Cirrus Aircraft cofounder and president Dale Klapmeier received a freshly signed type certificate approval from EASA officials for the SF50 Vision Jet on Monday afternoon at EBACE 2017. The Duluth, Minnesota-based aircraft manufacturer also delivered the first of the new jet singles to a customer in Europe. This very aircraft, registered N124MW, is on display this week at the EBACE static display.
“It’s an exciting day for Cirrus Aircraft and for our customers throughout Europe,” said Klapmeier. “This is an airplane meant for the owner to fly. The most comfortable seat is the pilot’s seat.”
Pat Waddick, Cirrus president of innovation and operations said, “The EASA approval of the Vision Jet type certificate paves the way for a ramp up of aircraft deliveries in Europe. There is no better way to celebrate this achievement than to have the first Vision Jet delivered to Europe on display at EBACE this week.” Klapmeier said half a dozen Cirrus jets are to be delivered in Europe by year end.
Klapmeier said the unnamed customer taking delivery of the Cirrus jet will base it in Switzerland, and splits residence between a home here and one in the U.S.
The EASA certificate was delivered by Steven Higgins, the agency’s high performance aircraft and turboprop section manager accompanied by project certification manager Ralph Menzel. It comes seven months after the U.S. FAA certified the Cirrus jet. Earlier this month, the company received the FAA production certificate for the SF50. In addition, the Vision Jet recently received approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia.
Menzel and Higgins praised the cooperation of the FAA, saying that harmonization between the two authorities is clearly improving. Higgins cited the recent adoption of European small-aircraft certification rules mirroring those of the FAA’s Part 23 rewrite.
Cirrus said it is now ramping up manufacturing to one aircraft per week. The production rate goal is 100 aircraft per year in 2018 and, eventually, as many as 125 annually. The company currently holds an order backlog of 600 SF50s worth more than $1 billion. Klapmeier said the percentage of European customers likely mirrors that for the piston SR22, which he estimated at around 20 percent.
The $1.995-million SF50 is equipped with the Cirrus Perspective Touch cockpit based on the Garmin G3000 avionics suite and powered by a single 1,800-pound-thrust Williams FJ33-5A turbofan. It is equipped with a ballistic whole-aircraft parachute system.