Quiros buys light plane manufacturer

Tom Peghiny (left), president of Flight Design USA, has sold his light aircraft manufacturing company to Jay Peak co-owner Ariel Quiros (right). A newly created Flight Design Americas LLC will establish manufacturing and sales operations at the Newport State Airport, also managed in part by Quiros. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger.

Tom Peghiny (left), president of Flight Design USA, has sold his light aircraft manufacturing company to Jay Peak co-owner Ariel Quiros (right). A newly created Flight Design Americas LLC will establish manufacturing and sales operations at the Newport State Airport, also managed in part by Quiros. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger.

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.

Alexandra MacLean of Jay Peak gets a tour of the CTLS cockpit from the plane’s owner, Gary Forrester, of Newport, N.H. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Alexandra MacLean of Jay Peak gets a tour of the CTLS cockpit from the plane’s owner, Gary Forrester, of Newport, N.H., in July. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

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.

Follow Hilary on Twitter @nilesmedia

Comments

  1. Hale Irwin :

    Where will the workers come from?

  2. Josh Fitzhugh :

    Why did Peghiny decide to sell rather than move his business to VT as he had said in July?

    • Fred Woogmaster :

      Interesting question.

      And although it is history, why did Dr. Gerald Bull establish his international arms operation in Vermont? Some of the same reasons, perhaps? The Big Boys play a Big game.

      The Canadian border offers great opportunities for international maneuvering.
      What is the English word for ‘justified paranoia’?

  3. Barry Kade :

    It’s not a word, it’s phrase, “common sense.”

  4. Paul Lorenzini :

    Hopefully they share the wealth and train some non elitist, not college educated, but full of common sense, Vermonters for those jobs.

    Or maybe they will import some people.

    time will tell

    • Paul Lorenzini :

      anyone seen zoolander?

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