Cirrus Design


Cirrus Design

Infobox Company
company_name=Cirrus Design
company_logo=
company_type=privately-held company
foundation=1984
key_people=Alan & Dale Klapmeier
industry=general aviation
location=Duluth, Minnesota
company_slogan= Plane Genius
products= Cirrus SRS, SRV, SR20, SR22, Cirrus Vision SJ50
num_employees=1,300
homepage= [http://cirrusdesign.com cirrusdesign.com]
The Cirrus Design Corporation is an aircraft manufacturer that was founded in 1984 by Alan and Dale Klapmeier to produce the VK-30 kit aircraft.

The company markets several versions of its two certified designs, the SR20 and the SR22. The company also markets the Light Sport Aircraft category Cirrus SR Sport. A Cirrus Jet is currently under development.

Manufacturing facilities

Cirrus Design has its headquarters and main manufacturing facility in Duluth, Minnesota. An additional manufacturing facility is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota and an assembly facility is located at Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight in England.

On December 27, 2007 the company secured a lease for former Northwest Airlines hangar at Duluth International Airport. It will use the convert|189000|sqft|m2|sing=on building for construction of its new Cirrus Jet. cite web|url = http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/CirrusDesign_TheJet_Plant_DuluthMinnesota_196855-1.html|title = Cirrus Secures Jet Plant Space|accessdate = 2007-12-31|last = Saini|first = Meredith|authorlink = |year = 2007|month = December]

Company Ownership

In August 2001, Cirrus sold 58% of the company for $100 million to Crescent Capital, the US arm of the First Islamic Investment Bank of Bahrain (now called Arcapita) [ [http://www.businessnorth.com/viewarticle.asp?articleid=651 Business North article "Soaring aviation ‘cluster’ hits turbulence" Date: 4/9/2003 by Pamela Rust accessed 20 September 2007] ] [ [http://www.startupnation.com/pages/keymoves/KM_Klapmeier.asp Start Up nation Article "The Klapmeier brothers' Key Move: Finding the Right Funding" accessed 20 September 2007] ] [ [http://www.netcomposites.com/news.asp?901 Net Composities article "Crescent Capital Investment in Cirrus Industries" accessed 20 September 2007] ] [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2005_Feb_28/ai_n11831379 Article "Crescent Capital Changes Name to Arcapita Business Wire, Feb 28, 2005" accessed 20 September 2007] ]

It was reported in December 2007 that the Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank, is looking to sell its share of the company. Cirrus Design has indicated that this was expected as Arcapita was considered a medium-term investor.

R Series

Cirrus SR (Single Reciprocating) Series aircraft are designed around composite technologies with Avidyne Entegra digital flight displays and modern avionics as standard equipment. The aircraft are all electric - no vacuum systems are used. Redundancy is provided by dual batteries and alternators. The SR22 is also available with TKS anti-icing equipment but as of 2007 was not certified for flight into known icing conditions.

The aircraft incorporate other unusual design elements. All Cirrus aircraft use a mechanical "side yoke" instead of the traditional yoke or stick flight controls. The aircraft also use a single power lever that adjusts both throttle and propeller RPM via a mechanical cam actuated throttle and propeller control system. Construction is dominated by the use of composite materials, although traditional aluminum is used for flight control surfaces.

The SR22 has an option for a Tornado Alley turbo-normalized engine. This allows the engine to maintain maximum power at higher altitudes while increasing the maximum operating altitude to 25,000'.

Models

* SRV
* SR20
* SR22
* SR Sport (SRS)

Cirrus Parachute System (CAPS)

The Cirrus SR series (SRV, SR20, and SR22) aircraft are equipped with the Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System (CAPS), a ballistic parachute deployed from the back of the aircraft, in most cases, allows the entire aircraft to descend safely from an emergency. Cirrus is the first manufacturer to receive FAA certification for production aircraft with ballistic parachute systems. With the NASA-developed spin resistant wing, the parachute system was accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration as an equivalent level of safety and complete spin testing was not required by the FAA.

The Cirrus pilot's operating handbook states that the parachute system "is designed to bring the aircraft and its occupants to the ground in the event of a life-threatening emergency. The system is intended to save the lives of the occupants but will most likely destroy the aircraft and may, in adverse circumstances, cause serious injury or death to the occupants". As the SR aircraft have not been fully spin-tested, a properly-functioning CAPS system is required for flight on all Cirrus SR aircraft.

Aircraft sales

The company has been successful as a manufacturer of general aviation airplanes. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Cirrus SR22 had been the best selling certified single engine airplane in every year since 2002.

In 2008 the global sale slump in piston-engined aircraft impacted the company and they laid off 100 workers or 8% of their workforce. This included 79 people at the main plant in Duluth, Minnesota and 29 employees at the composite construction plant in Grand Forks, North Dakota. After the lay-offs are complete Cirrus will employ 1,230 people in total. cite web|url = http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/avflash/1205-full.html|title = AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 37a - On the Fly|accessdate = 2008-09-08|last = AvWeb staff|authorlink = |year = 2008|month = September]

Company COO Brent Wouters stated that the lay-offs were due to "not selling as many airplanes as we'd hoped to this year."

Aircraft Type Club

The Cirrus line of aircraft are supported by an active aircraft type club, the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association.

References

External links

* [http://www.cirrusdesign.com/ Cirrus Design website]
* [http://www.gama.aero/ General Aviation Manufacturers Association website]
* [http://www.cirruspilots.org/ Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association website]
* [http://media.libsyn.com/media/airspeed/AirspeedCirrusG3Part3.mp3 Audio of an interview with Cirrus Chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier covering the Cirrus G3 aircraft, as well as Cirrus' activities in the jet and light sport markets]


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