Cirrus executives make it clear that its flagship offering, the single-engine SF50 Vision personal jet is at the apex of company priorities. BUT, given the lack of big bucks from the gun-shy investing community, it won't be coming to your local Cirrus dealer in 2012, as the company had expected.
"We don't know when [the SF50] will be done," said company prez and CEO Brent Wouters during a 27 January 2010 webcon with owners and journalists. "We've developed a variety of timelines depending on when and how the cash infusion comes." Wouters says engineers will work on "design elements" until the money comes, pushing off high dollar items like the building of production tooling, robotic assemblies and inspection systems until later.
Meanwhile, lots has been accomplished:
- Cirrus confirms that the aircraft will be certificated with a maximum altitude of 28,000ft versus the previously listed 25,000ft. The company had planned on this all along, as evidenced by the tail number of the first prototype, N280CJ...
- Speaking of V1, the first prototype, Cirrus says the aircraft now has 240 flight hours on the airframe and 400 hours on the single Willians FJ33 turbofan engine
- Cirrus will work with Garmin on a customized version of the Garmin G3000 integrated avionics system for the SF50
- Technicians have installed the Goodrich silver coloured deicing boots on the wings and V-tail in advance of in-flight icing tests later this year, after an engine inlet heater is installed. The SF50 will use TKS fluid for windshield anti-ice. Cirrus has also developed in the wind tunnel ice shapes that it will test fly in advance of natural icing tests.
- See slides from the presentation (below) for additional details