Cirrus Ramps Up

Cirrus gets new majority ownership, ramps up production.


||| |---|---| | | | Cirrus Design, maker of the SR20 and SR22 piston singles, got the investment it has been seeking for the past couple of years. Crescent Capital, the U.S. arm of a Middle Eastern investment company, has funneled $100 million into Cirrus, a stake that gives it around 60 percent ownership of the company and three of the five seats on the board of directors.

Cirrus president Alan Klapmeier told Flying that Crescent's investment will not, however, signal an end to Cirrus's innovative design approaches. Nor will it appreciably change the decision-making process.

In fact, Klapmeier said, the infusion of cash will give Cirrus the funds to innovate more than before. Of more immediate concern, it will allow the company to ramp up production from its current rate of one airplane per working day to two per day by early 2002. It will also give Cirrus the ability to improve its existing designs, cut production time and add new features. Klapmeier suggested that FADEC, deice and diesel power were innovations the company could now explore more fully.

The company said that the funding would free up Cirrus to develop all-new designs. When asked if one of those new designs might be a jet, Cirrus's Ian Bentley told Flying, "Absolutely, we're going to do a jet. It just might not be what everybody expects. Think along the lines of a personal transportation airplane without a propeller on it."