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At its annual opening night party at AirVenture Oshkosh, Cirrus Aircraft president and CEO Dale Klapmeier took the opportunity in front of a group of hundreds of customers, suppliers, partners and media to celebrate the company’s receiving the 2017 Collier Trophy, the highest honor in aviation. The Collier Trophy has been awarded since 1911 for the greatest achievement in aviation in the preceding year. Recipients have included Glenn Curtiss, Howard Hughes, Chuck Yeager, the crew of Apollo 11 and that’s just the beginning.
So it’s hard to overestimate the significance of Cirrus earning the Collier for its SF50 Vision Jet. In his remarks, Klapmeier thanked Cirrus co-founder, brother Alan Klapmeier, who is no longer involved with the company, for his vision. And he thanked the company’s Vision Jet customers, obviously a critical part of the calculus, as well as its suppliers, including Garmin International, who supply the avionics for the SF-50. Cirrus earned certification and made first deliveries of the sub-$2 million, single-engine jet in 2016. Here’s our flight report on the landmark plane.