Cirrus Design is proudly showcasing its personal jet – The Jet – to prospective users at Asian Aerospace in the halls, while on the static display it is displaying its trend-setting SR22 single-engined piston aircraft.
Cirrus managing director John Bingham believes the Asia Pacific region is a good developing market and he is looking to bring into the region a range of aircraft, from Cirrus’ basic trainer to its top-of-the-range personal jet.
“The Jet is the next step for our owners,” says Bingham. “The transition from an SR22 Turbo to the Jet will be uncomplicated. The Jet will operate at similar altitudes, and of course it has the parachute that has become synonymous with our brand. We focus on safety, but we still like to have fun.”
Cirrus owners have had so much faith in the company’s design ability that 200 deposits were placed before any actual design concepts had been made public. The order tally now stands at more than 300. Bingham says: “Following the unveiling on June 28, not a single deposit holder has been lost and interest has increased dramatically.”
He adds: “We won’t announce anything about the design until it is firm. In recent years, manufacturers have announced one design feature, only to change it again. When we say it will be powered by a Williams FJ33 we mean it will be powered by an FJ33.”
Although Cirrus is very tight-lipped about the overall timeline and first flight, Bingham says the company is on time with its planned programme for certification and delivery. At the show interest has been high, and Cirrus expects to add to the already impressive tally of orders.
“The Jet is well suited for southeast Asia and we’ve seen interest from entrepreneurial business men and potentially for the small air taxi market. We live, breathe and understand the region,” explains Bingham. Cirrus is now very much focused on improving its footing in the international market – in 2002 only 4% of the 267 aircraft it built went to international owners while last year that figure rose to 26% of 760 aircraft.