Cirrus Gets Ready for Test Campaign

The striking new Cirrus Vision SJ50 V1 has already managed to accumulate 25 hours of test flight since it first took to the skies on July 3. Now it seems that it is ready to undergo a rather rigorous test campaign, which will ultimately help to validate the technology required to finish off the aircraft.

The Cirrus Vision SJ50 V1 is the first jet manufactured by the general aviation aircraft manufacturer. So far, the personal jet has already been put through its paces quite a bit, having been flown to 16 000ft at speeds of up to 208 knots. It has also cruised along at a much slower rate of 78 knots and has undergone partial flaps in level flight. All this prior testing has helped to refine the aircraft by identifying potential bugs in the electronics and by testing the efficacy of the data acquisition systems. It has also helped to provide basic flying familiarization for people such as test pilots who may be required to pilot the aircraft. All this was done in preparation of the aircrafts flight to the AirVenture Show in Oshkosh and was needed to prove that such a flight could be made safely. Since having accomplished these goals and flying to the show in Wisconsin in July, the V1 technology demonstrator will now explore the flight envelope. The SJ50 is rather unique, since it is a non-conforming aircraft.

So now Cirrus is busy with their jet advisory team to further refine the design of the aircraft. One change that has already been scheduled is that of replacing the original twin-door with a port side door. Another change is to fit a starboard window plug, which will not only cut maintenance costs and weight but also create an emergency exit. The original design also had winglets, but these have since been eliminated from the design since it was found that they had no aerodynamic benefits. With the formal certification campaign set to start later in the third quarter, Cirrus are expecting certification and delivery of their new V1 aircraft by 2011. However pricing and delivery dates to customers have yet to be confirmed.