Cirrus Vision
Flying|July 2017

We Put The World’s First Single Engine Personal Jet To The Test On A Memorable Real - World Trip

Stephen Pope

There’s a great scene in the classic John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day off in which Ferris (Matthew Broderick), having “borrowed” his friend Cameron’s father’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California for a day of top-down reverie in and around Chicago, turns to the camera and asks, “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?” After a beat: “Neither would I.”

My time in the Vision Jet was kind of like that. You see, several months ago the marketing folks at Cirrus suggested I appraise the airplane in a way I might if I actually owned it. Take it on a trip, they suggested. Keep it for a couple of days, they said. Bring the wife along.

Really? I’ve flown some cool airplanes to interesting locales, but I can’t recall anyone ever tossing me the keys to a newly certified jet and saying, “Have fun.” But if they were game, that’s exactly what I planned to do.

I piqued my wife Kate’s interest in the possibilities that awaited us with the inducement of a trip aboard a “private jet.” People in the aviation industry avoid that term, but I don’t see why. Customers love their private jets, and they’re the ones writing the checks, after all. Rarely does anyone outside of aviation use the more staid term “business jet.” And anyway, the Vision is no garden-variety bizjet. Cirrus calls it the world’s first single-engine “personal jet.” After flying the SF50 for two blissful days in early May, I agree wholeheartedly — personal is the perfect description for this category-busting little jet.

I suggested to Kate that we head south to warmer latitudes, and we quickly settled on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, a place neither of us had visited. Charleston Executive Airport (KJZI), an uncontrolled field on Johns Island between Kiawah and the city of Charleston, has sufficiently long runways and a great little FBO with rental cars. It would be an easy two-hour flight from our home field of Morristown Municipal Airport (KMMU) in New Jersey down the East Coast to South Carolina for what I promised her would be the most epic “date night” we’d probably ever experience.

Kate has flown many times in light general aviation airplanes, but never in anything with an air stair door. When I showed her a photo of what she’d be whisked away in, hoping to fan the flames of anticipation, she furrowed her eyebrows. “That puny thing?” she said. “Yikes.” Yes, the Vision is an unusual-looking airplane, and as far as jets go it’s, shall we say, diminutive. In fact, the first time I saw an artist’s rendering of one several years ago I thought it was ugly. The V tail with the turbofan engine sitting atop the fuselage was just so weird. But slowly my attitude softened. By the time I had the chance to see a Vision Jet up close, I marveled at the smart use of the interior space and the gorgeous Perspective Touch flight deck up front. If we’re being honest, there’s really only one way to describe the Vision Jet: It’s just so undeniably cool.

Kate and I met up with Matt Bergwall, Cirrus Vision program manager, at KMMU for our introduction to the airplane that would be taking us to the land of championship golf courses, tidal creeks and puff mud — the slippery, shiny brown-gray sucky sludge on the banks of the Low country salt marshes that smells horrid but is supposedly good for your skin. Matt would fly in the right seat and serve as my guide to the Vision’s many capabilities.

After a walk-around, we loaded our bags into the unpressurized aft cargo hold and climbed aboard. A personal jet doesn’t need to be big, but the Vision is surprisingly spacious where it counts — on the inside, with huge cabin windows that let in lots of natural light and give it the feeling of a much larger airplane. Kate settled into the comfortable-looking leather seat that beckoned to her from the entryway, stretched out her legs and said, “Wow, this is nice. Plenty of room back here.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

BEHOLD THE COVID BUYING BOOM

HOW THE PANDEMIC HOUSING MARKET BECAME THE UNEXPECTED WINNER OF 2020

10+ mins read
Baltimore magazine
April 2021

JC Deep Dive: The new coaching staff

Bringing Shanahan magic to Florham Park

10+ mins read
NY Jets Confidential
March 2021

William & Kate: BABY #4?

A royal full house!

1 min read
Star
March 01, 2021

Beige Ambition

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen grew up to make New York’s most desirable clothes. But can even perfection survive the pandemic?

10+ mins read
New York magazine
March 1-14, 2021

Shoots from the hip

Robby Anderson said he wasn't “genuinely happy ” with the Jets at times

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

What great culture looks like

Throughout the process of the Jets looking for a new coach, a buzzword we heard quite a bit was “culture.”

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

RUSHING TO JUDGMENT

The Jets’ edge rush did flash at times in 2020, led by players such as Tarell Basham and Bryce Huff, but clearly the Jets are still looking for a dominating pass rusher for whom other teams need to game plan.

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

Saleh brings ‘all gas, no brake' mentality

The following are some highlights from Robert Saleh’s press conference, Jan. 21, when he was introduced as the 20th head coach in Jets history:

7 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

JC Deep Dive: Why Jets said, ‘No Tank You'

Those who frequent social media are likely aware that some Jets fans were livid at the team for beating the Los Angeles Rams, Dec. 10, greatly hurting their chances at landing the first pick in the draft, which likely will be Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.

10 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

Herndon makes comeback

There is an old saying in Hollywood: “You’re not anybody until you make a comeback.”

7 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021