Cirrus Aircraft received full FAA type certification for its $1.96 million, single-engine SF50 Vision jet on Friday, the Duluth, Minn.-based aircraft manufacturer announced on Monday morning at NBAA 2016. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta congratulated Cirrus on receiving the SF50’s type certificate, calling the aircraft “a step forward in technology and safety.”
“My brother and I started with a few good ideas, but more importantly a lot of big dreams back 32 years ago,” Cirrus CEO and co-founder Dale Klapmeier said at the show. “A decade ago we announced that we were going to build a jet. Today, we are there. We are a jet company.”
Customer deliveries are slated to begin in December, and Cirrus initially plans to ramp up to one aircraft delivery per week in 2017, said Pat Waddick, Cirrus president for innovation and operations. Cirrus currently has 10 SF50s in final assembly, and Waddick told AIN that plans are in place to increase the production rate beyond that number. The company is already planning for SF50 production expansion in Duluth and finishing the build-out of its training, design and delivery center in Knoxville, Tenn.
The SF50 has a top cruise speed of 300 knots, a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet and a maximum range of 1,250 nm at 240 knots. The aircraft features the Cirrus Perspective Touch avionics system, based on the Garmin G3000 system, and is powered by an 1,840-pound-thrust Williams International F33-5A with dual-channel Fadec. The SF50 is the first business jet to be equipped with a whole-airframe parachute recovery system.
Cirrus initially announced plans for the SF50 in 2006, but the program was subject to several starts and stops as the company went through ownership changes and the industry experienced depressed delivery levels. It currently claims 600 deposit holders for the SF50.
Initially, customers will receive company-conducted type rating training in company-owned aircraft before a certified level-D simulator comes online during the third quarter of next year. The initial type rating course is designed to take 10 days; however, customers begin preparing for it up to 12 months in advance with a basic flight skills assessment, followed by online learning and avionics familiarization closer to the actual coursework. After completion of type rating training, Cirrus will make mentor pilots available consistent with customer needs and insurer requirements.
Cirrus is also rolling out a customer support program for the aircraft that initially will include 12 service centers in the U.S., mobile support teams and the Jet Stream ownership program.