Cirrus' first-ever jet plane rolls off the line in Duluth

The plane is a decade in the making.
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It's been 10 years in the making, and on Monday the first of Cirrus' new jet aircraft rolled off the production line and into the hands of its new owner.

The Duluth-based plane-maker has spent a decade designing, developing and getting federal approval for its new single-engine Vision SF50 jet, which costs Arkansas-based buyer Joe Whisenhunt just under $2 million.

A lavish opening ceremony was held at its recently expanded finishing center, and was attended by among others Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Rick Nolan and Duluth Mayor Emily Larsen, Cirrus posted on Facebook.

According to FlyingMag, it's the first single-engine "personal jet" to be made, and its described as being an "easy step-up" for those who fly Cirrus' propeller plane, the SR22.

The Duluth News Tribune reports Whisenhunt's plane is the first of what will eventually be around 600 or so new planes that will roll off the line in the next two years, based on the number of customers who have put down $100,000 deposits.

The name "Vision" is an apt one too, with the newspaper noting the seven-seater jet has been on the minds of Cirrus' founders since the company was created more than three decades ago.

The Star Tribune reports it's had a rocky road to completion, with the company braving a recession, layoffs and its sale to Chinese interests in 2011.

The newspaper says the new jet will be built in Cirrus' new 68,000-square-foot finishing center, with its older plant next door continuing to make its SR propeller planes.

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