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Cirrus' "The Jet" Is Halfway Through Development

Cirrus unveiled the mock-up of its single-engine personal "The Jet" earlier this summer, but a flying prototype is still in the works. Key advantages of the new concept include one pilot, extensive cubic feet for passenger use, a top speed of 300 knots and a range of 1000 nm. The current price is in the $1 million range. A unique configuration of aircraft parts makes this concept particularly innovative, says Mike Van Staagen, vice president of Cirrus' Advanced Development Group.

"A similar analogy would be the transition the auto industry made from framed automobiles with clad panels, to the unibody construction method," she adds. "Same materials, just used in innovative geometrical ways."

The concept has been under development since October 2002. More than 90 personnel and consultants are currently working on it. Aspects of the design are being tested and confirmed prior to finalization of a prototype, to reduce the time needed to certify and deliver the aircraft. The aircraft is about half way through the entire development process. Customer deliveries are expected to begin in roughly three years. Other features include twin clamshell doors; flexible seating for five plus two jump seats for passengers; a V-tail and centerline and over-fuselage engine positioning; and a whole-aircraft parachute system.

Cirrus has received customer deposits on more than 150 aircraft.

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