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Cirrus gives its jet an identity

Cirrus gives its jet an identity

Long known simply as “the-jet,” Cirrus Design’s new plane has a name—and a model number. The single-engine, V-tail plane will be known as the SJ-50 Vision.

“We had to come up with something that fit the idea, image, and dream,” said Alan Klapmeier, Cirrus CEO and cofounder. He was speaking Wednesday at an event for Vision buyers at the company’s annual homecoming in Duluth, Minn. “The name gives it an identity we’d like you to be proud of.”

The SR in the company’s first two planes—the SR20 and SR22—stands for “single-engine reciprocating,” Klapmeier said. So SJ continues the same logic with “single-engine jet.”

Klapmeier said Cirrus consulted Latin, Greek, and English dictionaries in search of meaningful words that started with V to highlight the distinctive shape of their airplane’s tail. Company officials considered “Vector” and “Victor” but decided there was too much potential for confusion on busy radio frequencies (and potential ribbing from movie buffs who remember Airplane!).

The Vision first flew a week ago and has made a total of three flights so far. It has retracted its gear in flight and climbed to 10,000 feet.

Cirrus set a design goal for the five-seat plane of cruising at 300 knots or more at 25,000 feet with a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles and a stall speed no greater than 61 kt. So far, Cirrus officials have been tight-lipped about the plane’s performance. They won’t say much other than that they are pleased with initial results.

Klapmeier said Cirrus hasn’t set a firm price for the Vision or estimated a certification date. About 130 Cirrus employees are assigned to the project—and they worked around the clock to get the prototype airborne this month.

“It’s more than a job,” Klapmeier quipped. “It’s a (jail) sentence.”

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