4:54 PM

Great news
out of Duluth

Regular visitors to WoF know of my passion for Cirrus airplanes. And after flying one late last year, I'm even more driven to push my agency forwards in 2007 by acquiring enough new national aviation advertising business to justify owning an SR22 to serve those accounts. Everyone says you have to set goals really high to attain life's pot o' gold, and with this quest for an SR, my personal “bar” is about as high as its ever been.

Yes, I have Cirrus fever really bad. It's like this: Some guys dream of a naked frolic with all of the Desperate Housewives – which would be a gas – but I'm visualizing myself opening the hangar door at EUG and saying good morning to my new bright and shiny fun machine. Sure, sex with TV Goddesses is always a worthwhile fantasy, but turning the key in my very own SR would be like aviator's Viagra...'nuf said on that.

So I woke up elated to find out this news in my morning scour of the Internets:

Cirrus Breaks Delivery And Sales Records Again: With five straight years of record-breaking deliveries and sales, Cirrus Design Corporation has reported their best-ever delivery results, and continue to hold the accolade of being the manufacturer of the worlds No.-1 selling aircraft. For 2006, Cirrus reported total year-end deliveries of 721 deliveries, up 20% over last year's record breaking deliveries.
Man, this is GREAT..I thought...the number one selling aircraft...who-hoo! But as a journalist, reality quickly set in as I began to wonder how that compares to what Cessna sold in 2006. Cessna's numbers must have been less, I suspected, or they'd claim the “world's No. 1 selling aircraft” title, right? So with a bit of digging, I found this on Avweb:
Wichita, Kan., February 6, 2007 – Cessna Aircraft Company, delivered 1,239 aircraft last year, maintaining its leadership position as the world’s largest manufacturer of general aviation aircraft. “We did very well with our single-engine line,” said Jack J. Pelton, chairman, CEO and president of Cessna, “with 865 piston aircraft and 67 turboprops delivered”
Time out I shouted...call in the ref, we need a replay on this one! Being really confused, I called upon someone who could sort this out, Kate Dougherty, the Public Relations contact at Cirrus. What I found out is really quite simple:
The Cirrus numbers refer to the SR22 model, of which 721 were verified to be delivered right there at the factory in Duluth. The Cessna numbers are for the entire Cessna single engine line, a total of 172s, 182s, 206s and Caravans sold.
So when Cirrus makes the claim to being “the manufacturer of the worlds No.-1 selling aircraft”, it is a true fact, since no other single engine model can touch the sales figures for the SR22.

I finished a very fun conversation with Kate by making a promise to take her up on her offer to come to Duluth and tour the Cirrus factory. Maybe it was the wide-eyed kid in me, but I swear I also heard an offer of another test flight too, which would be worth the ticket back to Minnesota. If she throws in a couple of brats and a very cold O'Doul's Amber, I'd start walking through waist-high snow tomorrow to make the pilgrimage to the birthplace of mass-produced composite flying machines.

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