Cirrus Aircraft displayed a mock-up of its Vision SF50 personal jet for the first time at Aero Friedrichshafen, and mapped out the certification timeline for the seven-seat aircraft, for which it has already received over 500 orders.

The first conforming aircraft, “C-Zero” (C0), took-off from Cirrus’ base in Duluth, Minnesota, on 24 March and has since flown three times. The aircraft is being used for performance verification and, towards the end of the programme, will undertake in-air parachute testing. “C0 has reached speeds of up to 200kt [370km/h] and with each flight, we will progress towards expanding the envelope,” says Cirrus president Pat Waddick.

Aircraft C1 is scheduled to enter service in the third quarter and will be used for systems, ice and propeller testing. A final flying prototype, C2, will join the flight-test programme 45 days later and will undertake reliability evaluations.

“We plan to fly each of the aircraft for around 300h to enable us to eradicate any problems. We want the Vision to have a top-rate dispatch reliability when it enters service [late next year],” says Waddick. An earlier configuration technology demonstrator, dubbed V1, has accumulated around 800 flying hours and 1,000 engine runs since it was built in 2008.

The $1.96 million, carbonfibre Vision is equipped with a Garmin G3000 flightdeck and an emergency parachute system. Powered by a Williams International FJ33 turbofan, the aircraft has a range of 1,200nm (2,220km), a stall speed of 61kt and a cruise speed of 300kt.

Cirrus plans to deliver 75 aircraft in its first full year of production. However, Todd Simmons, the company’s executive vice-president sales and marketing, says given the size of its orderbook, the company has not ruled out “flexing up” production in the early stages before settling on an annual production rate of around 120 aircraft.