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The world's first single-engine private jet, the Cirrius Vision Jet.
For the full story behind the plane and this tour around it and above Los Angeles, check out Taking flight in the world's first single-jet civil aircraft, the Cirrus Vision Jet.
Inside the nose cone is the radar; behind it, the CAPS, or Cirrus Airframe Parachute System.
The "trunk." Whatever luggage you don't want or need inside can go back here. The smaller hatch is to connect to airport power, so you don't have to run the engine for air conditioning and so on.
The air intake for the single Williams International FJ33-5A turbofan is on top of the fuselage.
The business end of the FJ33-5A, out of which comes approximately 1,800 pounds of thrust.
The distinctive v-tail.
The large ruddervators on top are controlled by the pilot. The small ones on the bottom are controlled by a computer to smooth out the flight.
Excitedly, I headed on board.
The Vision Jet can hold about 2,400 pounds of fuel and cargo (the latter, including you).
The oversize windows create an airy cabin. USB plugs allow for charging your device, which is helpful, given how many pictures you'll be taking.
All the seats in the Vision Jet are window or aisle.
The Vision Jet was designed to be flown by a single pilot, who can sit on either side.
Waiting in line to take off from the Santa Monica airport.
Looking north towards Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and the Santa Monica mountains.
Feet wet. On the left is the famous Santa Monica pier.
The sprawling San Fernando Valley, looking north.
The 38.7-foot wingspan is only slightly wider than the Vision Jet is long.
We stayed around 7,000 feet for our short flight. The Vision Jet can fly as high as 28,000 feet.
A gentle bank with a view out of the incredibly expansive windshield.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Brace yourself; I have no idea what I'm doing."
Turns out the red button on the side-stick doesn't fire missiles or lasers. Lame.
The "Perspective Touch" glass cockpit is from Garmin, and is highly customizable.
With just a few taps, the pilot can bring up any info he wants, from navigation to onboard diagnostics.
Set a course and pink boxes appear, just like a video game. I expertly lined us up before the real pilot engaged the autopilot.
Being a pressurized aircraft that can fly at up to 28,000 feet (FL280).
After finishing my stint at the stick, I stepped outside to take some photos. LOL.
The Burbank airport. Odd seeing it from this height and angle.
The mountains surrounding the Valley seem a lot smaller from up here.
Downtown LA, surrounded by miles and miles of metropolis.
The skyscraper nearest the bottom of the photo is Fox Plaza, aka "Nakatomi Plaza."
The Santa Monica airport is in the distance, putting us somewhere over Century City.
The highly trafficked I-405/I-10 interchange in west LA.
Just over the treetops. With flaps down, stall speed is around 77 mph.
Yeah, I didn't take this photo. It's a lovely shot, though.
We land, safe and sound, back at Santa Monica airport. I wonder how long it would take to get my pilot's licence, finally.
The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System in action. Thankfully, we didn't have to use this on our flight.
With the single engine and v-tail, the Vision Jet is certainly distinctive.
The aircraft I flew in was two-tone red and white, but other colors are available, like black, blue and yellow.
Two Vision Jets in formation. Anyone want to give me $2 million so I can have one? In the UK it runs £1.57 million and AU$2.56 million in Australia,
For the full story behind the plane and this tour around it and above LA, check out Taking flight in the world's first single-jet civil aircraft, the Cirrus Vision Jet.