Duluth, Minn. & Knoxville, Tenn. (22 February 2017) – Cirrus Aircraft announced today that new customer aircraft deliveries of its SR line of aircraft, the world’s best-selling high-performance piston airplane, reached a recent multi-year high of 317 units for 2016. Further highlighting the year were initial customer deliveries of the world’s first single-engine Personal Jet, the Cirrus Vision® Jet, as three units were delivered to customers in the U.S.
Total new aircraft deliveries in 2016 mark the third consecutive year that Cirrus has delivered more than 300 units and highlights steady growth over the past eight years – an increase of almost 20% since 2009. The record performance propelled Cirrus to a global fleet of more than 6,500 SR series aircraft in over 60 countries. In addition to the strong delivery performance and product line expansion, Cirrus capped off the record-setting year by launching the all new G6 SR22T, SR22 and SR20 product line, opening the Vision Center™ – the reimagined Cirrus Aircraft Customer Experience Center – in Knoxville, TN, expanding Duluth manufacturing operations, providing technologically advanced aircraft to global training fleets, and receiving the Joseph T. Nall Safety Award from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
Cirrus Aircraft CEO, Co-Founder and National Aviation Hall of Fame Member Dale Klapmeier noted the importance of the last twelve months to the enterprise, “We will look back on 2016 for years to come and recognize it as a time that changed the trajectory of the company. To have achieved any one of our 2016 accomplishments is certainly impactful; but taken altogether, our performance last year truly speaks to the capability of our team and our commitment to customers, owners and operators of Cirrus aircraft around the world.”
The Vision Jet Arrives
Cirrus ushered in a new era in personal transportation in 2016 when the world’s first single-engine Personal Jet – the Vision Jet – was certified by the FAA in October. The spacious, technologically-advanced, pilot and passenger-friendly Personal Jet revealed to the world an all-new category of aircraft and began revolutionizing regional transportation as soon as Vision Jets started entering the hands of customers in December. The first delivery took place at the brand new 68,000 sq. ft. Finishing Center in Duluth, MN, in front of over 1,000 Cirrus employees and their families, customers, partners and national, state and local dignitaries. More than 600 Vision Jet production position holders are eagerly awaiting their turn to join the Vision Jet revolution.
Cirrus G6: The Smartest, Safest, Most Connected High-Performance Piston Ever
True to its core value of relentless innovation, Cirrus yet again changed the customer experience value proposition in the high-performance piston market by introducing the all-new G6 – the smartest, safest and most advanced models ever of the best-selling SR22T, SR22 and SR20 airplanes. The enhanced SR series includes the ultra-high speed Cirrus Perspective+™ by Garmin® flight deck, luxury automotive-inspired Cirrus Spectra™ wingtip lighting, premium cockpit connectivity solutions and more. The improved SR20 now comes equipped with a modernized Lycoming IO-390, 215HP powerplant. This four-cylinder G6 SR20 creates an enhanced ownership experience as it increases power while, through a collection of additional enhancements, also increasing useful load by up to 150lbs (68kg). The sixth-generation Cirrus began delivering in January 2017.
Vision Center Campus Opens in Knoxville
Cirrus Aircraft’s Global Customer Experience Center campus – the Vision Center – opened in mid-2016 at the McGhee Tyson airport in Knoxville, TN and by early 2017 the campus has grown to include the Experience Center, Factory Service Center and Delivery Center. An all-new Training Center is under construction and is expected to open by the end of 2017. Beginning in 2017, all SR series aircraft now deliver from the Vision Center and Vision Jet deliveries will move from Duluth to Knoxville at the end of the year. As the flagship location for all customer activities, the Vision Center campus is home to world class training, sales, delivery, maintenance, support, personalization and more.
Expanding Fleet & Special Mission Markets
Global flight training organizations continued to select the technologically-advanced, industry-leading SR series of aircraft as part of their fleets in 2016 to prepare pilots for careers in aviation. Japan Civil Aviation College and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation, among others, added Cirrus airplanes to their fleets this past year due to the exceptional safety features, flight management system technology and cost of ownership advantages available on the SR platform.
In July, Cirrus received FAA certification for Cirrus Perception®, an adaptable, cost-effective special mission platform tailored specifically for both the Cirrus SR22 and SR22T aircraft models. This multi-mission, adaptive Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft expanded Cirrus Aircraft’s global portfolio by offering unique performance capabilities suitable for airborne traffic and law enforcement operations, aerial surveying, mapping and photography, search and rescue missions, disaster management and support, border surveillance and more. The Minnesota State Patrol took delivery of the first Perception in 2016.
Recognized as Leader in Aviation Safety
Cirrus was recognized as a global leader in 2016 for another core value – Safety – when it was honored as the first-ever recipient of the Joseph T. Nall Safety Award from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Institute. “By doubling down on safety, both in making substantially more investments in its Cirrus Approach™ training and transition courses and in working with its owners group, Cirrus leadership brought its accident rate to less than half the industry average,” said an AOPA Air Safety Institute representative. “Over the past decade Cirrus has rightly earned one of the best safety records in the industry, and we are proud to acknowledge their work with this first Joseph T. Nall Safety Award.” The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®), standard on every Cirrus produced, has returned 146 people to their families to date.
Global Customer Experience Team Gathers in Knoxville
Cirrus Aircraft Sales, Service, and Flight Training representatives from around the world gathered in Knoxville recently to continue developing and rolling-out best practices for exceeding customer expectations across the Cirrus ownership experience. Called “Cirrus CX”, more than 400 members of the global Customer Experience Team were present for the inaugural multi-day event. “The strength of the Cirrus Aircraft global brand is in the unique way we take care of our customers,” said Todd Simmons, President, Customer Experience. “We are fortunate to have the best team of professionals in the world aligned with our vision and we are looking forward to raising the bar again in 2017 and beyond.”
Breitling Offers Cirrus Owners an Exclusive Limited-Edition Timepiece
Two legendary brands known around the world for innovation, bold design, a passion for aviation and a unique appreciation for precision in time, teamed up in 2016 to create a chronograph especially for Cirrus aviators. Having just arrived to the passionate fans of Cirrus, the Breitling Aerospace Evo Cirrus Aircraft Limited Edition watch features many design touches that tell the story of Cirrus innovation and leadership in global aviation. With only 220 crafted, the highly-desirable timepiece captures the Cirrus Life with commanding power and style.
Cirrus Renews Sponsorship of Team 99 in Red Bull Air Race World Championship
For the fourth consecutive year, Cirrus Aircraft will have an international presence in the Red Bull Air Race World Championships as a sponsor of Team 99 and U.S. Master Class Pilot Mike Goulian. After a strong late-season performance in the 2016 Championships, including six Top-10 finishes in the 8-race series, Mike has already scored a Top-6 finish in the first event of the 2017 race season in Abu Dhabi. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship has become globally renowned as the fastest and most exhilarating motorsport on the planet. Cirrus will be hosting special events at the San Diego, California and Indianapolis, Indiana races during the 2017 championship.