Piper, Cirrus Jet Single Prototypes Near Completion
Piper Aircraft and Cirrus Design are neck and neck on progress with their respective single-engine very light jet prototypes, and the two competing airplanes could fly within days of each other in July. Workers at Cirrus are finishing V1 (the “V” stands for “verification”), an aerodynamically conforming–but not entirely systems conforming–Cirrus Jet prototype. Company CEO Alan Klapmeier told AIN that V1’s tail and wing have been mated to the fuselage, the V-tail-mounted Williams FJ33-4A-19 engine has been “on and off the airplane” and the landing gear has been cycled. At Piper, the PiperJet prototype is essentially complete, though its Williams FJ33-3AP engine was removed two weeks ago to allow for about a week of static testing. These static tests are now complete and the engine will be reinstalled by month’s end. The $2.2 million PiperJet is expected to receive FAA certification in 2010, but Cirrus has yet to announce an estimated certification date for its circa-$1 million jet.