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. China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company (CAIGA) acquired the company in mid-2011.
Change of Company Type
The purchase from Arcapita, a Bahrain-based investment firm, gave the aircraft manufacturer increased access to the Chinese market, an area Cirrus has been exploring in recent years. CAIGA has also stated that Cirrus aircraft will continue to be manufactured in North America.
Cirrus has operations in Canada, Mexico, and the US.
Sales and Marketing
Cirrus aircraft are made with a US direct sales force in North America and authorized sales centers covering foreign markets in 60 countries around the world.
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 SF 50 model is set to launch its first flight in late 2013. Cirrus is eying its Duluth, Minnesota site for producing the Vision, a decision that would bolster work for 80% of its force. (The company also maintains a facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota.)
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