July 3 marked the first flight, a 45-minute jaunt, of Cirrus Design's The-Jet -- the company says the five-plus-two seat aircraft "performed flawlessly." The first aircraft is dubbed "V1" for verification and validation testing. It, like other Cirrus aircraft, flies with a full-plane parachute -- unlike other Cirri, The-Jet is powered by a Williams FJ33-4A-19. Performance targets are 300 ktas at 25,000 feet, range was not specified in Cirrus' latest release. Cirrus Chairman and CEO, Alan Klapmeier set the bar for the aircraft at holding "the unique promise of redefining general aviation." Aimed at owner-pilots, if The-Jet hits the mark it will be simple to fly and wrap efficient single-jet operation in a package that offers more flexibility and "more lifestyle pursuits" than other aircraft. The-Jet recently completed wind tunnel tests at Langley and has been further tested to substantiate the structural load capacities of its sub-assemblies.
Cirrus says the aircraft marks the first application of the v-tail on a major consumer aircraft in 60 years and touts its backpack engine mount design as a common sense solution that keeps the engine outside of the fuselage structure and though it employs vectored thrust, "makes for smooth handling and excellent engine efficiency."