Cirrus Update on Vision Includes Weight Targets

Within the next few weeks, Cirrus Design will file certification paperwork with the FAA on its developmental Vision single-engine jet. Actual certification could come as early as 2010, but no later than 2012, promised Cirrus Chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier during a December 3 Internet press conference. Of particular interest, Klapmeier told reporters Cirrus has set the maximum gross weight target at 6,060 pounds, with a max takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds. Weight reduction programs in progress are expected to yield a final range of 1,000 to 1,400 nautical miles, with a full-fuel payload of 400 pounds-the equivalent of two FAA-standard humans and their luggage. Klapmeier said he expects the Vision to be flown "routinely" with just a single pilot on board. One of the weight-reduction strategies involves reducing the sweep of the V-tail, which saves at least 40 pounds. That was made possible by adjusting the thrust vector of the engine. The test aircraft has now flown some 120 hours having reached 319 knots. Design cruise speed is 300 knots. Asked if Cirrus expects to meet its pricing goal of $1.3 million, Klapmeier said that issue would depend on economic developments in the months between now and certification.