DULUTH, Minnesota – Cirrus Design Corporation announced that the most highly-anticipated aircraft in the company’s history, currently called ‘The-Jet’, made its first flight at approximately 10 AM CDT today, July 3, 2008. The 45-minute flight was conducted from company worldwide headquarters at the Duluth International Airport, Duluth, MN, and the aircraft performed flawlessly.

The-Jet is an all new personal aircraft that blends the best of both the high performance single-engine class and the very light jet (VLJ) category. Unsurpassed interior space, single engine fuel efficiency, flexible seating options for a family of up to seven, state-of-the-art advanced avionics and flight systems and the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) are each hallmarks of the new design.

“The-Jet serves as a smarter, simpler and more efficient way to use transportation dollars,” said Cirrus chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier. “Today’s first flight of The-Jet holds the unique promise of redefining general aviation. It provides an entirely new transportation option for personal and business travel.”

Klapmeier added, “The-Jet offers owner-pilots access to more lifestyle pursuits than any other personal aircraft to date. Just as important, it does so without conflicting with airline operations. The-Jet cruises below airline flight levels and offers easy and convenient access to thousands of local airports not served by airline operations.”

Advanced Development Group Vice President Steve Serfling praised the organization for its efforts and the milestone achievement. “This ‘first flight’ is a historically significant moment for Cirrus and the opening of a new chapter for all of aviation. Our customer partners can be proud of the team of more than 125 dedicated engineers and technicians that have worked tirelessly to ensure that this milestone was met in a safe and efficient manner. With this successful flight today, we initiate the next program phase that will support the more rigorous certification program.”

The-Jet is technologically advanced and at the same time designed and engineered to be simple to fly, just like the company’s best-selling SR20 and SR22 piston aircraft. The SR22 is the ideal aircraft to own and operate today to be best prepared to transition to The-Jet ownership and operation tomorrow.

With optimized cockpit technology for ease of use by a single pilot, the most flexible interior of any general aviation aircraft available and proven state-of-the-art safety systems as standard equipment, The-Jet’s value and capability are unrivaled.