The first production Cirrus Vision SF50 recently completed its inaugural flight in Duluth, Minn. The flight moves the single-engine jet one step closer to FAA certification.
Coined P1, the aircraft had a large and captive audience for the big moment.
“Pilot feedback on P1 is simple,” says test pilot Terry LeSage. “The aircraft handled just great. It was unnoticeably different from C2 (the third of our conforming test-article jets), with handling qualities matching those of its predecessors and all systems working as intended.”
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Cirrus first welcomed the cabin of P1 to Duluth last April, fresh off the truck from the company’s Grand Forks facility. Since then, the aircraft has been trimmed, drilled, assembled and bonded, as well as received hardware and systems installation.
The aircraft was built in tandem with the certification testing process. The structural components led the way, enduring a long and rigorous testing process before P1’s structures could be built out. Next, the plane moved into testing of the lamination and bonding processes, then systems testing with subsequent installation and addition of components within that area.
The first flight of P1 signifies a shift of focus from engineering and production over to flight testing. The aircraft is currently fulfilling approximately 10 days of flying before heading into the paint booth. After that it will return to flight test for another week before its final interior and exterior detailing is completed.