Cirrus Celebrates Vision SJ50 Debut; SATSair Orders Five, To Start

After the Cirrus SJ50 (née, "The Jet") whispered through its lone flyby at AirVenture last week, Cirrus Design CEO Alan Klapmeier and co-founder and brother Dale played the proud parents, but cautioned that the company still has much work to do to bring the product to market. Indeed, critical weight and fuel-burn projections have yet to be released for the seven-place jet. Some are projecting it will take three or four people about 1,000 miles, and seven people on shorter trips. That paradigm appeals to Steve Hanvey, founder of air-taxi operator SATSair. The South Carolina-based company has built a successful business plan using piston-powered Cirrus SR22s, and Hanvey shared the podium with Klapmeier to announce he intends to make the SJ50 a member of his fleet. He later said in an interview that SATSair has five Cirrus jets on order, placed through management clients and investors. As of late in the week at AirVenture, Cirrus jet sales coordinator Gary Black was reporting deposits for 503 jets, having taken six orders during the week of AirVenture.