Cirrus promotes company veteran to president


After 25 years with Cirrus Aircraft, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Waddick is the new company president, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Waddick, 47, started as an intern and worked his way up the company ladder.

Co-founder Dale Klapmeier will continue his role as chief executive officer.

"Now is the perfect time for me to hand over day-to-day responsibility of the business to Pat. There is no more qualified, capable or proven leader to take the enterprise to the next level," Klapmeier said in a news release. "Pat has been with us since the beginning and has been an instrumental part of the leadership team at every stage from airplane development to these most recent operational improvements."

Watch the video below to learn more about Waddick.

Meanwhile, the Grand Forks Herald says an economic development group in Grand Forks has agreed to loan Cirrus nearly $1 million following an apology by the group's chairman for questioning the company's financial stability. Cirrus wants the loan to purchase manufacturing equipment and expand its production facility in the city.

In the past six months, the Duluth-based airplane manufacturer has also hired at least 50 engineers, designers and technicians as it accelerates its Vision Jet project.

Cirrus Aircraft was sold in 2011 to China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company for an undisclosed amount of money.

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Duluth-based Cirrus plans to bring up to 60 jobs at its Grand Forks, N.D., plant as it partners with a company that makes a new type of small "sport" plane. The Grand Forks Herald report Cirrus is taking over manufacturing for a large portion of the Icon A5 -- a plane that can take off and land on water.

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Cirrus says it has the cash to wrap up certification and start production of its new jet, the Vision SF50, pictured above. Workers will assemble the aircraft at plants in Duluth and Grand Forks.