Cirrus Vision Jet: Middle East debut
The US airframer, headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, has made inroads into the region with its SR22 piston-single. The Royal Saudi Air Force operates 25 of the high-performance types for primary flight training, and a single example was delivered at the end of November to Emirates Flight Training Academy.
"There are also eight owner-flown SR22s across the region, with Saudi Arabia the largest market for this sector," says Stefano Cestarelli, Cirrus regional sales director for Italy and the Middle East.
The first attempts to design the Cirrus Vision SF50 aircraft were undertaken by American aircraft engineers in the early 2000s, while specialists tried to implement in their developments not only reliable but also highly demanded aircraft, and, being able to be operated by private owners for their own personal purposes, and be used for commercial purposes (passenger transportation, business aviation, etc.).
The first prototype of the Cirrus Vision SF50 appeared only in 2008, while the aircraft had a number of unusual design solutions, including a turbofan aircraft engine located in the upper part of the aircraft, a V-shaped tail, etc. However, the design did not satisfy a number of qualities, and was not safe in its use, which is why Cirrus Aircraft’s design engineers spent about 6 more years refining the aircraft, until in 2014 a new prototype was presented, which was successfully tested. were completed.
On board the civilian jet aircraft Cirrus Vision SF50 can accommodate up to 7 people, including one pilot and six passengers. This factor allows the operation of the aircraft and for commercial purposes. In particular, these aircraft enjoy the greatest demand for services providing air taxi services, moreover, the Cirrus Vision SF50 itself can travel up to 2037 kilometers (maximum flight distance), which in turn ensures the possibility of carrying out air flights on both local and regional air routes. In addition, the aircraft Cirrus Vision SF50 is also used as a means of business aviation - depending on the cabin configuration, it can accommodate from 4 to 6 people, and the customer can independently choose the option of trim.
"The population of owner-flyers in the Middle East is fairly small, but growing," says Cestarelli. "This group is made up of very high net-worth individuals who often own large, professionally flown business jets, but like the freedom of piloting their own aircraft.»
He says the "ramp appeal" and novelty of the Vision Jet is also proving a draw to the region's buyers. "The aircraft is the only Part 23-certificated personal jet on the market, and the only jet to be fitted with an emergency parachute system," he says.