As Cirrus Aircraft continues to innovate and lead general aviation with the best-selling SR Series aircraft and the Vision® Jet, the world’s first single engine Personal Jet, the company announces the addition of industry veteran Ken Harness as Senior Vice President of Product Development.
Ken joins Cirrus Aircraft with more than 28 years of leadership experience in the aviation and aerospace industries. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Product Development and Engineering at Highland Group, an aerospace consulting firm. Prior to that, Ken led commercial helicopter production as Chief Operating Officer at Sikorsky Global Helicopters. Ken also served as Chief Operating Officer at Diamond Aircraft and as Vice President of Engineering at Eclipse Aviation, where he helped lead the development and certification of the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet. Ken is co-inventor on three patents as a result of his leadership at Eclipse on the world’s first FAA certified halon replacement fire suppression system. Beyond his most recent experience, Ken also held leadership roles with Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt and Whitney, and Williams International.
Ken holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Oakland University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation Technology from Purdue University, and he also served six years in the United States Army as a helicopter test pilot. As an aviation enthusiast, Ken is a FAA licensed commercial pilot for both helicopters and multi-engine airplanes and an aircraft mechanic.
As the Senior Vice President of Product Development at Cirrus Aircraft, Ken will lead all aspects of Product Development and Engineering, including design, manufacturing and process engineering, as well as the experimental build and flight test teams.
Ken joins the organization following a record year of growth and expansion at Cirrus Aircraft, with the launch of the Vision Jet and opening of the Vision Center Campus in Knoxville, Tennessee. As the company continues to lead innovation in general aviation, as well as accelerate production of the SR Series and Vision Jet, Ken’s experience and strategy will be an integral addition to the Executive Team.