L-3 Avionics Systems is seeking $21.7 million in a lawsuit against lightplane maker Cirrus Design over the cancellation of an order for SmartDeck cockpit systems and money allegedly owed for Stormscope and other stand-alone products.
Alan Klapmeier, chairman of Cirrus Aircraft, has formed a team to raise funds to try to buy the Vision SF50 single-engine jet program from majority Cirrus owner Arcapita Bank. “I feel comfortable that we can do this,” said Klapmeier. “Obviously it’s a difficult time to be raising capital, but that means more focus on funding better projects.
On the eve of the annual Cirrus owner migration event in Duluth, Minn., Cirrus chairman Alan Klapmeier announced today that he has assembled a team to acquire the aircraft manufacturer’s Vision SF50 single-engine jet program from majority owner Arcapita Bank. We talked with Klapmeier to get more details about this interesting development and find out why he’s proposing to do this.
Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Design yesterday said it continues to refine the design of its SJ50 Vision single-engine jet and released more detailed preliminary performance and specifications numbers.
The Duluth, Minn.-based manufacturer of four-place composite piston singles is number two in the marketplace for piston airplanes, but it is fast gaining ground on Cessna, the number-one piston airplane OEM. According to GAMA statistics, Cirrus Design in 2001 accounted for 11 percent of all piston airplanes built by GAMA members and Cessna about 42 percent. In 2002, Cirrus jumped to almost 28 percent while Cessna dropped to 35 percent.
On-demand air-taxi firm SATSair on Tuesday signed a letter of intent with Cirrus Design to add five Cirrus Vision SJ50 jet singles to its fleet. SATSair, which currently operates 26 Cirrus SR22s, will integrate the single-engine jets into its operations–following the SJ50’s expected certification in 2010–as a hybrid to its Southeastern whole-airplane charter network.
Shortly after the first flight of Cirrus Design’s single-engine jet, the company finally revealed the name for what had long been referred to as “The Jet,” now called the Vision SJ50. The first flight took place on July 3.
Cirrus chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier says he would like to have the company’s new single-engine (and yet-to-be-named) jet appear at this year’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., late this month, but he wouldn’t predict when the first flight will take place. Cirrus has placed an Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer into service as a chase plane for the flight, which will occur at Cirrus’s headquarters in Duluth, Minn.
At the EBACE show in Geneva last week, Cirrus Design’s full-size mockup of its single-engine (and yet-to-be-named) jet enjoyed a prominent spot in Hall 7 next to the long-established business jet manufacturers.
Piper Aircraft and Cirrus Design are in a dead heat on the progress of their respective single-engine jet prototypes, and the two airplanes could fly within days of each other. Last month, Piper said its PiperJet prototype would fly in mid-July, while Cirrus hinted that the first example of its jet single could take to the sky in the same time frame.