DULUTH, Minn., March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cirrus Aircraft Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dale Klapmeier today announced that EVP and Chief Operating Officer Pat Waddick has been named President of the company. Waddick assumes the title of President and COO while Klapmeier remains CEO.
Klapmeier noted the natural timing of the announcement and great optimism about the future of Cirrus with Waddick as President. "After prevailing over very challenging business conditions in the general aviation industry of the last several years, Cirrus has started an exciting new chapter. The launch of the 2013 Generation Five SR22 and SR22T is driving sales growth and production stability. We have also taken huge steps to accelerate the Vision SF50 Jet program as we aim to fly the first conforming certification aircraft within the next 12 months."
Klapmeier continued, "Now is the perfect time for me to hand over day-to-day responsibility of the business to Pat. There is no more qualified, capable or proven leader to take the enterprise to the next level. Pat has been with us since the beginning and has been an instrumental part of the leadership team at every stage from airplane development to these most recent operational improvements. He has the depth and breadth of vision to lead Cirrus to greater success ahead. With Pat running the daily operation, now I can spend more time with our customers, dedicate more energy to developing exciting new products and play an even larger role in making access to flight a reality for more people around the world. I couldn't be more excited for Cirrus, Pat and our customers, partners and employees."
As President and Chief Operating Officer of Cirrus, Waddick will have responsibility for daily company operations, including sales and service, manufacturing and supply chain, product development and administration.
"This new role is quite an honor considering Cirrus' strong leadership position in general aviation," Waddick said. "We are proud that the Cirrus family has grown to include an amazing team of dedicated people, over 5,300 uniquely enthusiastic customers, and an exceptional partner network. Working closely with Dale and his compelling global vision and strategy - and with exceptional investment support - we are well positioned to fly even higher."
Waddick emphasized, "We remain committed to the highest quality levels and to listening to Cirrus pilots, owners and partners. We are leveraging our lean foundation while we pursue world-class manufacturing capability for both our piston and jet aircraft. And we are making smart investments in new technology that drive operational excellence. Simply, we are innovating in more ways than in just hardware to address ever-changing GA markets."
Waddick concluded by saying, "When I started over 25 years ago, I would have done just about anything to be around airplanes and to be part of 'The Future of General Aviation' that was and is so unique at Cirrus. I feel the same way today as I have come to realize that what makes Cirrus Aircraft so special – our ability to change people's lives through flight - comes from our company culture and the talented team that is making our vision a reality."
After joining Cirrus in 1988, Waddick became chief engineer of the company's original aircraft, the VK30, and subsequently headed up development of the ST50 turboprop aircraft as Director of Engineering. Waddick was named Vice President of Engineering in 1997 and led the SR20 and SR22 program teams through the design, certification and production launch phases. As Senior Vice President of Engineering, he shepherded multiple generations of innovation on the SR-line and is facilitating the advanced design and production startup of the Vision SF50 Jet program. Waddick is an active private, instrument-rated pilot with more than 25 years of flying experience.
Waddick's appointment is the latest of several recent positive developments at Cirrus Aircraft. In January, Cirrus debuted the redesigned SR22/SR22T, the "fifth generation" of the world's best-selling aircraft in its class for more than 10 years in a row. New features include a 200 pound gross weight increase, meaning a Cirrus can now safely and comfortably carry another full-sized adult in its five-place cabin. Generation Five builds on unique Cirrus industry-leading features such as Cirrus Perspective™ avionics by Garmin®; Cirrus Known Ice Protection™; Perspective Global Connect™ satellite communications; 60/40 FlexSeating™; and the totally unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™, standard equipment on every Cirrus ever produced.
In mid–2012, Cirrus dramatically accelerated its Vision SF50 Jet development program as it moves toward first flight of the conforming airplane and serial production. More than 100 engineers, designers and other technicians now staff the Vision development team and recruiting efforts are ongoing at Cirrus Aircraft for multiple positions in both its Jet and piston aircraft programs.
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). To date, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed five million flight hours with 65 lives saved as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all current production aircraft. The Cirrus Vision SF50 jet, with over 500 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