Cirrus Aircraft is preparing its second and third conforming Vision SF50 for first flight in the fourth quarter, and says its has service entry of the world’s first single-engine personal jet in its sights before the end of next year.
The first production-conforming aircraft, dubbed C0, made its maiden flight in March and has since clocked up nearly 120h of flight testing, says Cirrus executive vice-president and chief customer officer Todd Simmons.
C1 and C2 are now under construction at Cirrus’s Duluth, Minnesota headquarters and are scheduled to enter the flight test programme in October and December, he adds.
C1 will be dedicated to systems, icing and propulsion testing, while C2 will be used for functional and reliability tests, says Simmons. The latter will be a fully conforming aircraft and will be used as a customer demonstrator. “We are totally focused on delivering the first customer aircraft in late 2015,” says Simmons. “There is overwhelming demand for this aircraft. Our customers are keen to get their hands on it,” he adds.
So far, Cirrus has secured 550 orders for the six-seat, carbonfibre aircraft, mainly from existing owners of the SR series of high-performance piston singles.
“We have also received a lot of interest in the Vision as an air taxi aircraft. We are convinced there is a compelling case for a Vision-based air taxi operation, given the aircraft’s speed, flexibility and low operating costs. Watch this space,” says Simmons.
The $1.96 million, Williams International FJ33-powered Vision will feature a Garmin G3000 flightdeck and emergency parachute system, which features across the Cirrus range and deploys in case of loss of control.
Cirrus plans to deliver a handful of aircraft next year, ramping up to between 75 and 90 in 2016 and up to 125 in 2017. “We can scale production up or down depending how soon our customers want their aircraft,” says Simmons.