Cirrus Design asks customers to reach for the clouds -- cirrus ones. The company, also known as Cirrus Aircraft, manufactures the SR20 and the SR22 single-engine, four-seater, piston-powered aircraft. Cirrus planes are made primarily of composite materials rather than aluminum; the company asserts that composites allow for an aerodynamically superior design. All models come with the trademark Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) that will lower the aircraft to the ground in an emergency. The company was founded in 1984 by former chairman Alan Klapmeier and his brother, Dale. It is a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company (CAIGA).
Based in Duluth, Minnesota, Cirrus has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia, and Australia. The company manufactures all its aircraft in the US.
Sales and Marketing
Cirrus sells its products through a direct sales force in North America and as well as through over 200 authorized sales and service centers covering export markets in 60 countries around the world. Its customers include The Royal Saudi Air Force and French Air Force.
The company aims to broaden its customer base beyond demand for piston-engine planes, considered the Porsche of small aircraft. It is working on its first single-engine jet for personal aircraft use. A low-cost alternative to corporate jets, which require a commercially licensed pilot, the Vision SF50 model is set to launch its first flight in 2014. Cirrus in 2013 expanded its Grand Forks, North Dakota, facility in preparation for production of its Vision SF50 model.
The company sold about the same number of airplanes in 2012 and 2011, completing about 253 aircraft shipments in 2012.