Cirrus Jet Schedule Uncertain as Testing Proceeds
While defining the SF50 Vision personal jet program as the company’s top priority, Cirrus president and CEO Brent Wouters yesterday told order holders that he did not know when the $1.72 million jet would enter service, based on the current funding levels. “We could not raise capital for the jet or for anything else in 2008 or 2009,” said Wouters, adding that Cirrus, with its inventory now down by 75 percent on last year’s levels, is returning to a healthy financial position. In response to the uncertainty, Wouters said the company has deferred all higher-cost expenditures, including tooling, to next year as it accelerates its efforts to raise capital, and has formulated several cash flow-dependent production timelines. In the meantime, the Minnesota-based airframer is concentrating on design aspects for the SF50 and has begun ice shape flight testing. The company also announced that it will seek FAA certification for the aircraft to FL280, a move foreshadowed two years ago by its adoption of registration number N280CJ for the first Vision prototype. Cirrus says it currently has 428 of the jets on order and that it has signed 54 new position holders since last September.