...As Cirrus Achieves A Milestone

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The biggest customer for BRS so far has been Cirrus Design, which was the first manufacturer to include the chutes as a standard feature on all of its aircraft. On Thursday, Cirrus announced that it has built its 1,000th airplane, within four years of its first delivery. That milestone secures the company's place as the fastest-growing GA manufacturer in the industry, Cirrus said. Headquartered in Duluth, Minn., Cirrus now employs more than 800 people, and churns out two airplanes a day. That should increase to three a day within a year, the company said last week. "We have gone from producing nine planes in 1999 to production of 450 planes planned for this year," said David Coleal, chief operating officer. "It took 36 months to produce the first 300 planes and only 18 months to manufacture the next 700 aircraft." The company set a new record of 51 planes sold in July, and in the first half of this year, Cirrus shipped 200 units, which accounted for 32 percent of the single-engine piston airplanes shipped in the U.S.