The Kestrel single-engine turboprop, whose developers had been seeking funding, has found new life under the leadership of Alan Klapmeier, cofounder and former chairman of Cirrus Design. Klapmeier’s new company, Kestrel Aircraft, is based in Brunswick, Maine, and plans call for an investment of more than $100 million in the program.
Cirrus Vision SF50
EAA AirVenture, as usual, brought the aviation family together for another week of celebration, innovation and pure enjoyment at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.
Cirrus Aircraft’s SF50 Vision single-engine jet program is “making good progress,” according to president and CEO Brent Wouters, who added that the company has spent $64 million so far on the program and will need to spend another $64 million to see the aircraft through certification. The order book as of early June stood at 431 aircraft, 106 of which were written in the first half of the year.
Cirrus Aircraft’s SF50 Vision single-engine jet program is “making good progress,” according to president and CEO Brent Wouters, who spoke during a Web presentation yesterday for Vision position holders. Cirrus has spent $64 million so far on the program and will spend an equal amount to see the program through certification.
The FAA has approved two sets of special conditions for certification of Cirrus Aircraft’s Vision single-engine jet, an indication that the company has made efforts to pave the way for eventual FAA approval of the aircraft. According to the FAA, Cirrus applied for type certification of the Vision SF50 on Sept. 8, 2008. The special conditions cover mounting of the engine in the aft fuselage and the jet’s Fadec engine control system.
Despite the difficulties it has faced in obtaining development funding for its SF50 Vision jet single, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft still describes its personal jet program as its “absolute top priority.” During a live Web cast last month company president and CEO Brent Wouters told order holders that while he didn’t know when the $1.72 million aircraft would enter the market, the company has formulated several cash flow-based production timeli
While defining the SF50 Vision personal jet program as the company’s top priority, Cirrus president and CEO Brent Wouters yesterday told order holders that he did not know when the $1.72 million jet would enter service, based on the current funding levels.
Cirrus Aircraft is still seeking additional capital to see its single-engine Vision SF50 jet program through to certification and production. A dramatic drop in sales of singles has affected all piston-engine aircraft manufacturers, and Cirrus has seen deliveries of its piston singles fall from 425 through the third quarter of 2008 to 189 in the same period last year.
The Cirrus board of directors opted not to renew company cofounder and chairman Alan Klapmeier’s contract and instead installed his brother, Dale, the other cofounder, as the new chairman. This announcement came just one week after Alan failed in his bid to acquire the SF50 Vision Jet program from Cirrus. Since late September, Dale and company president and CEO Brent Wouters have been running Cirrus Aircraft.
Despite plummeting new aircraft sales and continuing challenges paying some bills, Cirrus Aircraft should return to profitability next year, according to president and CEO Brent Wouters. The company remains committed to the Vision SF50 single-engine jet program, he affirmed, and 80 full-time personnel are working on the design while the search continues for the capital needed to complete the jet.