At the Zhuhai base of CAIGA, fuselage docking of ”AG-600”, a large amphibious aircraft suitable for aerial firefighting and water search and rescue operations, was being finalized. ”AG-600” is one of the “three large aircrafts” independently developed and produced by China. (Photo by CAIGA)
BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua)--More than 2,000 years ago, ancient Chinese used camels and sailboats to explore the ancient Silk Road. Presently, high-speed trains and highways connect every city on land. In the future, aircrafts including general-purpose ones will be used to connect cities along the Belt and Road through air traffic, thereby creating a Silk Road above the sky.
By referring to this Silk Road above the sky, we have reasons more than enough to talk about Zhuhai.
In 1923, Lu Weibo, a Zhuhai native, took charge of building the first airplane ever in China. Madam Soong Ching-ling took a trial flight herself.
In 1928, Chen Qingyun, another Zhuhai resident, flew his airplane around China, becoming the first pilot to succeed in long-distance flight.
In 1996, Zhuhai hosted the First China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (namely Airshow China). In 2009, Zhuhai became home to the headquarters and industrial base of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA), which has been growing and expanding since then. Two years later, CAIGA acquired US-born Cirrus Aircraft, the second largest general aircraft manufacturer in the world. This was the first time ever for a Chinese enterprise to acquire a foreign airplane brand. This international acquisition rapidly lifted CAIGA’s capabilities of research and development, manufacturing, and marketing and sales, helping it to gain access to the worldwide mainstream general aircraft market and successively open a new chapter of Chinese aviation history.
Over the past several years, CAIGA has solidified its corporate development strategy while promoting mergers and acquisitions. It has been optimizing corporate governance and fortifying operational management. In addition, the company has been focusing on planning, budgeting, reporting, assessment and shareholder management and information collection, based on the characteristics of these foreign enterprises. It has indeed achieved outstanding results in this regard.
On December 19, 2016, Cirrus Aircraft of CAIGA hosted the delivery ceremony of the first Cirrus “Vision” jet in Duluth, Minnesota. US Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congressman Rick Nolan, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce were among the guests who attended the ceremony.
Dale Klapmeier, Cirrus’ Co-Founder and CEO, shared this good news with the media present at the occasion, “This is a significant landmark. Delivering the first Vision jet is a great achievement in the history of Cirrus. This achievement was not possible without the effort of all Cirrus employees.”
Moreover, Senator Klobuchar said, “This is the result of team effort. The research and development of new aircrafts make up large part of our local economy. We are grateful for the efforts and devotion of Cirrus employees.”
The purchaser of this Vision jet is Joe Whisenhunt, a commercial realestate developer in Arkansas. Before purchasing this aircraft, he had already purchased 10 Cirrus SR series aircrafts for commercial and family use.
Joe could barely contain his admiration for the aircraft, “The innovation and safety of a Cirrus aircraft make her the only and the most ideal aircraft in the market. The new Vision jet will further expand my business.”
Vision, single engine private jet, is a new model aircraft researched and developed by CAIGA following its acquisition of Cirrus. It has been widely appraised as the first revolutionary and innovative aircraft project wholly invested by CAIGA, in accordance with market-oriented rules.
On October 28, 2016, the Vision jet was awarded the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type certificate, the first in the private jet industry. The same year on November 2, during the Airshow China, Qu Jingwen, CAIGA Board Chairman, announced this news to the public. Dale Klapmeier, Cirrus Co-Founder and CEO, handed the Type certificate of the Vision jet to Qu Jingwen. Later on in May 2017, Cirrus Vision jet was issued the production permission before entering mass production stage. So far, more than 600 orders have been placed for this world’s first single-engine private jet.
Since Cirrus's acquisition, CAIGA has carried out successful cooperation with the American team. In 2013, Cirrus delivered 275 aircrafts and its global segment market share rose to 33.6%, making it the global leader. In 2016, Cirrus delivered 320 aircrafts, creating a new delivery record in recent years.
Presently, CAIGA supports Cirrus's research and development in Duluth and Grand Forks, and invests in production facilities to further expand its capacity based on the market needs and development of the company. Moreover, CAIGA sent out its first team of marketing, sales and customer services for training to Cirrus in 2012 for the purpose of consolidating and promoting Cirrus's aircraft sales in China. In addition, this move was to learn from the marketing and sales systems of Cirrus and cultivate CAIGA’s global sales system. In the meantime, CAIGA also built an integrated assembly line for Cirrus’ SR2X series aircrafts in Zhuhai.
Exhibiting openness, CAIGA continuously cooperates with partners around the world at all levels. More and more enterprises are beginning to cluster in Zhuhai Aviation Industrial Park following the entry of the aviation industry leader CAIGA. In just a couple of years, Zhuhai Aviation Industrial Park has been awarded four “Golden Titles”, namely “National Aviation Industry High Tech Industrial Base”, “National New Industrialization Demonstration Base”, “National General Aviation Fixed Base-Operator (FBO) Development and Demonstration Zone” and “Province-Municipality Co-Constructed Advanced Production Base”.
It is estimated that in 2025, Zhuhai Aviation Industrial Park will implement model of “four new bases and one new city”, namely the civil aviation industrial base (to be jointly built by Guangdong provincial government and Aviation Industry Corporation of China); world-famous aviation exhibition base; the biggest world class general aviation industrial base in the country; the comprehensive aviation maintenance base for the Asian Pacific region; and a new modern aviation city, a congregation of aviation enterprises, talents and capital, with comprehensive municipal infrastructure, aviation industry characteristics and a livable ecosystem. (Reporter: Tang Yun)