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Kestrel Relocating to Northern Wisconsin

The Kestrel proof-of-concept demonstrator on display at AirVenture 2011.

January 17, 2012 - Kestrel Aircraft Company, which is developing a new single-engine turboprop aircraft, announced Monday that it would bring its manufacturing operation and corporate headquarters to the city of Superior in northern Wisconsin. Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier was joined by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for the joint announcement at the Richard I. Bong Airport in Superior, claiming the area would add 600 permanent jobs by 2016.

Kestrel's aircraft, the K-350, is a six- to eight-passenger turboprop powered by Honeywell's TPE331-14GR, flat-rated to 1,000 shaft hp. The company's proof-of-concept aircraft has been flying for several years and appeared on display at the last two EAA AirVenture Oshkosh events.

Klapmeier and his brother, Dale, founded Cirrus Aircraft in 1984, and Alan left the company in December 2008. Cirrus is headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, right across the border from the planned Kestrel location. The city, county, and state worked together on a tax and loan incentive package worth a reported $112 million to lure Kestrel from its current location in Brunswick, Maine, after plans to headquarter on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station fell through. According to the Superior Telegram, the Douglas County Board must give final approval for the deal this Thursday.

"I am pleased with the aggressive package we have put forth in conjunction with strong local support to make this major job creation contribution to Superior," Walker said. "This relocation will be a huge boost to the Superior-area economy."

At Oshkosh last summer, Klapmeier estimated certification would be accomplished in the range of three years and its target price would be about $2.8 million. (Read the story here.)

For more information about Kestrel, click here.


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