Cirrus Vision Jet Comes a Little More into Focus

 - December 4, 2008, 10:58 AM

Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Design yesterday said it continues to refine the design of its SJ50 Vision single-engine jet and released more detailed preliminary performance and specifications numbers. To date, the Vision prototype, dubbed V1, has logged more than 120 flight hours, during which company test pilots have explored stability and control characteristics, c.g., full stall series and minimum and maximum speeds, as well as reaching the jet’s maximum 25,000-foot ceiling. Inflight restarts of the Williams FJ33-4A-19 turbofan were also successfully completed. The tests have resulted in several changes to the production version, including a wider nose section; taller and lighter V-tail empennage; a larger ventral fin; and a new canted engine nozzle. The right-side door has also been eliminated and has been replaced with an emergency egress hatch. Max takeoff weight is now projected at 6,000 pounds, with a useful load of 2,300 pounds and 1,960 pounds of max usable fuel. NBAA IFR range of the Vision will be about 1,000 nm, though its VFR range is expected to be near 1,400 nm. Cirrus president and CEO Alan Klapmeier said FAA certification and first deliveries of its circa-$1 million jet will “most likely” occur in 2011, though that estimate isn’t yet set in stone.