Cirrus Aircraft is a Chinese-owned manufacturer of general aviation aircraft. Originally founded in 1984 in Minnesota by American aircraft designers Alan and Dale Klapmeier, the company began by producing kits for amateur builders to produce their own aircraft. An innovative feature of Cirrus designs was a parachute system to lower the whole airplane safely to the ground in the event of a catastrophic failure. After marketing a successful homebuilt design in the 1980s, Cirrus began producing fully manufactured aircraft in the late 1990s and quickly became a very popular choice for flight schools and recreational pilots. Cirrus was purchased by a holding corporation owned by the Chinese government in 2011 following financial difficulties resulting from the 2009 recession. It continues to manufacture its aircraft in Duluth, Minnesota.