1:02 PM

The Cirrus 'the-jet'
Name is Toast

I've always had zero doubt that Team Cirrus would axe the 'the-jet' moniker for their super-groovy new single-engine jet. It always felt like a "working" title anyway, and like Cirrus fans across the country, we all held out hope that they would come up with the perfect name for what will surely be a very popular model.

And this week, AOPA's Dave Hirschman reports that our wishes have been granted:

"Long known simply as “the-jet,” Cirrus Design’s new plane has a name—and a model number. The single-engine, V-tail plane will be known as the SJ-50 Vision. “We had to come up with something that fit the idea, image, and dream,” said Alan Klapmeier, Cirrus CEO and cofounder. He was speaking Wednesday at an event for Vision buyers at the company’s annual homecoming in Duluth, Minn."
Hirschman reports that Klapmeier and Co. put quite a bit of thought into this decision, and tried as hard as they could to avoid some obvious pitfalls:
"Klapmeier said Cirrus consulted Latin, Greek, and English dictionaries in search of meaningful words that started with V to highlight the distinctive shape of their airplane’s tail. Company officials considered “Vector” and “Victor” but decided there was too much potential for confusion on busy radio frequencies (and potential ribbing from movie buffs who remember Airplane!)."
The Vision is a five-seat (seven if you count the two fold-down "stowaway" seats) plane that has design targets of a 300 knot cruising speed in the neighborhood of FL250, and it must be able to carry those five souls more than 1,000 miles while stalling in the very low 60s on arrival at the end of that trip.

This beautiful ship has just begun flight testing, and there seems to be a massive amount of rumors floating that the Vision may or may not fly into this summer's EAA Airventure in Oshkosh 28 July to 3 August, 2008. I'm throwing my money that yes, it will be there, since it is indeed has flown multiple test flights and Cirrus will want to capitalize on the huge buzz factor surrounding their newest, sexiest model. To miss Oshkosh would mean Cirrus would miss a wonderful opportunity to pull down even more than the reported 400 deposits already in the books. And the fact that they just happen to be flight-testing it right before the biggest air show on the planet ought to tell us all to expect an appearance of the SJ-50 in Wisconsin.

I want to go on the record as being very, very happy with the Vision name. Back in the late 80s/early 90s, we owned an art gallery and custom picture framing shop called...Visions Gallery. It was located out of the way in a tiny little conservative town called Reedley, outside Fresno, CA. It was the kind of place that had their entire world as they knew it destroyed (or so they thought) the day Bill Clinton – a gosh-derned Dem-oh-crat, they'd say – got elected President. With so many bummed out GOP farmers thinking the world was indeed coming to its end, they all stopped buying original art from us, and we eventually moved on to Oregon and entered the ad agency business.

Congratulations, Cirrus on a great, great choice! Now I can stop banging on you guys about the the-jet name of what used to be the the-jet but now is the SJ-50 Vision. Man-oh-man, that just rolls out of the mouth with ease, doesn't it...the Cirrus Vision. It really exemplifies what Cirrus is all about...having the vision to push forward with a gutsy brand of innovation that has propelled them to the top levels of their sector.

I want a Vision. But then again, what aviator who now drives pistons doesn't?

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