Cirrus Aircraft handed over the first customer SF50 Vision at an extravagant ceremony on Monday at its production facility in Duluth, Minnesota. The milestone caps a decade-plus-long effort to introduce to the aviation market the first single-engine personal jet.
This initial customer Vision Jet, painted in an attractive red-and-white scheme that Cirrus calls Corso Red Vitesse, rolled out amid smoke, lights and cheers as Christmas came a few days early to Joe Whisenhunt, an Arkansas commercial real estate developer who has owned 10 Cirrus piston airplanes over the years.
“This is a major step in the growth of our company,” said Cirrus CEO Dale Klapmeier, who thanked the hundreds of company employees in attendance for reaching the goal. “It’s about what you have accomplished.”
Whisenhunt took delivery of his 11th Cirrus accompanied by his wife and six children. His daughter recently soloed in a Cirrus SR22 and is working on her private pilot certificate.
Cirrus also christened a new 68,000-square-foot “finishing center” for the SF50, which will continue to be built in Duluth, although many future deliveries will occur at the new Cirrus customer center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The $2 million Vision Jet obtained FAA certification in October. Cirrus holds about 600 orders.