Published in Midwest Flyer – April/May 2018 issue
DULUTH, MINN. & KNOXVILLE, TENN. – 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 has added industry veteran, Ken Harness, to its management team as Senior Vice President of Product Development.
Harness 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, Harness led commercial helicopter production as Chief Operating Officer at Sikorsky Global Helicopters. He also served as Chief Operating Officer at Diamond Aircraft and Vice President of Engineering at Eclipse Aviation, where he helped lead the development and certification of the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet. Harness is a 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, Harness held leadership roles with Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt and Whitney, and Williams International.
Harness holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Oakland University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation Technology from Purdue University. He also served six years in the United States Army as a helicopter test pilot. As an aviation enthusiast, Harness holds a commercial pilot certificate for both helicopters and multi-engine airplanes, and is an aircraft technician.
As the Senior Vice President of Product Development at Cirrus Aircraft, Ken Harness 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.