Cirrus Jet makes its debut
"Oshkosh is the home of innovation. We cultivated our passion at Oshkosh and the seeds of that passion grew into Cirrus Design."
With those words, Cirrus Design CEO Alan Klapmeier introduced the Cirrus Vision SJ50 single-engine jet to a large crowd on AeroShell Square during the recent EAA AirVenture.
Klapmeier noted he first considered building a jet more than 20 years ago, toying with several different ideas. The work on the SJ50 did not begin until 2004, he said, but it was not announced publicly until late 2006.
The appearance of the candy-apple red v-tail jet in the southern sky generated cheers from the crowd as Klapmeier called attention to the fact that the jet was relatively quiet in its approach.
The idea is not to compete with business jets, he commented.
"This is a personal jet," he said. "It is designed for ease of flying. This takes Cirrus to the next level."
Other designs from the Duluth manufacturer include a Light Sport Aircraft under development, a popular line of normally aspirated single-engine piston planes, the SR20 and SR22, and a turbo model.
The SJ50 sports a Williams International FJ33-4A-19 engine. The pressurized cabin has seating for up to seven people. Like all Cirrus aircraft, the jet has as standard equipment an airframe parachute system. The jet is designed to fly at about 300 knots, at a maximum operating altitude of 25,000 feet.
In 2007 Cirrus officials stated the cost of the jet would be between $750,000 and $1.3 million. The company is accepting refundable deposits of $100,000 for the jet, which is expected to be certified in 2010.