Flying editor-in-chief Stephen Pope handed over the Innovation Award trophy to Cirrus Aircraft senior vice president of product development Ken Harness, who accepted it on behalf of the entire development team and described the monumental engineering task to design and test the world’s first jet with a full-airframe parachute.
The SF50 Vision Jet entered service late last year as a step-up product for owners of SR22 piston airplanes. It is the first Part 23-certified single-engine jet to reach the market and boasts an order book of more than 600 airplanes. Cirrus plans to build 50 Vision Jets this year and 75 in 2019.
The Flying Innovation Award recognizes the previous year’s top achievement in general aviation worldwide. Nominees for the 2018 prize included the winners of the 2017 Flying Editors’ Choice Awards, which were also presented at Oshkosh. Winners included the Vision Jet, Garmin G1000 NXi avionics system, Mooney Ovation Ultra, Lightspeed Zulu 3 headset and ForeFlight Scout ADS-B receiver.