Production Cirrus Jet Flies

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Cirrus has flown the first production Vision SF50 jet. Cirrus spokesman Ben Kowalski told the Grand Forks Herald the aircraft flew May 5 and performed as expected. "It demonstrated that we have implemented out a repeatable process on our production line and are prepared to begin initial production of the Vision Jet," Kowalski told the Herald. Production of the aircraft began more than a year ago and Kowalski said the company took its time to finish the plane as it refined processes. "We planned to take the right amount of time to deliver the right aircraft to our customers," he said.

Cirrus has said it hoped to have type certification on the jet by the end of June. Kowalski told the Herald there are more aircraft on the production line and deliveries will begin shortly after certification. Cirrus has deposits for 600 aircraft, which has been under development since 2008. Kowalski also said that testing of its whole airframe parachute system is ongoing and has included drop tests using the full airframe. The FAA has determined Cirrus does not have to deploy the system in flight to certify the aircraft but Cirrus has not said whether it plans an in-flight test with an aircraft under its own power or not. "We've done parachute drop tests in the air. And we've also done in-flight deployment tests, where we dropped jets and deployed the CAPS system from them. So we've done an enormous amount of testing on the parachute system for the Vision Jet. And we're continuing to do that, as we speak," Kowalski told the Herald. AVweb saw the first aircraft as it began production in early 2015 and the video is below.