Cirrus ‘V1’ Now Has a Flight Logbook

Last Thursday, Cirrus' single-engine personal jet flew for the first time. The 45-minute test flight was the first of a series to establish "verification and validation" of the proof-of-concept airframe, now dubbed V1 for that reason, according to Cirrus Chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier. But the name also references the unique jet's V-tail configuration, which is part of Cirrus' answer to engine placement. The "backpack" nacelle sits atop the aft fuselage, and vectored thrust from the Williams FJ33-4A-19 turbofan passes between the V-tail surfaces. Like the company's piston aircraft models, the jet will have a ballistic, whole-airplane parachute. The production version is expected to fly as high as 25,000 feet and cruise at 300 knots. Range is targeted at 1,000 nautical miles, pending what is part of the next design phase-a weight reduction program. The current airframe is constructed of fiberglass, while the final product is planned to be made of carbon fiber to save weight. Alan Klapmeier is now in the same position as another jet pioneer from decades ago, Bill Lear, who reputedly vowed that he'd "sell his grandmother" to save a single pound of weight on his original Lear Jet. Engineers working on the design reportedly referred to each pound as a "grandmother." No specific word on how many "grandmothers" Klapmeier expects the Cirrus V1 to lose.

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