Every year on the day before Oshkosh AirVenture officially begins, Cirrus has a huge party for its customers and friends. This year Cirrus used its event in order to bid farewell to company co-founder and longtime CEO Dale Klapmeier. Dale and brother Alan founded Cirrus in 1984. And while Alan left the company years ago, Dale remained and helped shape the modern Cirrus Aircraft into the most successful aircraft company to come to life over the past five decades. Cirrus has since the introduction of its first Part 23 certificated plane built more than 7,000 aircraft, including more than 100 of its SF50 single-engine jets.
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It wasn’t always smooth sailing. Klapmeier oversaw a number of downturns in business and helped the company navigate the process when it was acquired by Aviation Corporation of China’s company China Aviation Industry General Aircraft, which still owns Cirrus.
A lifelong pilot, aviation enthusiast and supporter of all facets of aviation, Dale Klapmeier left a mark on the aviation world, and we’d like to join Cirrus in wishing him a happy next chapter. And if that includes a little flying (okay, a lot of flying) all the better.
The company’s new CEO, Zean Nielsen, a Tesla veteran, spoke with great enthusiasm about the future of the company and thanked Klapmeier for his many contributions to its success.