TIN news: Cirrus Aircraft is poised to fly the second production-conforming Vision SF50 personal jet within days, and is preparing the third and final test aircraft for its maiden flight by year-end.
“C1 has completed its engine run and we are getting it ready to fly,” says executive vice-president and chief customer officer Todd Simmons.
This aircraft will be dedicated to systems, icing and propulsion testing, while C2 will be used for functional and reliability testing, he adds.
C0 made its maiden flight in March and has since clocked up over 220h of performance and handling testing during 150 flights. This example will later be used to test the SF50's emergency parachute system, which is also fitted as standard on the airframer’s SR piston single family and deploys in the case of loss of control.
“Certification is on track for next year and we are confident that we can get the first batch of aircraft into customer hands in the fourth quarter,” Simmons adds.
Reaching this milestone will mark an industry first, with the Williams International FJ33-powered SF50 becoming the only single-engined personal jet to enter service.
"This will be a major achievement for us," says Simmons. “Cirrus launched the programme eight years ago and we have remained committed to bringing this aircraft to market –even during the toughest times [including the 2008 economic downturn].”
“We have always been convinced that there is significant demand for a high-performance single-engined jet, not just from the owner-flyer community but from the air taxi market too,” Simmons adds.
His view is borne out by the size of the SF50 orderbook, which totals more than 500.
Cirrus will soon ask position holders to put down 10% of the aircraft's purchase price. “Within 12 months [of delivery] we ask for a small payment, and six months out we increase that to 20% of the final invoice amount,” says Simmons. “We want to know that customers are committed to taking delivery when their slot becomes available. But we are not naïve; of course there will be third-party activity [from speculators.]”
Cirrus plans to deliver about three of the $1.96 million aircraft next year, ramping up to around 90 in 2016 and up to 125 in 2017.