The Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet was on display at the Paris Air Show, but any avgeek knows, this is not just any airplane. At a cost of $2 million, it is both the smallest and most affordable private jet in the entire world. Additionally, it’s the only private jet built completely from carbon fiber, the only jet with a whole-plane emergency parachute and the only single-engine private jet available (making it even more affordable to operate).
This wasn’t the first time European aviation enthusiasts got a glance at the gorgeous little aircraft, though. The SF50 also appeared in May at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition. Overall, the aircraft has been a long time coming, with more than a decade of development behind it. It just recently began deliveries (in December, among much fanfare), to a few of the hundreds of customers lined up.
Beyond the price and size, what can you expect?
Well, there’s space for five to seven adults, along with their luggage, and the aircraft is capable of flying up to 1,150 miles at an altitude of 28,000 feet, at a speed of 345 miles per hour. In other words, you can fly many domestic routes with ease, and in the same timeframe you’d experience with a major airline.
It’s also built with pilot owners in mind: “This is the first turbine airplane that’s aimed at the owner-flown market. It is truly by design a personal transportation machine,” said Cirrus chief engineer, Dave Rathbun. Along with this vision, there are lots of perks set up for the individual doing the actual flying, including a roomy cockpit that looks more like the front seat of a luxury car than anything else. Huge windows are present throughout the plane, making it feel even more spacious.
Will the aircraft “change the industry—change how we think about travel,” as co-founder and CEO of Cirrus Dale Klapmeier boasted last year? It’s hard to say. Definitely affordable for the affluent frequent flyer, traveler and private pilots alike, it certainly broadens the market for private aircraft in a way that’s never been done before.