgrades
Each of these 3 Citations could use a bit of a facelift or some tweaks here and there. Depending on the level of improvements, this could be a free upgrade for the existing owners or a payware upgrade option with a steep discount for the existing patrons. For instance:
Mustang. The Flight1 Mustang could benefit from some highly requested items added to the features list – Use of Airways when building flight plans , VNAV, and Saved flight plans are ones that immediately come to mind.
I would personally like to see what a Flight1 Cessna Citation M2 would look like in FSX. The M2 is Cessna’s answer to the Phenom100 (see Avsim review here) that was Embraer’s answer to the Mustang. The M2 replaces the CJ1+ with updated engines and interior at a lower price centered around the Garmin G3000 Intrinzic avionics and bumps the cruise speed up to an even 400 knots.
CJ1+. The ESDG CJ1+ could use a total cockpit makeover if enough existing and potential owners could convince the developer that he could make a few pennies and we would all be forever grateful and promise not to complain anymore in public about panel resolution. I guess he would have to find one of those young bucks with Max9 design skills willing to work for peanuts to make a name for himself with a successful project (or maybe an old wily buck looking for one last hoorah).
Cessna added WAAS capability to the CJ1+ FMS UNS-1 as an upgrade at the Citation service centers in April 2010. This would also be a nice upgrade for the ESDG CJ1+ v3.0 for FSX if such a thing was to happen.
Evidently an Citation XLS version is still in work, but in the slow lane. I sure hope ESDG opts for the XLS+ if they get serious about bringing it to market. The XLS+ is a nice blend of the CJ1+ and the X specs and features and could be a perfect add-on from the ESDG shop. Everyone should want one of these in their hangar. Great Specs.
Citation X. I’m not sure what to suggest for the eXtreme Citation improvements, but, I’m sure a list could be compiled in a heartbeat and there would be a lot of happy, high flyers pushing the envelope with a fresh update. It may be something as simple as keeping up with what Cessna has been doing for the real world X owners – an upgrade to the Primus Elite High-Def flight deck. Well, at least those parts that make sense for FSX.
Better yet, a totally new FSX add-on of the Cessna Citation New X with the Garmin 5000 flight deck with WAAS, LPV and RNP approaches would be nice when Garmin and Cessna releases are the necessary data to build one.
Possible effects of doing nothing.
Of course, the developers could elect to do nothing more and be totally surprised when one of our leading-edge developers, like MilViz, A2A Simulations, RealAir, or some other unnamed upstart shows up with a Gulfstream, a Dassault Falcon or maybe a Bombardier Learjet, Challenger or Global on any given day using the most up-to-date design techniques and we all break and run for our credit cards.
I keep reading tidbits that a new Italian bird is in the works for FSX. Maybe it is a Hoopoe, they appear in the Springtime and the sooner the better.
Performance in FSX
Many flight simmers are still holding on to their legacy PC systems but for some reason expect them to perform better with age. Most are just setting themselves up for continued disappointment. Memory and fast computer chips are at an all-time low price and FSX can make good use of fast memory, fast clock speeds, and the newer graphic cards with lots of onboard memory. I think one of the largest boosts in PC performance when running FSX is in the Overclocking area.
I have a modern up-to-date PC system so all of these Citations run smooth as butter for me. I do follow the developer’s guidelines and use the FSX Complex Aircraft startup method and still load the default Cessna 172 first, then switch to the complex aircraft in some cases. This doesn’t mean that everything works correctly all the time. I still have to reboot from time to time and I do still get a blue screen occasionally but, day in and day out, the dual wide screen monitors, the external cockpit along with new 50cm photoreal scenery and lots of Orbx detailed airports make this a most enjoyable hobby.
An internet search might return some leads for the ‘X Club’, the 510 club, the Ten Miles a Minute Club, The Ten Mile High Club, Mustang Pilots.com and the Citation Jet Pilots Owner/Pilot Association. The last one has some fairly steep fees, but, for those that may be interested, you can swap hangar talk if the standard forums don’t do it for you.
I have an extensive collection of reference documents, many hard to find or no longer available, that I collected for this review. We are going to make them available to you with an easy download for a limited time. All are pdf with small file sizes. One download for all, just discard the ones that are of no interest to you. Color brochures, FPGs, S&Ds, articles & reviews.
Cessna Citation Reference Documents (PDF)
Article_40_Years_of_Cittations _5_pgs.pdf CJ1_June_2000_BCA_54_8_pgs.pdf
Excel_140_9_pgs.pdf Mustang Tutorial_22_pgs.pdf
Mustang v. Phenom 300_31_pg.pdf Mustang_10_pg_TheImage_318.pdf
Mustang_Specs and Description.pdf NBAA-Bus-Aviation-Fact-Bk-2012_40_pgs.pdf
Primus-Elite-Flight-Deck-Citation-X_Honeywell_2pg.pdf Rockwell Collin Pro 21 CJ1+ CJ2 Brochure.pdf
rw_525-0698 CJ1+_listing.pdf rw_750-0234 X for sale.pdf
TEN_28_pg_Portrait_brochure.pdf 'TEN'_Specs and Descpiption.pdf
XLS_ProLine_ Brochure_8_pgs.pdf XLS_s&d.pdf XLS+_fpg.pdf
http://tinyurl.com/bvcv899 Excellent cockpit tour of Citation X
http://tinyurl.com/cbnges7 DL excellent 6 page pilot report for S/N 173 Citation X
www.nbaa.org/business-aviation/fact-book/ Free 2012 NBAA Fact Book
http://tinyurl.com/c53ao9g Best Office in the World, Q & A w/XOXO Captain
http://tinyurl.com/dxwjewy download 26 Page CJ1+ Specs and Description Booklet (pdf)
http://tinyurl.com/c3vdnr2 Download original Cessna Sales Brochure CJ1+
http://www.avsim.com/pages/1109/Flight1/Mustang.htm Avsim review of Flight1 Mustang by Zane Gard Jr http://www.avsim.com/pages/0210/Eaglesoft/CitationX.htm Avsim review of ESDG Citation X v2.0 by Marlon Carter and Bert Pieke
Eaglesoftdg.com for the Citation X and CJ1+ v2.0 for FSX.
Flight1.com for the Cessna Mustang for FSX.
FSWidgets.com for maps and charts.
Aerosoft.com for FSX scenery packages, US Cities LA and AnchorageX.
SimMarket.com for small images of AnchorageX.
RemoteFlight.com for IOS apps, maps, radio, and flight gauges
Madcatz/Saitek for the ProFlight hardware cockpit
Topspeed.com for all those amazing screenshots and spec tables.
Stefan Wengermeier – MUCphotos.com for use of copyrighted photo at airlines.net (Citation X panel)
Joesph Brown for input on flying the Mustang in FSX.
GrahamB3 for his input for speeds and altitudes when flying the X.
Timo Breidenstein for copyrighted and watermarked Airliners.net photos of Lake Hood Seaplane base
Philip Preindl for copyrighted photo of the X and Dassault Falcon at Airliners.net
CJ1 performance charts and descriptions - FROM THE JUNE 2000 BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION.
© 2000, by Fred George. An Analysis of the Cessna CJ1. Full article is Thelmage_54.pdf