Cirrus Jet Makes Public Debut At EAA AirVenture

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It was a perfect day in Oshkosh on Wednesday afternoon -- sunny, breezy, and not too hot -- and it was even more perfect for Alan and Dale Klapmeier, who enjoyed the keen pleasure of introducing their latest product -- the Cirrus Vision SJ50 single-engine jet -- to the huge crowds of EAA faithful. "This is the place to introduce new aviation innovations," said Dale Klapmeier to the crowd as his sleek red jet rolled off the taxiway into Aeroshell Square, after flying a single low pass over the field. "EAA has always been the home of innovation -- they have kept the dream alive," he said. The jet is designed to fly at about 300 knots, at a maximum operating altitude of 25,000 feet, with seating for up to seven.

Alan Klapmeier said he first considered building a jet over 20 years ago, and added that the aviation world needs to commit to a lot of "missionary work" to convince the world at large that airplanes have value, that flying is fun, and that it's easy enough for most people. The SJ50 first flew July 3 in Duluth, and has been undergoing initial flight testing. The aircraft was announced 13 months ago and has been under development for four years. AVweb will have more to report about the airplane and reaction to it later in the week.