By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor,Video Editor
The total number of Cirrus employees has grown to about 570, with roughly 50 jobs added over the past six months and, according to the company, it is seeking more workers to reach its goals for a 2015 launch of its SF-50 Vision Jet. "We're hiring, without question," Cirrus spokesman Todd Simmons told sctimes.com, and Cirrus' website backs up the claim. The site lists roughly 65 job openings (some involving multiple positions) at Duluth, Minn., that range from assemblers to engineers and from painters to administrators. The company claims to have 525 orders for its five-plus-seat single-engine jet, which currently lists for $1.96 million. The company says it will announce updated details about its Vision Jet program, soon.
Pricing for Cirrus' SF-50 Vision Jet increased this past July from $1.72 million to its current mark, $1.96 million. Most of its orders were acquired before the price jump, and the company says it doesn't expect to be adding many more orders in the near term. The company's jet design was promoted as early as 2006, and made a public debut at EAA AirVenture 2008, in Oshkosh, Wis. Global economic difficulties and a change of ownership at the company led to some questions about the jet's future. However, new Cirrus owner China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. has reportedly made a roughly $100 million investment in the program. Now, Cirrus' SF-50 Vision Jet stands a chance to become the first design to fill the personal single-engine jet niche market, with Diamond's D-Jet still standing as a potential contender for that crown. Diamond said last July that it hoped to achieve certification in about 18 months -- or 2015 -- the same timeframe now targeted by Cirrus.