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Nation's first certified personal jet visits WMU

Jan. 17, 2007

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--A new era in flight is about to begin with the introduction of small personal jets, and the first of the new generation of aircraft is visiting Western Michigan University's College of Aviation at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In September, the Cessna Citation Mustang became the first Very Light Jet--VLJ-- to receive full certification from the FAA. It is the first of an estimated 5,000 entry-level personal jets expected to be produced over the next decade by several manufacturers around the globe. The Mustang, Cessna Aircraft's entry into the VLJ market, has a 2007 list price of $2.7 million, a top speed of 400 mph, a range of 1,323 miles and a service ceiling of 41,000 feet.

WMU Dean of Aviation Rick Maloney says he's delighted his college is among the first stops for Cessna's entry into the new category of jet he expects to revolutionize aviation.

"Our students, especially those headed into corporate aviation, will be flying these," Maloney says. "I can't tell you how excited our students are about getting a close-up look at this aircraft. We'll be looking at how we can adjust our training to factor in this important new development."

Maloney says there is a great deal of corporate interest in the VLJ, and many companies are exploring the role an "entry level" jet can play in their business travel operations. He's invited representatives from several companies in the region to be on hand to see the new Cessna and talk about how the new category of plane will impact their businesses.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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