Cirrus Aircraft announced the delivery of its first Vision Jet in Duluth, Minnesota, Dec. 19. The big news was almost 10 years in the making—Cirrus first released a concept for the jet in 2007.
The first customer was Joe Whisenhunt, a Conway, Arkansas, real-estate developer who has owned an array of Cirrus aircraft. According to pictures published in the Duluth News Tribune newspaper, Whisenhunt and his family were on hand for the delivery.
Additional social media posts indicated 800 employees, family members, and dignitaries attended the ceremony. The seven-seat SF50 was rolled out through plumes of smoke and an array of lights befitting a rock concert. In photographs posted online from the event, guests could be seen hugging, kissing, and snapping souvenir photos.
The carbon-fiber-constructed aircraft contains the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System and cruises at 300 knots with a range of approximately 1,000 nautical miles. Side yoke controls, Garmin’s Cirrus Perspective Touch avionics, synthetic vision, and single-lever full authority digital engine control systems (FADEC) complete the package.
Cirrus Aircraft posted on Instagram that they “could not be more thrilled or proud to have reached this momentous day” and thanked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for their support.
“It has been an incredible end to 2016,” the company continued on social media. “Here’s looking forward to 2017, and to the bright future of the Cirrus Vision Jet!”