Cirrus Design Building Low-Cost 2-Seat Plane
Tue, 07/24/2007 - 6:16am
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Cirrus Design Corp. has announced plans to work with a German company to produce a two-seat airplane that will cost about half the price of the cheapest airplane in the company's current line.
The company announced at the AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wis., that it will partner with Fk Lightplanes of Speyer, Germany, to produce the Cirrus SR Sport. Company spokeswoman Kate Dougherty said the SRS probably will cost about $100,000.
Cirrus is based in Duluth and has an assembling plant in Grand Forks, N.D.
David Coleal, Cirrus' president and chief operating officer, said the SRS will be based on the Fk14 Polaris, which is manufactured in Poland and currently flying in Europe. Redesigned as the SRS, it will feature a glass-panel cockpit, a whole-plane parachute system, composite construction and removable wings, making it easier to transport.
At least initially, Coleal said manufacturing operations for the new SRS will remain in Poland so the introduction shouldn't have much impact on the company's operations in Duluth and Grand Forks.
However, he said some operations could shift to the United States if there's enough domestic demand for the plane.
The SRS should be ready for market by next summer, Dougherty said. It will be registered as a light sport aircraft and will be able to cruise at about 120 knots, the upper limit for the classification.
Cessna Aircraft Corp. also announced plans for a light sport aircraft at the Oshkosh show. Cessna's Model 162 SkyCatcher will cruise at speeds of up to 118 knots and will sell for an introductory price of $109,500.