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.
Cirrus Vision SF50
Greenville, S.C.-based Cirrus SR22 air taxi firm SATSair “temporarily” shut down operations on October 23 “due to circumstances,” according to a recording on the company’s voicemail. The company has not said when service will restart.
Citing a combination of specific business challenges, market conditions and capital scarcity, the three leading single-engine VLJ contenders–Cirrus, Diamond and Piper–have either implicitly or explicitly moved their development and delivery schedules decidedly to the right.
Cirrus Aircraft last month raised the price of the single-engine Vision Jet, a personal VLJ, to $1.39 million for existing position holders and to $1.55 million for new orders placed before December 31. The price increases to $1.72 million for orders placed after January 1. All prices are in 2009 dollars. When Cirrus started taking orders for the jet in June 2007, the target price was about $1 million.
That the annual EAA AirVenture show offers a mouth-watering and impossible-to-swallow cornucopia of everything aviation was never more evident than at this year’s event, where a colossal Airbus A380 shared the ramp at AeroShell Square with Burt Rutan’s most outlandish creation yet, the spaceship-launching Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo built by the talented crew at Scaled Composites.
Although Cirrus Aircraft fielded a large display at EAA AirVenture last week in Oshkosh, Wis., notably missing from the Cirrus exhibit area and Cirrus’s press conference was cofounder and board chairman Alan Klapmeier. Now the Cirrus board of directors has decided not to renew Klapmeier’s contract and to seek a new chairman when his term expires at the end of this month.
Alan Klapmeier, chairman of Cirrus Aircraft, has formed a team to raise funds to try to buy the Vision SF50 single-engine personal-very-light-jet program from Arcapita Bank, the majority owner of Cirrus. “I feel comfortable that we can do this,” said Klapmeier.
L-3 Avionics Systems is seeking $21.7 million in a lawsuit against lightplane maker Cirrus Design over the cancellation of an order for SmartDeck cockpit systems and money allegedly owed for Stormscope and other stand-alone products.
As Cirrus Aircraft’s prototype Vision jet single resumes flight testing with a new Garmin G1000 avionics suite, some buyers seeking refunds of deposits for the jet have experienced delays in obtaining their refunds. “We are returning deposits,” Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters told AIN, although some deposits have taken longer than the 45 days specified in the Vision purchase agreement.
Alan Klapmeier, chairman of Cirrus Aircraft, has formed a team to raise funds to try to buy the Vision SF50 single-engine jet program from majority Cirrus owner Arcapita Bank. “I feel comfortable that we can do this,” said Klapmeier. “Obviously it’s a difficult time to be raising capital, but that means more focus on funding better projects.