Cirrus Not Deterred by Jet F&R Testing Mandate

Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet Mark Phelps

Cirrus Aircraft officials say they're not concerned over an FAA proposal to expand the requirement for function and reliability (F&R) testing to include turbine aircraft less than 6,000 pounds (maximum takeoff weight). They say the planned test program for Cirrus's single-engine SF50 Vision Jet already included most of the F&R testing they expect to be part of the FAA mandate. Cirrus said it hopes the current improved economy and the company's improved fiscal performance will help bring the $64 million in investment dollars it needs to speed development of the jet. Current projected specifications call for 1,000-nautical-mile range, 300-knot cruise speed, 28,000-foot maximum operating altitude and maximum takeoff weight less than 6,000 pounds. Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters said if the investment can be found, the company plans to build a conforming prototype in 2011. Currently, Cirrus has formally applied for a type certificate for the jet, and is performing known icing tests; leading to altering the aircraft's deicing boot configuration.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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