Cirrus announced at the first press conference of the National Business Aviation Association convention the FAA certification of its SF50 Vision Jet. The light, single-engine jet is the only single-engine jet of several that were proposed a decade ago to earn the FAA nod. No others, in fact, even came close, a fact of which Cirrus is rightly proud. The SF50 sells for $1.96 million.
The timing of the announcement is worth noting. Cirrus, which established itself as the leading producer of single-engine, high-performance piston aircraft with its SR22 single, has now stepped with both feet into the turbine world. The SF50 is powered by an FJ33 with dual-channel FADEC (1840-pound thrust), which gets the aircraft to better than 300 knots. While not a remarkable speed by turbine standards—the TBM 930 single-engine turboprop is 30 knots faster—the Vision Jet is a true fan jet and features a remarkably roomy cabin with industry-best visibility. Other bragging rights include a whole-airplane recovery parachute system (Cirrus Airframe Parachute), a system that has gone on every Cirrus built, to date. The SF50 also boasts digital envelope protection, through the Garmin G3000 touch-controlled avionics system that Cirrus designates “Perspective Touch.”
The company will initially give type ratings in the SF50 in the airplane itself, as it readies the Level-D simulator for the aircraft, which will begin training in the third quarter of 2017 at the company’s new training center as part of its Knoxville, Tennessee, campus. A delivery and customer care center are also part of the campus. Customers will spend as much as 12 months in transition training to their type certificate.
With certification in hand, the company plans to make the first delivery of the SF50 in December. Cirrus will ramp up to one aircraft per week by the end of the first quarter of 2017, with increased production rates over the next year. Cirrus currently holds 600 orders for the SF50.
Learn more about the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet.