As Cirrus Design’s Vision single-engine jet prototype continues to add flight hours, the manufacturer concluded a successful exhibit at this week’s NBAA show, with more deposits taken despite the state of the economy. The prototype has logged about 75 hours, most recently exploring the low-speed regime after installation of a spin chute. One change will be a single cabin door.
The Duluth, Minn.-based manufacturer of four-place composite piston singles is number two in the marketplace for piston airplanes, but it is fast gaining ground on Cessna, the number-one piston airplane OEM. According to GAMA statistics, Cirrus Design in 2001 accounted for 11 percent of all piston airplanes built by GAMA members and Cessna about 42 percent. In 2002, Cirrus jumped to almost 28 percent while Cessna dropped to 35 percent.
Nowhere is the boundary layer between piston airplanes and small business jets becoming less defined than in avionics. At Oshkosh, Avidyne of Lincoln, Mass., announced that both Adam Aircraft (for its A700 twinjet) and Advanced Technologies Group (for its tandem two-seat jet) have selected Avidyne’s FlightMax Entegra integrated avionics systems.
On-demand air-taxi firm SATSair on Tuesday signed a letter of intent with Cirrus Design to add five Cirrus Vision SJ50 jet singles to its fleet. SATSair, which currently operates 26 Cirrus SR22s, will integrate the single-engine jets into its operations–following the SJ50’s expected certification in 2010–as a hybrid to its Southeastern whole-airplane charter network.
Yesterday afternoon, Cirrus test pilot Kent Vandergrift flew Cirrus Design’s prototype Vision SJ50 single-engine jet to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., concluding his flight with a high-speed pass and a landing on Runway 27. After the jet was towed to a stage in AeroShell Square, Cirrus founders Alan and Dale Klapmeier congratulated the Cirrus team members who helped make the jet possible.
Shortly after the first flight of Cirrus Design’s single-engine jet, the company finally revealed the name for what had long been referred to as “The Jet,” now called the Vision SJ50. The first flight took place on July 3.
Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Design flew its jet, now called the Vision SJ50, for the first time on July 3. The Williams FJ33-4A-19-powered prototype, under the control of test pilot Tim Berg, lifted off from Duluth International Airport and flew for 45 minutes before landing back at the airport.
The company expected to bring the flying prototype to last month’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis.
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 Design’s partnership with Garmin on a “high-end” cockpit upgrade for the SR22-G3 called Cirrus Perspective is turning out to be a hit with buyers, nearly all of whom are jumping at the chance to bring the optional avionics to their new airplanes.
Cirrus chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier says he would like to have the company’s new single-engine (and yet-to-be-named) jet appear at this year’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., late this month, but he wouldn’t predict when the first flight will take place. Cirrus has placed an Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer into service as a chase plane for the flight, which will occur at Cirrus’s headquarters in Duluth, Minn.