Cirrus Aircraft has returned to EBACE with the Vision Jet to announce that the issue with aircraft's angle of attack sensor that forced its grounding by the US Federal Aviation Administration in April is now resolved and the fleet has returned to service.
Owners and operators of over 100 Vision Jets were ordered by the FAA to urgently to replace the Aerosonic AoA sensors, after three incidents in which stall-protection systems improperly activated.
Following an investigation, it was discovered that screws securing the potentiometer shaft to the AoA vane shaft had improper torqueing.
"We sorted this issue out very quickly with our AoA hardware supplier and new, corrected sensors have been installed on all in-service models through a service bulletin mandate, as well as on new aircraft," says Matt Bergwall, director of the Vision Jet product line. "We have put this behind us now."
Cirrus says the incident has had no impact on sales of the five-seat type – the only Part 23-certificated single-engined business jet on the market.– and interest in the aircraft continues to grow.
"We have a backlog of around 520 aircraft and are producing Vision Jets at a rate of one and a half a week," says Bergwall.
Deliveries of 80 units are planned for 2019 – including the first delivery to a Brazilian owner this month – ramping up to "an optimum rate" of 100 aircraft in 2020.
Cirrus introduced the second-generation Vision Jet in December featuring a host of enhancements, including increased sound-proofing, the Garmin 3000-based Perspective Touch+ avionics suite, an autothrottle and increased connectivity with Flight Stream 510 compatibility. The Williams International FJ33-5A-powered aircraft also boasts a maximum operating altitude of 31,000ft – 3,000ft more than its predecessor – giving it access to Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum airspace.
While the Vision Jet customer base mainly consists of owner-flyers, Cirrus is keen to promote the aircraft as an air taxi. "It is ideal for the regional transport market, with its speed, range, versatility and much lower price tag than a single-engined turboprop or small light-jet," says Bergwall. Cirrus has so far sold a handful of Vision Jets to start-up and established air taxi operators in the USA, and expects the first aircraft to enter commercial service this year. "These Part 135 operators will hopefully prepare the ground for future sales in this niche," says Bergwall.
Its SR22-piston-single stablemate, also on display at EBACE, has already found success in the air taxi market, Bergwall adds. with over 50 aircraft currently operating in a commercial role.