It had a painfully slow start, but the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet is, at last, climbing away into the blue yonder of production in serious numbers.

Cirrus Aircraft is displaying itself in the static park at Orlando Executive Airport, leaving only a mockup to represent its V-tailed, pick-a-back Williams FJ33-powered monojet in the convention hall. The little machine accommodates five adults and two children, and gained its FAA Part 23 ticket almost exactly two years ago, on Oct. 28, 2016.

Three were delivered later that year, starting with N1WA to Joe Whisenhunt of Arkansas, followed by 22 in 2017 and 25 in the first six months of this year. In other words: exactly 50 up to late June. Not quite up to the two per week targeted for the third quarter of 2018, but evidence of a steady buildup since Cirrus gained its production certificate for the SF50 on May 1, 2017.

It cannot have hindered this progress that on April 4, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced it was awarding the Vision Jet the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy for developing “the world’s first single-engine personal jet” and implementing the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) on the aircraft. 

There were nine nominees in the fly-off, including heavyweights such as the Edwards Air Force Base F-35 Integrated Test Force, Boeing 737 MAX, and NASA/JPL Cassini Project Team.

Cirrus is still, perhaps, better known for the SR20/SR22 series of piston-powered aircraft – but that might be changing soon.