Cirrus Aircraft has added the third and final Vision SF50 jet to its test fleet. The next Vision SF50 the company builds will be the first production example of the jet. Cirrus plans to begin delivery of the aircraft to customers by the end of the year. Since the first conforming test version of the Vision SF50 jet took flight last March, the three jets have logged more than 250 hours and 189 flights. In preparation for ramping up production, the company in early February moved some of its work to a new 40,000-square-foot space in Duluth, Minn., and announced plans to build a $10 million completion facility for the jet near its main headquarters at the Duluth airport. The company has also boosted hiring, expanding its staff by 10 percent last year.
The Vision SF50 is a single-engine, seven-seat V-tail jet designed for personal flying. It features a high-end cruise speed of 345 mph, advanced Garmin avionics, a full-aircraft parachute recovery system, and an all-carbon-fiber structure. Cirrus says it has more than 500 orders for the jet, which is priced from $1.96 million. Many of those buyers are upgrading from the company’s line of piston aircraft. The jet has been in development since 2008. (cirrusaircraft.com)