Cirrus and Grandma’s Marathon, Hometown Proud

Duluth’s Cirrus Aircraft returns for a fifth straight year sponsoring Grandma’s Marathon.

“Cirrus is excited to continue our role as sponsor for the 2013 Grandma’s Marathon. We gladly honor our tradition of maintaining support for a community that has shown so much support for us,” said Cirrus Co-founder and CEO, Dale Klapmeier. It may seem like a non-traditional partnering – the world’s leading general aviation manufacturer and a world-class road race – yet both can boast Duluth pride on an international level.

Cirrus has called Duluth its home since 1994 when founding brothers Alan and Dale Klapmeier moved their burgeoning operations here from Wisconsin. What started as a small kit airplane design and manufacturing company quickly grew into something far greater in its new environment.

Approaching the design of small aircraft from the pilot’s point of view, the company began developing a four-passenger, single-engine composite aircraft with design and safety features unmatched in the current marketplace. That aircraft, the SR20, became the first of several new Cirrus revolutions to general aviation including the company’s most popular plane, the SR22. This four-seater has a more powerful engine and extended range and is also available in a turbocharged model, the SR22T. Cirrus has also been making significant advancements in the development and production of the Cirrus Vision SF50, an owner-piloted personal jet which achieved its historic first flight on July 3, 2008, right here in Duluth.

Today, Cirrus has evolved from its humble beginnings into a world-renown aircraft manufacturer. Even those not familiar with general aviation have heard of Cirrus through their popular nickname, “The Plane with the Parachute.” Committed to building airplanes that lead the industry in safety, from day one, Cirrus has equipped every airplane with an airframe recovery parachute. The innovative Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS™) deploys a 55-foot diameter canopy that lowers the whole airplane to the ground in the event of a severe emergency. The CAPS-equipped Cirrus made aviation history in 2002 when a pilot in Texas became the first to use the life-saving device. To date, 53 lives have been saved.

Cirrus’ presence in the world of general aviation has created a very loyal global family. Thousands of Cirrus customers around the world are passionate about the planes they fly and convene at fly-ins big and small just to hang out with their fellow Cirrus owners. “Everything we do is geared to achieving our vision, to improving, to creating aircraft that are safer, more affordable and more fun to fly,” said Klapmeier.

Maybe that’s why being a player in Duluth comes naturally. When Cirrus chose to bring the pursuit of its dreams to Duluth, and in the process of realizing more than anyone expected, it has generously given back, opening Cirrus doors for airplane rides, tours and interviews, while ensuring participation in the events of our city.

Klapmeier said, “Cirrus employees look forward to Grandma’s Marathon and will be cheering for all who race; especially the Cirrus owners who fly in to run the race!”

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