Cirrus personal jet soars in successful test flight


When's your birthday? Cirrus-based Duluth took a step forward in getting the ultimate gift to market on Monday with the inaugural test flight for its Vision SF-50 light jet. The list price for the Vision is nearly $2 million, and Cirrus reports that 550 customers have already spent $100,000 to reserve one.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that the first version of the jet flew for the first time as Cirrus employees gathered outside the Duluth headquarters to watch it soar. The company's development of the Vision jet was stalled by the recession in 2008.

“It was like the birth of a baby,” said Todd Simmons, the company’s executive vice president of marketing and sales.

The successful test flight kicks off the beginning of an 18-month Federal Aviation Administration certification process. Flight performance and systems testing will continue, including testing the jet’s specially-designed airframe parachute system, a signature feature on Cirrus planes.

Cirrus is on track for delivery of its first jet in late 2015. MPR News explained that the Vision is a luxury personal jet intended to fill the gap between high-performance propeller planes and light business jets. The high performance single engine plane seats five adults and includes room for two children. It will fly at 345 mph and cruise up to 1,200 miles between stops.

WDIO quoted the company's chief test pilot, who noted that the single hour of fly-time followed years of work.

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

Cirrus is the world leader in its category of small, single-engine piston planes. Production of the plane begins in Grand Forks, North Dakota, with final assembly in Duluth, where Cirrus employs about 600. About 200 employees work on the jet program, and the company has some 60 job openings for designers, engineers and others.

Next Up


DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.


Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Man, 21, in custody after Albert Lea police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.