Cirrus Vows To Restart SF50 Vision Jet

 - July 26, 2011, 10:00 AM

Yesterday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., Cirrus co-founder Dale Klapmeier said the company’s recent majority acquisition by China’s state-owned Avic will provide the necessary capital to restart the moribund SF50 single-engine jet program. He said the company needs time to re-ramp and re-staff the effort and that a new timetable for the jet is at least four to five months out. “We now have an airplane company that owns us and wants to build airplanes, and they want to expand aviation worldwide,” Klapmeier said, adding that Avic bought Cirrus “for all our future capabilities and the jet is where it all starts.” Cirrus has yet to provide Avic with a budget for the jet’s development or a specific capital request for it. “For the last three years we have been trying to figure out how to keep the SF50 program moving and how to spend as little money as possible,” he said. “We went from 150 engineers to 18 or 20 working on the program. We have to ramp back up and get 20 to 30 more engineers on staff and have all the plans in place to get them working productively. After that it is a three-year program.”