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These new 5 to 6 seat aircraft will be capable of speeds above 380 knots and certified for altitudes in excess of FL410. Further, they are expected to sell for significantly less than competing business jets and are expected to have lower direct operating costs.

Potential hazard

  1. Wake turbulence upset of lighter aircraft when co-mingled with heavier, faster jets
  2. Explosive decompression at cruise altitudes
  3. Dramatic traffic growth if VLJs materialize in significant numbers.

Corroborating sources and comments

FAA Cuts VLJ Forecast, Sees Growth In 2010, Kerry Lynch, Aviation Week, Apr 6, 2009

Contrary viewpoint: As of February 2013, Cirrus Aircraft is on a hiring spree as the development of its Vision Jet moves into high gear toward the targeted 2015 delivery date. About 50 people have been hired in Duluth in the past six months to fine-tune the new light personal jet, Cirrus spokesman Todd Simmons said. Most hired are engineers, technicians and designers.

That brings the number of Cirrus employees in Duluth and Grand Forks, N.D., up to about 570, with nearly 500 in Duluth – including virtually all of the jet program positions, Simmons said. This is a major difference from a year ago, when the Vision Jet program had slowed for lack of capital after several years of development. But when new owners China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. invested nearly $100 million to bring the new light jet to market, that put the program back on track.

Orders for the Vision Jet are up to 525, the vast majority getting in before the price tag rose from $1.72 million to $1.96 million on July 1, 2012.

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