abc
QUICK LINKS:

Cirrus Jet Soars in First Test Flight

Updated: 03/25/2014 10:09 PM
Created: 03/25/2014 9:33 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Cirrus Aircraft is pushing the throttle with their new jet named the Vision. After years of development the plane took it's first test flight on Monday.

Cirrus has been an aviation leader since creating a plane with carbon fiber instead of aluminum, but those have all been propeller planes. The Vision will add a jet to the company's fleet.

Test Pilot Mike Steven is excited about the milestone.

“It turns out it's a lot easier to fly than the prop airplanes, which are already fairly easy to fly. It's smooth, it's quiet, it's a jet, it's cool,” Stevens said.

He says the Vision will be unique in the personal aircraft industry.

“You can fly higher, you can fly faster, you can fly farther and carry more stuff,” Steven said.

He said the first flight was smooth, but the single hour of fly-time took years of work and dedication from engineers like Paul Brey, Senior Vice President of Product Development for Cirrus.

“There's people here that have a decade of their life tied up in this. A plane doesn't happen quickly. I doesn't happen overnight, especially a good one, and this is going to be a good one,” Brey said.

He leads the team developing the Vision, and he is proud Cirrus could bring more jobs to Duluth with the project.

“When the economy went bad in 2008 we slimmed down to actually about 14 people on the project, and now we've staffed up to about 250,” Brey said.

Hundreds more work at Cirrus on the company's other models, but every employee was able to sign the wing of the Vision test plane. CEO Dale Klapmeier said they will take pride in the accomplishment, but he also wants to thank Duluth for supporting aviation.

“That goes to the whole community. Everybody in this community should be proud of what's being accomplished from this community, and from the people here. That's who's getting this airplane in the air,” Klapmeier said.

He said the Vision should be ready for customers late next year, but Cirrus will have to build two more test planes for Federal Aviation Administration testing.

Duluth history will remember the first personal jet took off from Duluth International Airport, and the Vision will keep aviation soaring here in the Northland.

“Duluth is an aviation hub in this country, and I think we'll always be that,” Klapmeier said.

The list price for the Vision is nearly $2 million, and Cirrus leaders say over 500 customers have already reserved one.

Front Page

  • Missing Employee Found at Soudan Underground Mine State Park

    Authorities have located 76-year-old Adrienne De Vries at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. De Vries is an employee of the park, and lost her way when walking down a trail. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department says she was transported to Ely Hospital to get checked as a precautionary.

  • Sky High: Northlanders Blast Off on New Flyboard

    Here in the Northland, we're used to lakes, but a new toy is changing how we enjoy the water. The flyboard is making its Twin Ports debut. It's a water jet pack on a board that is hooked up to a jet ski. The water launches you up to 55 feet in the air.

  • One Killed in Douglas County Two-Vehicle Crash

    A two-vehicle collision in Douglas County turned fatal Wednesday afternoon. Law enforcement on the scene confirmed with Eyewitness News that at least one person was killed.

  • Democrats Vying for Wisconsin's 25th Senate District Talk Mining

    Mining is a top issue in northern Wisconsin's legislative races, and a formal debate Wednesday night was no exception. Three democrats vying for the 25th Senate District seat explained their views during a public debate at the Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland.

  • Scannell Testifies in His Own Criminal Sexual Misconduct Trial

    Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell took the witness stand today for what was an emotional testimony from the man charged with two accounts of 4th degree criminal sexual misconduct for a relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year old girl in August 2012. 

 
Advertisement