At the EBACE show in Geneva last week, Cirrus Design’s full-size mockup of its single-engine (and yet-to-be-named) jet enjoyed a prominent spot in Hall 7 next to the long-established business jet manufacturers.
Cirrus Vision SF50
L-3 Avionics received TSO and STC approval from the FAA for its SmartDeck integrated avionics system. The STC was awarded for the Cirrus Design SR22 G2, and L-3 Avionics will offer the STC through authorized dealers for retrofit. According to L-3, SmartDeck includes a display dedicated to flight plan management and communication information, as well as multifunction and primary flight displays.
Piper Aircraft and Cirrus Design are in a dead heat on the progress of their respective single-engine jet prototypes, and the two airplanes could fly within days of each other. Last month, Piper said its PiperJet prototype would fly in mid-July, while Cirrus hinted that the first example of its jet single could take to the sky in the same time frame.
Piper Aircraft and Cirrus Design are neck and neck on progress with their respective single-engine very light jet prototypes, and the two competing airplanes could fly within days of each other in July. Workers at Cirrus are finishing V1 (the “V” stands for “verification”), an aerodynamically conforming–but not entirely systems conforming–Cirrus Jet prototype.
Cirrus Design late last year struck a deal with the Duluth, Minn. Economic Development Authority to move its single-engine jet research and development activity to a former Northwest Airlines maintenance hangar adjacent to its headquarters at Duluth Airport. The authority on December 27 passed a resolution of intent to lease the 189,000-sq-ft facility to Cirrus for 25 years, with an option for 25 more.
The Avidyne Entegra avionics system–particularly the revolutionary left-side primary flight display (PFD)–is new territory for most piston pilots. Recently TSO’d, it’s a $26,500 option on the 310-hp Cirrus SR22. The large (10.4-inch diagonal) display shows airspeed and altitude on vertical tapes usually found in the front office of a jet.
Whether or not Cirrus Design of Duluth, Minn., ever decides to build a single-engine personal jet depends heavily on what emerges on the small-turbofan development front. Cirrus director of marketing Ian Bentley told AIN, “Throughout aviation history, starting with the Wright brothers, airframe development has relied on the emergence of new engines.”
Cirrus Design, the Duluth, Minn. manufacturer of SR20 and SR22 piston singles, does have a jet in its future plans, but don’t expect to hear much about it before the end of this year. When (and if) you do, it may well be that the design will wind up with a single engine.
Cirrus Design Corporation announced last week that its fleet of more than 3,500 SR20 and SR22 composite, single-engine piston airplanes has passed two million flight hours–or the equivalent in distance of two trips to the sun and back.
“From our point of view it’s not as big a jump from piston aircraft to a jet as you might think,” Alan Klapmeier, chairman, CEO and cofounder of Cirrus Designs, told AIN.