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.
Cirrus Vision SF50
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.
A “verification prototype” of Cirrus’s recently unveiled “personal jet” could fly within two or three years, according to company officials.
Cirrus Design executives revealed a mock-up of the long-awaited single-engine jet at company headquarters in Duluth, Minn., in late June. To date, the company has received $100,000 deposits for more than 150 copies of “The-Jet,” mostly from current customers of its piston SR20 and SR22.
Cirrus unveiled the mock-up of its long-awaited “personal jet” this afternoon at company headquarters in Duluth, Minn. While no firm price or performance numbers were given, Cirrus vice chairman Alan Klapmeier said his goals for the single-engine jet are simple systems, pleasant handling, good short-field performance, a top speed of 300 knots, a range of 1,000 nm and a price in the $1 million range.
Early adopters who plunked down $100,000 for a position on the Cirrus jet assembly line got to participate in a clever Cirrus marketing campaign that is drip-feeding tantalizing details about the jet.
At the Sun ’n’ Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier said that on June 27 the company will unveil its new single-engine jet to deposit holders at the annual Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association meeting. “We’re not that far along,” he said, adding, “It’s not done until it’s done. I don’t want people jumping to conclusions.
Cirrus Design will officially launch its single-engine CirrusJet this month at the NBAA Convention in Orlando. In a promotional mailing sent out this week, Cirrus said the very light jet will be able to cruise at more than 300 ktas, fly more than 1,000 nm and have a service ceiling of 25,000 feet.