We Fly: Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet

Flying puts the world's first single-engine personal jet to the test on a real-world trip. Does the little jet live up to the hype?

Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet
We put the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet, the world’s first single-engine personal jet, to the test on a real-world trip. Does the little jet live up to the hype?Cirrus

The Cirrus Vision Jet is one of those rare airplanes that doesn't fit neatly into any established category. Priced at around $2 million, it burns half the fuel of light jets that cost twice as much, and sells for less than even single-engine turboprops that don't fly as high or as fast.

Then there’s the fact the SF50 Vision Jet was designed by Cirrus with owner-flown pilots in mind, and in particular those moving up from the SR22. Most switches in the Vision are in the same location as Cirrus’ piston models, and the jet even has a full-airframe parachute, a first for a turbine-powered airplane.

Flying recently flew the Vision over the course of a couple of days from New Jersey to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, and back to put the single-engine jet to the test on a real-world trip. We had an inkling that the Garmin Perspective Touch avionics system would offer great tools for Vision pilots, but a welcome surprise was just how comfortable — and big — the cabin of this admittedly small jet is. There's ample room for seven people and bags, plenty of headroom and large windows that let in lots of natural light.

The Vision Jet isn’t quite the performer of pricier turboprops and light jets, but it more than held its own as we cruised at 300 ktas at FL 280 burning 65 gallons of jet-A per hour on our flights up and down the East Coast. Offload some fuel and the Vision can carry a decent payload while still offering impressive range figures. The Vision’s trailing-link landing gear allows for buttery smooth landings, and the smart use of technology makes the pilot’s job a cinch, even during busier times.

To read our full flight report, be sure to pick up the July issue of Flying.