Cirrus Jet

This June, after a great deal of whispering and hinting, Cirrus Design unveiled “The Jet” as their latest aircraft design. Cirrus describes it as an entry into a market of personal jets that lies between high-performance singles and very light jets (VLJs). They boast a 300 knot cruising speed, a glass pannel, an unusually roomy cabin, and safety features including a ballistic recovery parachute.

As the company that went from experimental kits to leading sales of production piston singles in a very short time, Cirrus certainly has to capability make the idea of personal jets a market reality. Insurance costs and pilot training have concerned the VLJ market from the beginning, but most companies have been proactive about arranging programs with insurance companies early in the design process. Perhaps insurance companies will favor personal jets as a step-up or step-across from single engine turboprops and as a trainer for VLJs.

Thomas Haines wrote an article for AOPA (sorry, members only link) in which he mentioned that v-tail aircraft, such as the Beechcraft Bonanza, have a history of annoying instability issues. Eclipse Aviation also recently presented a prototype/market test aircraft for a v-tailed personal jet. It remains to be seen if and how these companies will overcome this issue. The Diamond D-Jet has a conventional tail, but is commonly being included as a member of this class.

Cirrus has a website dedicated specifically to The Jet, and the EAA website has an article about it, including some good pictures.