2:05 PM

Is Cirrus Dropping
the the-jet Name?

I want to be clear that I'm a HUGE fan of the Cirrus single-engine jet, a beautiful work of aviation art that is about to take off towards more record sales for the Duluth, MN-based airframe giant. I'd love to see Team Cirrus sell thousands of their jet, and further cement their position at the top of the GA food chain.

But as I have said before, the current name of the the-jet just doesn't roll out of your mouth with ease. Yes it is a great concept, and yes, it will be a successful model for Cirrus, but I've always been in the growing camp of aviators who feel that the brass at Cirrus should re-think that name.

Well it turns out that this article on Aviation International News's site might offer a clue to a possible name change:

"Cirrus Design rolled out its single-engine jet prototype on Thursday, almost a year to the day after it unveiled a cabin mock-up to customers and the press. The company has started engine and ground runs on the airplane in anticipation of first flight, which could be conducted as early as this month. Dubbed “V1” by Cirrus, the prototype (N280CJ) is registered to “Cirrus Jet Co.,” according to FAA records. While the aircraft manufacturer refers to the model as “the-jet,” the FAA registry identifies it as the SJX, which would be in line with the naming convention for Cirrus’ SR20 and SR22 pistons (“S” stands for “single” and “R” stands for “reciprocating engine”). Logically, the “J” in the model name stands for “jet,” but Cirrus won’t comment on whether the “X” will stay or be replaced later by a model number. Although a final name and price have yet to be set for the personal jet, Cirrus claims it has orders for more than 460 of the airplanes, each backed by refundable $100,000 deposits. Certification of the Cirrus jet is scheduled for late 2010."
So maybe the "the-jet" will be dropped after all, replaced with "SJX" instead as the model's name. That would be a very good move by Cirrus, a company who makes few if any major mistakes. By calling their new jet a "Cirrus SJX" instead of a "Cirrus the-jet", it will allow dreamers who want one to more easily speak of that wonderful design with affection. Here is a couple of samples of what future hangar discussions might be like, and you make the call:
Pilot #1: "Hey Jim, I'm selling my Bonanza and finally getting a turbine."
Pilot #2: "Way to go! What jet are you thinking about?"
Pilot #1: "I've decided on the Cirrus the-jet."
Pilot #2: "Great choice, so you like the jet from Cirrus?"
Pilot #1: "No, it's not the jet from Cirrus, it's the the-jet from Cirrus."
Pilot #2: "Isn't that what I said...the jet from Cirrus?"
Pilot #1: "You aren't getting it. The jet from Cirrus is the the-jet, not the jet, the the-jet. Oh, never mind."
Or this:
Pilot #1: "Hey Jim, I'm selling my Bonanza and finally getting a turbine."
Pilot #2: "Way to go! What jet are you thinking about?"
Pilot #1: "I've decided on the Cirrus SJX."
Pilot #2: "So you like the SJX?"
Pilot #1: "You bet! I've always wanted an SJX, even back when Cirrus was calling their jet the the-jet."
See what I mean? And before anyone at Cirrus thinks about flaming me with emails, I am really supporting this project – trust me on that – and I vow to continue supporting it no matter what model name the the-jet/SJX/whatever flies with. Having said that, I really, REALLY hope AIN is right on with this news. Because in a sector that already has a HondaJet and a PiperJet, if Cirrus wants to assure market sales superiority, introducing a CirrusJet or Cirrus SJX sure stacks up better against the competition then the current working name for the project.

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