Cirrus Aircraft chairman Dale Klapmeier says a trainer aircraft is key to the long-term strategy of proposed purchaser China Aviation Industry General Aircraft.
"The Chinese want Cirrus to have an entire line of aircraft, from jets to trainers," Klapmeier told Flight International at the Sun 'n Fun air show in Lakeland, Florida on 29 March.
Cirrus agreed on 28 February to sell CAIGA 100% of the company assets from its current owners, Bahrain-based Arcapita and individual shareholders, pending approval by the US and Chinese governments. Arcapita is the majority owner, holding 60% of the company.
Klapmeier says the "growth route" that Cirrus proposed to CAIGA during negotiations included a trainer aircraft as well as the continued development of the SF50 Vision single-engined jet.
Asked if that meant Cirrus was reconsidering a light sport aircraft, Klapmeier said: "We're not saying that yet. We're not narrowing down how to get there."
In 2007, Cirrus launched an LSA trainer based on the FK-14 Polaris two-seater from German airframer FK Lightplanes. It cancelled the programme in 2009 because of the economic downturn.