With more than 100 of the sleek, piston-engine Cirrus aircraft in the hands of customers in China, the company is now focusing on product support.

“We delivered 20 aircraft into China last year alone. Now we’re well on the way to developing the same customer service as in the rest of the world,” says Jon Dauplaise, General Manager of China and Emerging Markets.

Plans call for dedicated parts distribution in China, and for training in-country to CAAC Part 147 standards for technicians to maintain Cirrus aircraft without them having to go to the U.S. to qualify. Cirrus is working with its partner companies in Zhuhai to achieve both these goals (the U.S.-based manufacturer is a subsidiary of AVIC’s China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co.)

The Zhuhai facilities already assemble Cirrus aircraft; they are shipped there after manufacture and flight test in Duluth, Minnesota.

Cirrus aircraft in China are used largely for flight training (the Civil Aviation Flight University of China is the company’s largest customer with 40 in its fleet), for sightseeing and for tourism, and by high net worth individuals for recreational flying although private pilots are not allowed to stray far from their home airports.

Cirrus is displaying an SR22 Xi here at the show, with the Xi denoting that it has been customized to the buyer’s specifications. “It has a premium interior, it’s kind of an ultimate Cirrus,” says Dauplaise. It also has one of the most advanced glass-panel cockpits with its top-of-the line GTS Garmin-based avionics. Just two Xi’s have been delivered into China to date, waiting to show their true capabilities when airspace controls are relaxed and cross-country flight becomes practical.