At Oshkosh this summer, Kestrel Chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier held a news conference to announce the formation of Kestrel Aeroworks, a new business providing upgrades to Piper Meridian And Cirrus airplanes.
"Kestrel Aeroworks will take existing airplanes and bring them up to what we consider new "Kestrel" standards," Klapmeier said. "What we're looking at is how to make them more user friendly, how do you get better utility out of them, how do you get better value for the customer."
Klapmeirer said there have been changes in the business such as avionics upgrades that he says cause some frustration for pilots of aircraft like the Meridian. Kestrel Aeroworks will install the Avidyne R9 Cockpit in the aircraft. He said everything from the seats forward will be removed and replaced with upgraded systems. There are aerodyamic changes to be made as well.
Why? Klapmeier says the engineering is fairly simple, it is a revenue stream, and it keeps the company in touch with customers who are the target market to upgrade from a Cirrus or Meridian to the Kestrel.