CIRRUS MOVING FUSELAGE ASSEMBLY TO GRAND FORKS AS PRODUCTION INCREASES
The Weekly of Business Aviation
(Copyright 2000 McGraw-Hill, Inc.)
Cirrus Design Corp. is realigning production operations among its three plants as the company continues to ramp up production of its popular SR20 single-engine aircraft.
The company, headquartered in Duluth, Minn., said it is pushing back part of the fuselage production process to its parts plant in Grand Forks, N.D. Since that plant opened in October 1997, employees in Grand Forks have been building various SR20 composite components, which were later shipped to Duluth for final assembly.
Original plans called for shifting wing production from Duluth to Grand Forks, a spokesman told BA. However, a more recent manufacturing analysis demonstrated that it made more sense to keep wing production in Duluth and perform more fuselage production functions in Grand Forks, where many of the fuselage parts are already made. Cirrus officials say they plan to begin moving the necessary tooling from Duluth to Grand Forks in June to accomplish the change.
Both the SR20 orderbook and production rate continue to increase. Cirrus had orders for about 200 units when the SR20 won type certification in late 1998, but that total jumped to 501 early this year (BA, Feb. 21/2000), and was in excess of 590 last month. Production has been increasing by about one aircraft per month this year, from three in January to five in March and six in April. Cirrus expected to produce seven airplanes in May and nine in June en route to a planned rate of one plane per day by October or November.