JAY — Jay Peak co-owner Ariel Quiros has acquired Connecticut-based Flight Design USA for an undisclosed sum. The firm has been positioned since July to move its manufacturing and sales operations to Newport State Airport in Coventry.
The deal closed “last week,” Flight Design president Tom Peghiny said Friday at a news conference following a ribbon-cutting for Jay Peak’s new Stateside Hotel and Baselodge.
A new business entity called Flight Design Americas LLC now holds the sole license to build and sell the products of the German firm Flight Design in North, Central and South America.
Bill Stenger, Jay Peak’s co-owner and business partner with Quiros, said the new Flight Design facility will create more than 100 full-time, year-round jobs once it’s up to full operations.
When Flight Design’s Newport manufacturing plans were originally announced last summer, Peghiny introduced Vermont to the unique carbon-fiber frame of the company’s two-seater CTLS aircraft.
In addition to existing Flight Design products, the new firm will manufacture a new four-seater C4 plane, modeled after the CTLS. The light aircraft will be sold for about $250,000 — a low price-point Peghiny described as “market disruptive.” Similar planes sell for upwards of $400,000, he said.
Quiros’s son Ary, a fixed wing and helicopter pilot who is also involved with the airport project, said the relative affordability of the C4 makes it ideal for flight schools, charters and pleasure flying.
The younger Quiros has worked with Lyndon State College to develop plans for a four-year aviation management degree to be offered. He’s helped start a new aviation club at the school to give shape to a curriculum and build interest.
The company expects to sell more than 200 aircraft annually by the third year of production. The planes will be made with 60 percent American materials, the company said.