Cirrus Aircraft announced yesterday that it has secured funding to complete the composite single-engine Vision SF50 jet from company owner China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga). Development of the single-engine Vision jet slowed during the recession. When Caiga purchased Cirrus for an estimated $210 million last June, the company said that development of the Vision jet would continue.
Cirrus Vision SF50
Cirrus has restructured more than $13 million worth of loan and lease obligations related to its Grand Forks, N.D. production facility with that city’s Growth Fund. Cirrus employs approximately 90 people in Grand Forks who make composite component parts for its SR-series piston aircraft, which are then shipped to the company’s assembly line in Duluth, Minn.
Cirrus restructured more than $13 million worth of loan and lease obligations related to its Grand Forks, N.D. production facility with that city’s growth fund. Cirrus employs approximately 90 people in Grand Forks who make composite component parts for its SR piston aircraft that are then shipped to the company’s assembly line in Duluth, Minn. Since 1996, Grand Forks has issued various bonds and loans in support of these activities, including construction of more than 160,000 sq ft of facilities.
Judging from the new aircraft programs that are speeding toward certification and those that are languishing, there is a clear indication of where the general aviation industry is heading. The trend is toward well financed, large-company programs involving mostly larger jets. With the exception of Honda and Cessna, smaller jets and turboprops are attracting little or no new money and will face growing challenges to eventual entry into service.
Shortly after Piper Aircraft posted billboards in Wichita advertising for engineers, the company suspended further development of the single-engine PiperJet Altaire, “following a review to align the company’s business goals with the light jet market outlook, investment strategies and overall economic forecasts.”
Cirrus Aircraft reached a milestone late last week when newly appointed CEO Dale Klapmeier delivered the 5,000th SR-series airplane, an event staged at AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn. Cirrus has also just completed a new business plan for its SF-50 Vision Jet program at the request of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga), which acquired the Minnesota-based airframer in late June.
Cirrus president and CEO Brent Wouters revealed during the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show this week that the company’s prototype SF50 Vision jet is in “commodity jurisdiction” at Williams International. The Williams FJ33 engine that powers the Vision jet may be subject to U.S. government concerns about exporting technology to China.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) of Zhuhai, China, completed its acquisition of Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft today. Sellers include private-equity firm Arcapita, which owned 60 percent of Cirrus, and minority shareholders (including former Cirrus chairman and co-founder Alan Klapmeier).
Cirrus Aircraft president and CEO Brent Wouters announced yesterday morning that China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) has signed an agreement to purchase 100 percent of Cirrus Aircraft from the several hundred shareholders that own the Duluth, Minn.-based light aircraft manufacturer.