DULUTH, Minn. — Cirrus Aircraft reports that new aircraft shipments in 2014 were the best company performance since 2008, with the Cirrus SR22 maintaining its position as the best-selling airplane in its segment for the 12th year in a row.
New deliveries for 2014 totaled 308, a 12% increase over 2013. Cirrus Aircraft has now delivered more than 5,800 new aircraft, while the global Cirrus fleet has amassed more than 6 million flight hours.
The company also reports that as of early 2015, the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) had safely returned 104 people to their families. The latest save, on Jan. 25, captured media attention when a pilot ferrying a Cirrus over the Pacific Ocean used CAPS for a safe recovery and the entire event was captured on video by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Growth in programs across the company resulted in a 10% increase in personnel in 2014. Cirrus currently has more than 800 employees globally and plans to continue adding employees in 2015 in many areas, including production, quality, design and engineering.
In July 2014, Cirrus Aircraft also returned its parts and aftermarket logistics service to Duluth, bringing those functions back in house.
To accommodate growth driven by the Vision Jet program, Cirrus has expanded its facilities in Duluth by adding approximately 40,000 square feet of off-airport space. Initial functions are mainly machining, sub-assembly production and select research and development activities, company officials said. At full capacity, approximately 50 employees will occupy the new space.
As 2015 kicks off, the company promises a range of enhancements to the Generation 5 Cirrus aircraft, including newly introduced colors and the addition of four USB power ports that are surge-protected and strong enough to charge an iPad. Additional enhancements include updates to the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin flight deck, as well as a CAPS-activated Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT).