Second Cirrus Test Jet Flies


Cirrus’s SF50 jet program took a major step forward on Tuesday with the first flight of its second certification flight test aircraft. C1, as it has been dubbed, took off at 3:30 p.m. from Duluth International Airport for a 45-minute flight. Pilot Terry LeSage said it went the way test pilots like test flights to be. “All systems operated as expected and C1 handled quite nicely, just as we predicted,” he said in a statement issued by Cirrus.

There will be three conforming test aircraft but Cirrus hasn’t said when the third will be ready, just that it will be in the “near future.” It will have to be fairly soon since certification is being planned by the end of 2015. The airplane that flew Tuesday will be used for flight into known icing testing, and myriad other tests. The third aircraft will be used for reliability testing, optional equipment and other final touches.