First Look At Cirrus' "the-jet" June 27

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The long-awaited (and excruciatingly foreshadowed) unveiling of a mockup of Cirrus' "the-jet" will occur at a June 27 private event for the hundreds of people who've put up $100,000 to secure positions on the aircraft. The public gets a peek the next day as the company uses the unveiling to kick off its annual "migration" of Cirrus aircraft back to the plant in Duluth, Minn. In an e-mail sent to members of the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) late last week, COPA President Mike Radomsky said the unveiling will be the highlight of the weekend of seminars, discussion groups and parties that Cirrus hosts each June. And in keeping with the coy nature of the PR campaign that's building hype for the aircraft, anyone who wants to see the mock-up firsthand will have to make the trek to Duluth. Radomsky says in the e-mail that the mock-up will not be displayed at EAA AirVenture a few weeks later. Cirrus didn't really announce that it was working on a jet -- it waited until something slipped out in the media and then merely confirmed the project. The first concrete evidence of that was the collection, at last year's migration, of names of those who would be interested in the aircraft. They all got a "grey box" with a drink coaster and some very basic details about the plane and, based solely on that, were asked to send a $1,000 refundable deposit. Hundreds sent in their checks and they'll be rewarded with the first look at the plane. In the meantime, Cirrus is sending them, piece by piece, a jigsaw puzzle of an image of the jet. Just how much of the picture they'll have before June 27 isn't clear.