The Airbus A380 superjumbo may be the next big thing in private jets, but the tiny Cirrus Vision Jet is the next true game changer. At $US1.96 million, the diminutive Cirrus represents the most affordable private jet on sale today. In fact, it’s roughly half the price of its nearest jet-powered competitor.
For Cirrus, the Vision Jet has been 10 years in the making, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, Ben Kowalski, told Business Insider. The production model of the Vision Jet made its first flight in May of 2016. A few months later, the aircraft received FAA certification. The company is now ramping up production and customer deliveries.
According to Kowalski, the Vision Jet’s target markets are private owners and regional commercial air services.
In addition, Cirrus believes the Vision Jet is a natural progression up for current owners of the company’s popular lineup of high-performance piston engine aircraft.
Here’s a closer look at the Cirrus Vision Jet.
It's also the very first private jet to be offered with a single engine -- a Williams International FJ33-5A turbofan producing 1,800 lbs of thrust.
As a result, Cirrus claims the Vision Jet can cruise at 345 mph with a maximum operating altitude of 28,000 ft. In addition, the aircraft can take off in just 2036 ft.
According to Cirrus, the Vision Jet has a range 1,150 miles at 345 mph or 1,380 miles at 276 mph. That means the aircraft can make non-stop trips between New York and Dallas or Los Angeles to Kansas City.
Amenities include USB charging ports for every seat, an in-flight entertainment system, and mood lighting.
Speaking of the cockpit, it's truly state-of-the-art. It features a bevy of large touchscreen displays featuring Garmin's Perspective Touch avionics suite that automates many of the aircraft's system -- reducing the workload on the flight crew.
Cirrus also built-in an envelope protection system that keeps the aircraft operating within a safe flight envelope -- preventing the pilot from putting the plane in danger.
The Vision Jet is also equipped with Cirrus Aircraft's signature parachute system that can be deployed in case of an emergency. According to Cirrus, the system has been credited with saving over 100 lives in the company's other models.
Cirrus expects the Vision Jet to be one of its most popular products. The company has taken 600 orders for the plane valued at more than $1 billion. Cirrus will produce around 40 aircraft in the first year with production expected to stabilise between 100 and 125 planes a year in the future.
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