DULUTH, Minn., Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ICON Aircraft and Cirrus Aircraft today announced that Cirrus will become one of the key strategic supplier partners for the ICON A5 amphibious Light Sport Aircraft. The companies have agreed that Cirrus Aircraft, the manufacturer of the leading SR20 and SR22 lines of high-performance single-engine aircraft, will produce a significant portion of the composite airframe components for ICON Aircraft.
"Cirrus has a global reputation for producing truly outstanding composite aircraft structures," said Kirk Hawkins, founder and CEO of ICON Aircraft. "Their extensive experience, specifically in composite sandwich-production techniques, makes them an ideal production partner for ICON. We are thrilled that Cirrus is demonstrating their commitment to growing aviation at the consumer entry point through this collaboration with ICON. The core capabilities of ICON and Cirrus are highly complementary, and this new pairing creates extraordinary potential for the future of aviation."
All composite structures produced by Cirrus for ICON will be manufactured exclusively in the Cirrus Grand Forks, North Dakota, factory alongside the SR20 and SR22 component production lines. Using the composite assemblies supplied by Cirrus and other suppliers, ICON will control all design, system integration, final assembly, finishing and testing at its facility in Tehachapi, California. Composite component production will begin at the end of 2012, and the first production aircraft will be completed in the summer of 2013.
"The ICON A5 is certainly the most innovative LSA on the market, and we're delighted to be able to play a meaningful role in bringing it to production," said Dale Klapmeier, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. "We believe that Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) and Sport Pilots are critically important to the growth and future of aviation. Cirrus and ICON share the common vision that exciting, innovative and safe new aircraft are a key to unlocking the enormous potential within our industry. ICON has hit the nail on the head with the A5, and we're excited to combine Cirrus' 15-plus years of world-class composite aircraft development and production experience with ICON's truly exceptional consumer product design and engineering abilities."
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). As of mid-2012, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed five-and-a-half-million flight hours with 57 lives saved to date as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all Cirrus 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 USA with a direct sales force in North America and authorized sales centers covering export markets in more than 60 countries around the world. Cirrus Aircraft is wholly owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA).
ABOUT ICON AIRCRAFT:
ICON Aircraft is a consumer sport plane manufacturer founded in response to the new sport flying category created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ICON's first plane is the A5, an amphibious sport aircraft that fuses outstanding aeronautical engineering with world-class product design. It has won some of the world's most prestigious design awards and has inspired a global following. The company has received more than 850 order deposits and first production aircraft are scheduled for summer 2013. ICON Aircraft, initially a Silicon Valley venture-backed startup out of Stanford University, today has its facilities in Southern California, a global hotbed for both automotive design and aerospace engineering.
ABOUT FAA LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT & SPORT PILOT CLASSIFICATIONS:
In 2004, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a new classification of easy-to-fly and affordable two-person airplanes called Light Sport Aircraft. These airplanes enable a new classification of Sport Pilots to fly in lower altitude, uncongested airspace, during the daytime, and in good weather. The Sport Pilot License focuses on the fundamentals of flying and requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training, undercutting the time and cost of a traditional Private Pilot License by about 50%. Under these new FAA rules, a Sport Pilot can be safely trained and licensed in less than two weeks and under $6,000. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has described the new rules as "the biggest change in aviation in 50 years."
SOURCE Cirrus Aircraft