With more than 100 delivered, the Cirrus Vision Jet is proving popular with private flyers, but it has been a long road to success for the world’s first personal jet, as Rod Simpson describes.
Cirrus Design, founded by Alan and Dale Klapmeier in 1984, has challenged the established light aircraft manufacturers such as Cessna, Beechcraft and Piper and, to date, has sold more than 7,000 of its SR20 and SR22 four-seat piston-engined lightplanes. In 2018 it was the clear market leader in this category, handing over 380 aircraft to new customers. The original SR20 first flew in March 1995 and it broke new ground with its all-composite construction and its Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). Since the first SR20 was delivered in the autumn of 1999 it has been developed into a succession of improved models with the 310hp (231kW) SR22 leading the range and now into its sixth generation.