Cirrus aircraft is an American manufacturer of general aviation aircraft. The company is known for its innovative designs, particularly its high-performance single-engine piston-powered airplanes.
Cirrus Aircraft was founded in 1984 by brothers Alan and Dale Klapmeier, who were inspired to create safer and more user-friendly aircraft. Their vision was to design and build small aircraft with advanced safety features, similar to those found in commercial airliners.
One of the most significant innovations associated with Cirrus Aircraft is the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). Introduced in the late 1990s, CAPS is a ballistic parachute that can be deployed to safely lower the entire aircraft and its occupants to the ground in the event of an emergency. This revolutionary safety feature has saved numerous lives and has become a hallmark of Cirrus aircraft.
Cirrus produced its first production aircraft, the Cirrus VK-30, in the late 1980s. However, the company gained widespread recognition with the introduction of the Cirrus SR20 in 1999. The SR20 was a four-seat, single-engine aircraft that incorporated advanced avionics and the CAPS system.
In 2001, Cirrus introduced the SR22, a high-performance version of the SR20. The SR22 quickly became one of the best-selling general aviation aircraft in its class. It offered improved speed, range, and features while maintaining the company’s commitment to safety.
Cirrus continued to innovate and expand its product line. They introduced the turbocharged SR22T and the Vision SF50, a single-engine personal jet with a unique design. The SF50 was the world’s first single-engine personal jet to enter production.
In 2011, Cirrus Aircraft was acquired by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), a subsidiary of AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China). This ownership change allowed Cirrus to access additional resources and markets.
Under new ownership, Cirrus continued to develop and refine its aircraft models, expanding its global presence. The company maintained its focus on safety and innovation.