Duluth, Minn. (December 14, 2005) CIRRUS Aircraft announced today that UK-based Britten-Norman will now provide final re-assembly of Cirrus' award-winning SR20 and SR22 aircraft slated for delivery to European customers.
Britten-Norman, located in Southern England, will perform final CIRRUS aircraft re-assemblies, including wing and tail attachment, initially for European customers and potentially for other geographic markets in the future. Britten-Norman has over 40 years of experience in the manufacture, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of light aircraft. Flights will operate from the Britten-Norman airport facility at Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight, UK.
John M. Bingham, CIRRUS Executive Vice-President of Sales & Marketing said, "We are delighted to have reached this agreement with one of Europe’s best known and highly respected aircraft manufacturers. This arrangement brings many new advantages to our European-based customers, with the principle feature that their new airplane will no longer have to endure the rigors of a trans-Atlantic ferry flight as part of the delivery process."
The recently formulated Aero Composites arm of Britten-Norman is orchestrating the project. Aero Composites is comprised of a specially selected, highly specialized team of experts who have undergone extensive and comprehensive training at CIRRUS.
David Coleal, CIRRUS Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer said, "CIRRUS is excited to now have the opportunity to deliver our airplanes to European customers as if they were coming straight from the Minnesota-based factory. The value that this collaboration with Britten-Norman provides for the customer is that each plane will arrive after only amassing a few hours of flight time and engine hours versus the 30-40 required for a ferry flight, plus a reduction in overall wear-and-tear."
"CIRRUS planes will still be assembled in our U.S. facilities," said Bingham, "where they receive their Certificate of Airworthiness." Each European-bound plane will then be partially dismantled and carefully crated via special tailor-made containment units designed specifically for CIRRUS. After that process, the planes will then be shipped to Britten-Norman for final re-assembly. Coleal added that, "Every detail has been addressed to assure that the planes are kept in pristine condition during shipment. We’ve even installed accelerometers into the containers to keep us informed if the shipment should be disturbed in any way."
Britten-Norman Group Executive Chief William Hynett said, "We have already processed the first pilot plane of this joint venture and everything in the re-assembly process worked perfectly. We will begin customer aircraft assemblies commencing in January of 2006 and are projecting 100 planes for the first year." To date, CIRRUS has delivered 250 planes to European continent customers.
In the past eighteen months CIRRUS has increased their European sales centers from three to twelve. "Europe is key for CIRRUS as our airplanes are a natural fit for the wide cross-section of uses and requirements demanded by their marketplace," said Bingham. "CIRRUS planes are especially suitable for intra-country travel throughout the EU and make the personal transportation experience very simple, safe and seamless."
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