N280CJ Sees Light Under ALL Its Wheels
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 07.03.08 1130 EDT: The
moment workers at a certain airplane manufacturer in Duluth, MN --
and dozens of prospective owners -- have been waiting for has
arrived. Moments ago, Cirrus Design's "The-Jet" prototype touched
down back at its home at DLH, completing its first successful test
Aero-News had exclusive access during taxi trials for "The-Jet"
over the past three days (including one earlier ground run where we
SWEAR we saw a glimpse of light under ALL its wheels, not just its
nosegear) and was the ONLY aviation news organization present as
N280CJ lifted into the clear Northern Minnesota skies at 0945
NOTE: Our readers were kept in the loop, too... keeping
tabs on "The-Jet's" progress via ANN's brand NEW Aero-Twitter
feature, located on the left side of the homepage. This new
features allows ANN to post REAL-TIME updates on ANY Breaking News
Following what appears to have been an uneventful 45-minute test
circuit, "The-Jet" flew a single pass over the runway at DLH,
accompanied by Cirrus' L-39 chase plane. Both jets then came around
the pattern for landing.
"The-Jet serves as a smarter, simpler and more efficient way to
use transportation dollars," said Cirrus Chairman and CEO Alan
Klapmeier. "Today’s first flight of The-Jet holds the unique
promise of redefining general aviation. It provides an entirely new
transportation option for personal and business travel."
First unveiled in mock-up form just over a year ago, "The-Jet"
sports a v-tail empennage arrangement, to make room for the single
FJ33 Williams turbofan carried atop the raked fuselage in a
smoothly integrated fairing.
The lines of the fuselage carry forward to a bulbous roofline
over the cockpit, which offers seating for a pilot and four adult
passengers -- one in the right seat, and three behind.Seating is
configurable for as many as seven passengers, including smaller
seats for children, in a configuration Cirrus calls "five-plus." As
with all Cirrus production aircraft, the plane also sports a
Advanced Development Group Vice President Steve Serfling
praised the organization for its efforts and the milestone
"This 'first flight' is a historically significant moment for
Cirrus and the opening of a new chapter for all of aviation," he
said. "Our customer partners can be proud of the team of more than
125 dedicated engineers and technicians that have worked tirelessly
to ensure that this milestone was met in a safe and efficient
manner. With this successful flight today, we initiate the next
program phase that will support the more rigorous certification
Billed proudly by Cirrus as the "slowest, lowest, and cheapest
jet available," "The-Jet" is expected to fly at close to 300 knots
ANN will continuously post new images of "The-Jet"s' first
flight, as well as other updated information. Stay tuned.