Cirrus Aircraft has secured most of the financing it needs to move forward with development of its single-engine personal jet, with production expected to start in Duluth, Minn., in 2015, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported on Tuesday. Cirrus CEO Dale Klapmeier declined to tell the Star-Tribune just how much cash had been secured from new owners CAIGA (China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co.), but said it will cover most of the projected development cost, which has previously been estimated at $150 million. "It has been a struggle to keep this program moving forward," Klapmeier told the Star-Tribune. "It has been a struggle just to survive." Cirrus had said last week that it would reveal a major announcement at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany on Wednesday.
In its teaser announcement last week, Cirrus said it would reveal an "historic next step in personal aviation." Klapmeier said at AOPA Summit last September that the Chinese owners of CAIGA were reviewing the jet project, and meanwhile the company was moving forward with design work. The jet is expected to sell for about $2 million.