Cirrus Jet Expected To Fly At AirVenture

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Cirrus Design co-founder Dale Klapmeier said a prototype of the company's single-engine personal jet will probably make at least a fly-by at EAA AirVenture this summer. However, he told AVweb in an exclusive interview that the jet may not be ready for static display at the show. The Duluth, Minn., manufacturer has taken more than 400 deposits of $100,000 each for the jet, but the final price hasn't been disclosed. Klapmeier said the project is a few weeks behind schedule, due in part to difficulties in hiring qualified engineers who are willing to relocate to Duluth. He said the company is actively recruiting but is not going to extraordinary means, such as offering cash incentives, to convince people to take the plunge. Michael Van Staagen, Cirrus vice president of advanced development, said that the roughly 120 people currently assigned to the jet project have not yet moved into the company's recently acquired hangar space at the Duluth International Airport, where the jets will be produced. The hangar, formerly used by Northwest Airlines for maintenance, does not have the requisite network connections, Van Staagen said, but Cirrus is working on it.