Cirrus SJX Jet Single Enters Flight-test Phase

 - July 8, 2008, 1:27 PM

Engineers at Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Design are still poring over telemetry data from the first flight of the company’s single-engine jet late last week. The Williams FJ33-4A-19-powered SJX prototype, under the control of test pilot Tim Berg, lifted off from Duluth International Airport on Thursday at approximately 10 a.m. and flew for 45 minutes before returning safely to the airport. Cirrus said the jet prototype, which has L-3 SmartDeck avionics and a nose-mounted emergency parachute, “performed flawlessly” during its maiden flight. “This first flight is a historically significant moment for Cirrus and the opening of a new chapter for all of aviation,” noted Cirrus advanced development group vice president Steve Serfling. “More than 125 dedicated engineers and technicians…have worked tirelessly to ensure that this milestone was met in a safe and efficient manner. With this successful flight, we initiate the next program phase that will support the more rigorous certification program.” Meanwhile, Cirrus is expected to announce the official name, and possibly the price, of the jet tomorrow night at a position holders’ dinner, according to a spokeswoman.