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Cirrus Founders Among Newest to Be Inducted into National Aviation Hall of Fame

Dec. 24, 2013

Alan and Dale Klapmeier, founders of Cirrus Aircraft, are among the 2014 inductees announced recently by the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF). Cirrus produces the SR20 and SR22 models, many of which are used in business aviation.

The SR series – which features composite construction, all-electric instrumentation and whole-aircraft parachutes – has become popular for business applications due in part to its speed, well-equipped instrument panels and the turbocharged SR22T's maximum operating altitude of 25,000 feet. In the past decade, several on-demand air taxi start-ups have chosen the SR22 as an alternative to light jets.

Many Cirrus planes are also flown by owner-operators.

For example, entrepreneur Bryan Currier told NBAA his Cirrus, along with other GA airplanes, has been key to the success of his medical information technology consulting firm, Advantage Technologies, Inc. Based in Troy, MI, the NBAA Member serves clients in the Great Lakes region. "I will routinely go and spend two days and hit 10 customers in four cities using the airplane," said Currier. Read more about Advantage Technologies in NBAA's magazine, Business Aviation Insider.

Brad Pierce, president of Orlando, FL-based NBAA Member Company Restaurant Equipment World, likewise credited his SR22T for enabling his business to continue growing through the recession.

"When I look at where our sales are coming from in this economy, aviation has been the key,” he said. "This business would not be what it is today...the [SR22T] is worth every penny, now more than ever." Read more about Restaurant Equipment World in Business Aviation Insider.

Dale Klapmeier still leads Cirrus Aircraft, where he was named CEO in 2009. Alan Klapmeier is the current president and CEO of Kestrel Aircraft, which is developing an eight-seat, all-composite, single-engine turboprop airplane.

The other 2014 NAHF inductees include: Brig. Gen. James A. McDivitt, USAF (ret.), pioneering airline pilot Emily Howell Warner, U.S. military aviator Bertrand B. Acosta and Sylvester J. Wittman, for whom the airport at Oshkosh, WI was named. The enshrinement dinner will take place on Oct. 4 in Dayton, OH.

For more information, visit www.nationalaviation.org.