Late last week, Cirrus Design held a press conference on its new Vision personal jet aircraft. I first began covering "The Jet" over the summer at EAA when I met Mike Van Staagen, Vice President of Advanced Design Development Group for Cirrus. Flight testing was just getting underway and the N280CJ had made its first trip out of state to Oshkosh. We discussed the challenges ahead for the program, as well as potential design changes that were in the pipeline.
Back in October, I spoke with Mike again at NBAA in Orlando and he took me around the Vision mock up on the hall floor. I put together this video and with FAA certification getting underway in the next two weeks, this clip provides a good guide for what to expect out of the Vision.
Van Staagen discusses the changes in the vectored thrust angle, the ruddervator structure, the wing positioning, flap deflection size and angles, as well as the single door configuration. Over at Cirrus Design's website, Mike takes an even more detailed look at all of the Vision's design features.
Adding to that, Jeff Decker scooped the Vision fuselage changes in November:
"We've smoothed the wing-to-fuselage joint, changed the cross-section slightly and improved the wing root fairing." Ventral fins on the second prototype have been enlarged and the V-tail has been moved further aft. The SJ-50 has logged more than 100 flight hours since July. "The target stall speed of 61kt [113km/h]," Klapmeier says, "will probably end up being 65kt because we have increased the gross weight." That weight increase will provide more utility with 860kg [1,900lb] of fuel and 180kg of payload".As of last week, the MTOW of "The Jet" was raised to 6000 lbs. to accommodate more fuel for additional range. Also, V-1 Vision prototype was flown to 319 kts, indicating that the production standard will easily be able to deliver a 300 kt cruising speed.
Word on the street is that the designation of the aircraft is under review. It will definitely be known as the Vision, but "SJ50" is up in the air. Also, a battle is underway between L3 and Garmin to provide the glass avionics for the Vision. The L3 Smart Deck flies on V1, but the Garmin Perspective is a major part of the smaller Cirrus product line.