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Sat, Aug 30, 2003

'1000' Is A Magic Number for Cirrus

Cirrus Reaches 1,000 Aircraft Milestone -- Outpaces All Other Start-Up Companies In Past 50 Years!

It's been a great few weeks for Alan Klapmeier and the folks of Cirrus Design. Earlier this week, they showed off their thousandth completed Cirrus airframe and yesterday, ANN named their SR20 as our 2003 Plane of the Year.

Just a few weeks before (at Oshkosh 2003), CD announced a new Centennial Edition SR22 that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight. Additionally, another new model called the SRV was introduced with similar styling, design and avionics to the company's SR20 model, certified for VFR-only flight for $189,900 (an unheard of price for a four place high performance aircraft... much less one that comes with an Avidyne Entegra PFD/MFD system as standard equipment.

The company also announced that its fleet has become "all glass" with the exclusive Avidyne Entegra PFD and MFD now standard equipment in all Cirrus aircraft. Finally; the North Carolina Park Service announced an exciting new addition to the First Flight Centennial Celebration and Wright Brothers Memorial by Cirrus Design: the creation of a new "Technology of Flight" exhibit. The Cirrus SR22 airplane was also selected as the "Official Aircraft of the First Flight Centennial Celebration. We should all have months like these...

CD claims that no other start-up airplane company in the past 50 years has done what Cirrus has done - produce 1,000 aircraft within four years of its first delivery --- according to industry statistics dating back to 1946. Cirrus has grown from approximately 30 employees in 1994 to nearly 850 today. In the first two quarters of 2004, Cirrus shipped 200 units out of an industry total for single-engine aircraft of 626 units shipped, or 31.9 percent of the total units shipped.

Holding the keys to their latest creation, a Centennial Edition SR22 (N1000V) at their Duluth headquarters, Cirrus Design Co-Founders Alan and Dale Klapmeier, contemplate the future of aviation. "Since well before our first production aircraft was delivered," says Alan Klapmeier, "we have held firm to the vision of making flying easier and safer and, therefore, more accessible to a broader range of pilots. Today, we have come one step closer to that dream. Building our 1,000th aircraft is a true testament that introducing new technology and unmatched safety measures can help spur the growth of the personal aviation industry*."

The results have allowed the company to keep pace with the demand as well as position itself for its next significant production ramp up, anticipated to take place within a year. "We have gone from producing nine planes in 1999 to production of 450 planes planned for this year," says company Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer David Coleal. "It took 36 months to produce the first 300 planes and only 18 months to manufacture the next 700 aircraft." The next phase of the ramp up would increase production from its current output of two planes per day to three planes daily. "This will require another round of operational changes to achieve that level - planning considerations already in motion," he says.

Demand for the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 has grown steadily over the past four years. The company set a new record of 51 planes sold in July and this month is on target to continue the trend.

"The news continues to build for Cirrus as we enter the next 100 years of aviation," says Dale Klapmeier. "Reaching this milestone was a goal that we only dreamed of a few years ago; and today it's a reality. As we continue down the path of improving personal aviation through advanced technology, the next 100 years of personal aviation could prove to be even more exciting than the last."

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com

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