Cirrus, getting out of town

Now, don’t get all riled up. Cirrus is not actually moving out of Duluth.

But just try reaching one of their officials this week. That’s because the big week-long Experimental Aircraft Association’s airshow in Oshkosh  got underway today. And of course, the Duluth-based airplane manufacturer is there.

Some companies think fiscal year-to- fiscal year. Cirrus thinks Oshkosh-to-Oshkosh, Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters said recently.

“Our whole world revolves around Oshkosh,” he said. “If it’s aerospace, it’s at Oshkosh. Every manufacturer that exits is there. It takes over the entire community. When you drive to Oshkosh, it’s wall-to-wall airplanes from people flying in to attend. It’s an ocean of airplanes, parked on grass, strips, everywhere.”

And this year, he said, “Our presence will be bigger than ever.”

Then there’s that Cirrus plane hanging from the ceiling of the Resch Center near Green Bay, being seen by the thousands who attend events there. The center hosts big name concerts and is home to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball team and more.

So what’s up with that? Why is a Cirrus plane hanging from the ceiling?

Barbie Patterson of PMI Entertainment Group which manages the Resch Center, said the plane was installed this month to increase exposure of the Jet Air Group. Resch recently partnered with the group that includes Cirrus, Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay and Lakeland College in Green Bay which has a four-year aviation program.

“We are excited that an estimated 600,000 people per year will see the plane hanging in the Resch Center for the next couple of years,” Patterson said.

Oh, by the way, it’s not a real plane. It’s a mock-up, 8 feet long by 10 feet wide.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said.