Cirrus Aircraft announced more progress toward certification of its $1.96 million, seven-seat personal jet on Nov. 26. The second certification flight test aircraft logged its first flight Nov. 25 out of Duluth International Airport, and company officials said that 45-minute sortie was a smooth one. The first SF50 Vision jet used for FAA certification testing began flying in March, and has since logged nearly 220 hours over 150 flights. A third flight test model is being built, and will join the testing fleet “in the near future,” the company announced in a press release.
Cirrus hopes to have certification complete and deliveries commenced by the end of 2015.
Cirrus had collected about 550 deposits as of July, and expects to build 90 in 2016, ramping up to 125 finished aircraft in 2017. The company is setting up a flight training and mentorship program for pilots, promising an intuitive transition for those familiar with piston aircraft including the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 models that have logged more than 6 million flight hours in a fleet of 5,000 aircraft delivered. The SF50 is expected to deliver performance that bridges the gap between high-performance propeller-driven aircraft and light jets, cruising at 300 knots at 28,000 feet with a 1,000-nautical-mile range. The company has posted additional details and specifications on its website.
The SF50 will accommodate up to five adults and two smaller passengers, and will be fitted with the same ballistic parachute system standard on all Cirrus aircraft and credited by Cirrus with saving nearly 100 lives in the SR-series fleet.