Long Beach, California November 11-13, 2010

Cirrus: Vision Jet ‘paced by funding’

vision jet Cirrus reports that its prototype SF50 Vision single-engine jet has now accumulated more than 300 hours in flight test; its engine has racked up some 550 hours of testing. And it’s the engine that was emphasized in a press conference at AOPA Aviation Summit Nov. 11. The Vision’s 1,900-lbst Williams FJ-33 engine has been fitted with what Williams calls its “Exact Nozzle” technology. Exact Nozzle uses non-moving components that create a thrust-vectoring effect, Cirrus says.

Evidently, Exact Nozzle is designed to help offset the effects of the high thrust line of the Williams installation (it’s on top of the fuselage). To quote an example posed by Cirrus Co-founder and Chairman of the Board Dale Klapmeier, in a go-around situation Exact Nozzle would vector thrust to generate a nose-up pitching force. Without this proprietary technology, the Vision’s high thrust line would pitch the airplane’s nose downward in a go-around or other sudden application of high power.

In other Vision news, Klapmeier said that 91 percent of the airplane’s suppliers have been selected, and that parachute testing is continuing—with nine test deployments already completed. Even so, progress toward certification appears frustratingly slow.

“A year ago I used to say that we were four years into a seven-year program,” Klapmeier said. “Now I say that we’re five years into an eight-year program. Our progress is paced by funding.”—Thomas A. Horne

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