DULUTH, Minn. and KNOXVILLE, Tenn., May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In a special ceremony today at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee, Cirrus Aircraft Co-Founder and CEO Dale Klapmeier joined Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in announcing the expansion of Cirrus Aircraft to Knoxville with its new Cirrus Customer Experience Center, called the 'Vision Center.' The Vision Center will become the flagship location for all Cirrus Aircraft pilot, owner and customer activities including sales, delivery, training, maintenance, support, personalization, fixed base operations and more. Customer activities at the new Vision Center will encompass all Cirrus Aircraft airplanes, products and services including the Vision SF50 single-engine personal jet, scheduled for certification in late 2015.
Klapmeier noted the importance of growth for the Duluth, Minnesota, based aircraft company. "The Vision Center is the next step in our goal to reimagine general aviation and flying at Cirrus Aircraft. We call that aviation experience 'The Cirrus Life' and with the Vision Center in Knoxville, we are bringing together transformational new airplanes with a reinvented ownership experience, all led by the forward thinking leadership team that is unique to Cirrus Aircraft."
"Cirrus Aircraft will feel right at home here as a company that sets the standard for innovation in its industry, and we want to thank Cirrus for bringing its new customer experience facility to East Tennessee," Governor Haslam said. Highlighting the state of Tennessee's recent success in attracting world-class brands, Haslam added, "Today's announcement is another significant step toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."
The selection of Knoxville for the home of the Vision Center is the result of a detailed site evaluation process that initially included more than 15 states and 30 airport locations. McGhee Tyson Airport rose to the top with the combination of a convenient location to the existing Cirrus owner base in North America, unique airport and area amenities, favorable weather and a welcoming community for Cirrus Aircraft employees and their families. Todd Simmons, Cirrus Aircraft Chief Customer Officer, will lead the Cirrus Aircraft team at the new home for all Cirrus Aircraft customer activities and operations.
The Vision Center will be the location for factory direct type rating training for the Vision SF50. A key component of the innovative personal jet training curriculum at the Vision Center is a Level D, full-motion flight simulator currently under development at CAE, the world's premier simulator and flight training device provider. This full flight simulator, along with several other fixed training devices, will be the cornerstone of Vision SF50 type rating and annual recurrent training. Other key Vision Center partners will be announced closer to facility completion, currently slated for mid 2016.
In addition to factory direct training, the Vision Center will allow customers to experience the Cirrus Aircraft brand in multiple ways. A factory service center will provide support for the new Vision SF50 and more than 6,000 SR-series aircraft currently in the field. A design center will allow customers to personalize both new and current Cirrus aircraft, providing individualization opportunities fueled by imagination. These are a few of the many features at the Vision Center for pilots, owners and enthusiasts to experience 'The Cirrus Life.'
Research and development (R&D) as well as manufacturing operations for Cirrus Aircraft will remain in Duluth, Minnesota. The Vision SF50, SR20, SR22 and SR22T will continue to be produced at company facilities in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Duluth.
Klapmeier concluded, "On behalf of all Cirrus Aircraft pilots, owners, partners and employees around the world, 'thank you' Governor Haslam, the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, the community of Knoxville and of course the State of Tennessee for your hospitality and partnership. Our mission statement at Cirrus Aircraft is to deliver an aviation experience that is the pinnacle of innovation, quality and safety. We know that our best is still ahead of us with game-changing new airplanes like the Vision SF50 and delivering transformational training, ownership and support solutions - all in a new way and at a facility never before seen in general aviation."
More information is available at cirrusaircraft.com/visioncenter.
About Cirrus Aircraft
Cirrus Aircraft is a recognized leader in general aviation. Its all-composite line of personal aircraft - the SR20, SR22 and the turbocharged SR22T - incorporate innovative and advanced performance, electronic and safety technologies, including Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin® avionics and the unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS). Cirrus has delivered more than 6,000 certified airplanes since 1999 and total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed seven million flight hours with 105 lives saved as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all Cirrus aircraft. The Cirrus Vision SF50, with over 550 production positions reserved, will provide a new personal and regional business transportation solution: the personal jet. All Cirrus aircraft are made in the U.S. with a direct sales force in North America and authorized sales centers covering export markets in 60 countries around the world. Cirrus Aircraft is wholly owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd (CAIGA). For additional information on Cirrus and its products please visit cirrusaircraft.com.
SOURCE Cirrus Aircraft