The Aero Experience continues our series featuring Gateway Jets, the St. Louis area's choice for aircraft management services, with a new look at their managed Cessna Citation Mustang. In Part One, Gateway Jets President and Founder Corey Tomczak introduced us to the Citation Mustang with a tour of the aircraft and a briefing on the economical operation of the jet. In Part Two, Tomczak showed us the aircraft's user-friendly features for both passengers and crew, including the comfortable cabin and Garmin G1000-equipped cockpit. In Part Three, we discussed how Gateway Jets provides each client with the perfect aircraft for their mission (the Citation Mustang in some cases) and a seamless flight operations capability. In this Part Four of our series, we highlight the features of the Citation Mustang in the true spirit of The Aero Experience - with photos and video of our recent flight aboard the aircraft with a Gateway Jets crew.
The aircraft, the High Sierra edition with the luxury interior and club seating for four passengers, is a very affordable option for a personal or business jet. The Citation Mustang offers jet performance on trips from 200-450nm with full passenger and cargo capacity or for longer trips with fewer passengers. Flying from point A to Point B in jet speed and comfort aboard the Citation Mustang adds another dimension in time management and efficiency as the cabin easily converts from living room to office in seconds. Flying to your destination in your own jet, on your own time, eliminates the hassle and inconvenience of conforming to the whims of the commercial airlines.
The best way to appreciate the capabilities of a Citation Mustang is to experience a flight in the aircraft. We met our crew, Corey Tomczak, President and Founder of Gateway Jets, and Josh Vinson, Chief Pilot, at St. Louis Downtown Airport on a typical hot and humid August morning. The rising heat and humidity would provide a good test for the jet's takeoff, climb performance and environmental control system during our flight. As with any flight scheduled in this managed aircraft, the Citation Mustang was ready to fly as promised when we arrived. We set up the cameras, performed the preflight check and prepared to taxi for takeoff just after 9:00 A.M.
Climbing into the jet through the wide door is easy using the fold-out steps. Once inside, passengers can pass between the first row and have plenty of room to turn around and pick out one of the four comfortable cabin seats for the flight. The aircraft also features an optional lavatory seat, a refreshment and beverage console behind the crew seats, fold-out tables and the optional satellite phone service. There is a feeling of being in a larger jet when viewed from rear to front towards the cockpit. The overhead lights and air conditioning vent are well-positioned for use by each passenger. Startup, and the all-important flow of cold air to the cabin, was quickly executed by our experienced crew.
The takeoff roll, even on this hot and humid day, used only about 1500 feet of runway. Climb rate was maintained at 2,500 feet per minute at 180kts. by the autopilot in flight level change mode. Tomczak and Vinson demonstrated the usefulness of the large center multi-function display, showing the navigation and XM Weather graphics that make flying in the Citation Mustang a safe and enjoyable experience for passengers and crew. Our flight took us to 21,000 feet, about halfway to the jet's maximum operating altitude, with the cabin pressure at a comfortable altitude equivalent of 1200 feet. Most flights are flown at around 35,000-38,000 feet, at a cruising speed of 340kts. and with fuel consumption of under 100 gallons per hour. This performance compares favorably with more expensive jets, but at the purchase and operating costs closer to those of a turboprop aircraft.
From the passenger's viewpoint, flying in the Citation Mustang is a pleasant experience, especially when the jet is ready and waiting upon arrival to the airport and the friendly Gateway Jets crew is prepared to go on time. As mentioned above, the cabin is comfortable and practical, and the view is excellent. Flying in the back of the aircraft, near the engines, did not pose any additional noise or turbulence issues whatsoever. The only noise that is heard above the normal conversation on our video was the air blower, which remained on high from our time on the ground. Otherwise, the Citation Mustang has the smooth ride of a heavy jet with the comfort of your living room. Our crew arranged for a pass in front of the St. Louis Gateway Arch as we returned to St. Louis Downtown Airport, and this can be seen on the video of this flight below.
The Aero Experience presents the video of our flight in the Citation Mustang, flown by Corey Tomczak and Josh Vinson of Gateway Jets, here below and on The Aero Experience YouTube Channel. We hope that you enjoy your "flight" aboard this impressive aircraft. Contact Gateway Jets for a complimentary mission evaluation of your aircraft transportation needs and for more information on managing your current or future business and personal aircraft.