A funding shortage has left Cirrus unclear about when it will be able to complete development of its SF50 Vision single-engined personal jet.
"We could not raise capital for the jet or anything else in 2008 or 2009," says Cirrus boss Brent Wouters. "We've put ourselves in a position to raise that capital now and will accelerate efforts in 2010. Until then, we will use internal cashflows."
Given limited funding, Wouters says the company has been forced to push "higher cost" tasks into next year and that completion of the project, previously set for 2012, is uncertain. "We don't know when [the SF50] will be done," he says. "We've developed a variety of timelines depending on when and how the cash infusion comes."
The SF50 remains the company's highest priority project but near-term work will be limited to "design elements", he says.
Since the first flight of its V1 prototype in 2008, Cirrus has accumulated 400h on the Williams International FJ33 turbofan engine and 240 flight hours on the five-seat personal jet. Wouters says the performance and handling is now "very well understood", the centre-of-gravity envelope is fully expanded and pilots have completed "a great deal" of stall testing.
Wouters says he has 482 position holders for the $1.72 million jet, with one or two new orders coming in every week. According to the company's website, a jet position deposit is $50,000, translating to roughly $24 million in order capitalisation.