Cirrus Delivers First Jet
It’s been a long road for Cirrus to produce their first jet, but on Monday the company delivered a Vision jet to a customer, at a ceremony in Duluth, Minnesota. “It’s a major milestone to deliver the first airplane,” said Cirrus CEO Dale Klapmeier, according to the local BusinessNorth report. “This is a major step in the growth of our company.” The aircraft was delivered to Joe Whisenhunt, an Arkansas real estate developer who has previously owned 10 Cirrus airplanes. About 800 employees and company friends filled the hall at the company’s new 60,000-square-foot finishing facility. The single-engine jet was FAA certified in October. Cirrus says it has about 600 orders for the jet, which sells for about $2 million.
Besides delivering the airplane, Monday night’s event also officially opened the finishing facility, which is owned by the city of Duluth. The state of Minnesota invested about $4 million in the building, and Cirrus has committed to a $6 million lease, according to BusinessNorth. Cirrus first launched the jet project more than 10 years ago, and then put it on hold for a while, until new owners from China came through with the funds in 2011 to bring it to certification. It’s the first jet airplane with a full-aircraft parachute, similar to the ones that have proved popular on the Cirrus piston airplanes, which have been credited with helping to improve the fatal accident rate in the fleet.