Vision Jet flight test – behind the scenes

It all starts here, in Knoxville Tennessee…
… and this is the reason we’re here…
…to fly, to photograph, to write. The new SF50 Vision Jet from Cirrus Aircraft
The view at 28,000ft is great for passengers, thanks to large windows…
… and more spectacular up front amongst amazing cloudscapes

 

There’s some pretty active weather, but XM weather and radar are good strategy tools
One of our stops… KDBQ, or Dubuque Regional Airport
It’s quiet here, but taxying in, we still hear “Beautiful Cirrus Jet!” on the radio…
At 28,000ft, the weather still likes to show that it’s boss…
As we approach Duluth, the last stop for the day, Lake Superior has made plenty of fog…
So it’s an instrument approach…
Welcome to wet, cold, Duluth. Home of Cirrus HQ
Luckily it’s a lot nicer the next morning
You won’t find this window on the SR-series options list…
… which is a shame, as it’s handy for taking pictures
Minnesota is large and flat, and usually very white and very cold
… but today the trees and lakes look great
Back at the factory, it’s tour time. Basic carbon fibre fuselages make their start down the line…
… as well as wings
Bake on a medium heat until done…
Some parts aren’t carbon, but aluminium, like these control surfaces
Once these fuselages turn the corner…
… they are mated to a wing
… and paint, and an engine, and eventually a customer
The cabin really is big…
… and a good place to snooze, errr, we mean rest!
Covering some ground…
Another stop, Rochelle, Illinois. Jet icon flies down the approach plate
Big trains, sprawling little towns… must be America
Vision Jet arrival never fails to draw people out to have a look
Wing decor in the airport restaurant…
Stay there, and it will be blow-dry…
Some ugly clouds with tops at 40,000ft, but luckily there’s ways through…
… eventually back to Knoxville
… and one last approach
Close the door and walk away… Read the full test in the August issue of FLYER
On sale 13 July!

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