A Detailed Look At Cirrus SR20

By Jason Zilberbrand

November 7, 2022 Educational

Cirrus SR20

Cirrus Aircraft

Beginning in 1984 with founders Alan and Dale Klapmeier, Cirrus Aircraft is one of the major players in aviation. Cirrus introduced its VK-30 at the 1987 EAA Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Alan and Dale continued with the production of its sleek design and low-drag VK-30, in addition to making aircraft kits until 1993. After the VK's exit, Cirrus created the ST-50 with a turboprop instead of a 300-horsepower Continental engine. There is no series production that existed for the ST-50 before Cirrus moved its headquarters to Duluth, Minnesota. After moving, Cirrus produced the first SR20 in the mid-90s, eventually creating SR22 and SR22T variations.

One of the most unique aspects of Cirrus's aircraft designs lies within its Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) – a standard life-saving device on all Cirrus aircraft. This safety feature first appears in Cirrus's 1998 SR20 variation and is extremely well-known throughout the aviation industry for its innovation, adding extra safety support in case pilots lose engine power at night and/or are traveling over trees or water. Later models are equipped with larger parachutes to make up for any added weight.

Maintenance is a requirement for Cirrus's parachute system. In fact, you should repack its parachute every 10 years for optimal performance. All new Cirrus aircraft feature CAPS, costing about $15,000 every ten years to repack.

Cirrus SR20 Development & Training

Specifically, the TRAC SR20 is preferred for training because of its high-performance capabilities for single-engine aircraft. TRAC SR20s have advanced technology like Garmin® Perspective+ flight deck with two large flight displays, a Flight Management System (FMS) keypad controller, and much more. Pilot instructors use SR20s because they pack safety features and high-tech features all in one.

To equip its fleet and address the post-pandemic pilot shortage, the United Aviate Academy (UAA) purchased a fleet of 25 TRAC SR20 aircraft for its ab-initio pilot training program. As the program grows, the UAA has the rights to purchase 25 more TRAC SR20s.

Instead of overly luxurious interior features, this SR20 is made with weatherproof materials and easy-to-clean water-resistant seating. These features make it optimal for student use as it will be able to stand up to more wear and tear throughout its use. The entire TRAC series includes the TRAC20, TRAC22, and TRAC22T.

Cirrus handles flight training and has multiple training facilities located across the United States:

  • Knoxville, Tennessee

  • San Diego, California

  • McKinney, Texas

  • Bend, Oregon

  • Spokane, Washington

  • Seattle, Washington

  • Truckee, California

  • Henderson, Nevada

  • Casper, Wyoming

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Englewood, Colorado

  • Addison, Texas

  • Waco, Texas

  • Bethany, Oklahoma

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Hutchinson, Kansas

  • New Century, Kansas

  • Madison, Mississippi

  • Eden Prairie, Minnesota

  • Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Lake Elmo, Minnesota

  • Chesterfield, Missouri

  • Bloomingfield, Illinois

  • Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • Middleton, Wisconsin

  • Waterford, Michigan

  • Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • Zionsville, Indiana

  • Owensboro, Kentucky

  • Louisville, Kentucky

  • Columbus, Ohio

  • Nashville, Tennessee

  • Kennesaw, Georgia

  • Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Atlanta, Georgia

  • Savannah, Georgia

  • North Charleston, South Carolina

  • Monroe, North Carolina

  • Ocala, Florida

  • Spring Hill, Florida

  • Clearwater, Florida

  • Sarasota, Florida

  • Fort Myers, Florida

  • Naples, Florida

  • Miami, Florida

  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Stuart, Florida

  • Melbourne, Florida

  • Gaithersburg, Maryland

  • Leesburg, Virginia

  • Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

  • Princeton, New Jersey

  • Morristown, New Jersey

  • West Orange, New Jersey

  • West Harrison, New York

  • Farmingdale, New York

  • Montgomery, New York

  • Plainville, Connecticut

  • Plymouth, Massachusetts

  • Bedford, Massachusetts

  • Danvers, Massachusetts

  • Gilford, New Hampshire

  • Brunswick, Maine


  • Country of Origin: America

Cirrus SR20 Statistics (2022)

155 kts

Maximum Speed

808 Nm

Maximum Range

4

Maximum Occupants

1999-Present

Range Of Years Manufactured

1,459 up to 2019

Total Aircraft Build

Unknown

Current Operational Aircraft

1,028 lbs

Useful Load

$845,269

Average Sale Value

Unknown

Average Days On Market For Sale

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Operational Resources

Operations Manual

Maintenance Document

Local Resources

Manufacturer

Insurance

Cirrus SR20 Details

Below are the details for the 2022 SR20 Premium model.

Interior

With a base price of $624,600, the 2022 SR20 Premium includes a Digital 4-in-1 Standby Instrument panel and 12-inch screens for optimal viewing. The SR20 Premium offers luxurious comfort through its leather, bolstered seats, and satin silver vents and lights. Buyers can ensure their aircraft is aesthetically pleasing with the ability to choose from 5 leather colors and two cabin interiors. Additional internal options include AC, Tanis's avionics and engine pre-heating, Hartzell's 3-blade lightweight carbon composite prop, and Cirrus Global Connect.

Exterior

Cirrus offers 2 exterior design types for the SR20, with carbon and platinum finishes available. Spectra's wingtip lighting helps increase the aircraft's visibility during the day and night. Additionally, the SR20 has a sleek and compact design with illuminated steps for safer and easier onboarding. This aircraft also offers Electronic Stability & Protection (ESP) and CAPS operations.

Cirrus offers 12 bold colors and two coordinating designs for a custom touch:

  • Corso Red Sterling

  • Corso Red White

  • Monarch Blue Sterling

  • Monarch Blue White

  • Neptune Sterling

  • Neptune White

  • Titan Sterling

  • Titan White

  • Baja Blue Sterling

  • Baja Blue White

  • Evolution Red Sterling

  • Evolution Red White

  • Zanzibar Orange Sterling

  • Meteorite Sterling

  • Meteorite White

  • Canyon Copper Sterling

  • Canyon Copper White

  • Frost Sterline

  • Frost White

  • White Sterling

  • Sterling White

  • White

  • Sterling

Avionics

The Cirrus SR20 may contain the following avionics:

  • Cirrus Perspective+™ by Garmin® cockpit

  • 10 or 12-inch screens

  • Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT®)

  • GMA 350c All-Digital Bluetooth® Audio Panel

  • QWERTY keyboard controller

  • Dual WAAS GPS/Comm/Nav radios

  • Engine and fuel monitoring

  • Cirrus IQ

  • Garmin Pilot

  • Dual alternators

  • 406 MHz ELT

  • ADS-B out transponder

  • ADS-B in weather and traffic

  • FliteCharts® & SafeTaxi®

  • SiriusXM weather and audio

  • Garmin Flight Stream 510

  • SurfaceWatch

  • eTAWS

  • GFC 700 Autopilot with Perspective Electronic Stability & Protection (ESP)

  • Dual ADAHRS

  • Hypoxia check/automatic descent mode

  • Blue level button

  • Autopilot stall protection

Specifications

  • Wing Span: 35 ft. 7 in.

  • Length: 26 ft. 3 in.

  • Height: 9 ft. 3 in.

  • Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Fixed Gear

  • Max Seats: 4

  • Max Takeoff Weight: 3,000 lbs.

  • Cruise: 160 kts

  • Range: 800 nm

  • Take Off (50 ft.): 1,958 ft.

  • Landing (50 ft.): 2,040 ft.

All Cirrus SR20 Models

SR20

Debuting in 1999, the original SR20 became the first of its kind to earn a Part 23 certification in several years from the FAA. Featuring its Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), it is the first manufactured light aircraft to come with a parachute system. This particular variation has a Continental 200-horsepower TBO 2000/2200 IO-360-ES engine with an estimated average cost of $33,000 for an engine overhaul.

SR20 G2

The next SR20 debuted in 2004 and is a much-upgraded version of the initial SR20. It even offers Avidyne Entegra avionics. It has a Continental 200-horsepower TBO 2000/2200 IO-360-ES engine.

SRV

The G3 appeared in 2003 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It offers essentially the same features as its previous variation. However, its cruise speed at 75% power is 150 kt (278 km/h; 173 mph), and its range reserves 634 n miles (1,174 km; 729 miles). It also has a max range of 865 n miles (1,602 km; 995 miles).

SR20 G3

The G3 debuted in 2007 with a lighter wing over a greater area, which increases its cruise speed by 6 to 7 knots (11 to 13 km/h). The G3 also adds 50 pounds (23 kg) to its useful load by increasing the take-off weight to 3,050 pounds (1,380 kg). Furthermore, it has a redesigned main landing gear 2 inches taller than its previous version, giving it a greater propeller and tail clearance. The G3 also has improved aircraft handling due to its increased dihedral and better aerodynamics including new wing root fairings, LED recognition lights, improved heat and ventilation, dual-redundant GPS WAAS-certified Garmin GNS 430W comm-navigators, and an S-Tec Autopilot.

T-53A

The SR20 was selected in 2011 for cadet flight training with the 306th Flying Training Group at the United States Air Force Academy. Its given Air Force model/design/series (MDS) designation is the T-53A. 25 examples were to be purchased to replace the academy's current stock of 20 leased T-52As by May 2012. This variation also includes new features such as Cirrus Perspective avionics (by Garmin) as well as airbag seatbelts.

SR20 G6

Appearing in January of 2017, the G6 adds a Lycoming IO-390 engine of 215 horsepower (160 kW), an enhanced "Perspective-Plus" flight deck with ten times faster instrument processing speed, new LED wingtip lights, and a useful load increase of 150 lbs.

TRAC

First appearing in September 2019, the TRAC was created to serve the flight-training industry with a simplified SR20 featuring a durable interior, IO-390 engine, Perspective+ flight deck, rear seat push-to-talk functionality, and simulated landing gear controls.

Top Cirrus SR20 Questions

Answers to FAQs about Cirrus SR20 models.

Is Cirrus's CAPS Effective?

Yes. According to Cirrus, as of 2021, CAPS has been deployed 103 times, saving more than 200 people.

The FAA granted certification of Cirrus's CAPS in October 1998. First developed by Cirrus and Ballistic Recovery Systems, it's designed to decrease the number of fatal accidents. The AOPA Air Safety Institute gave Cirrus Aircraft its first Joseph T. Nall Safety Award at the EAA AirVenture in 2016.

How Much Does The Cirrus SR20 Cost?

The cost will depend greatly on the particular year you're interested in. However, the average price for a pre-owned Cirrus SR20 is $200,032.

If you're searching for a brand new Cirrus SR20, its standard base price is $524,600, and its Premium base price is $624,600. Of course, it's critical to remember that the base price does not include insurance, the cost of hangaring the aircraft, maintenance, repairs, etc.

Is The Cirrus SR20 A Good Aircraft?

The true performance of an SR20 will depend on which year and variation you're interested in. With the right training and understanding of its features, the SR20 is a solid, comfortable, lightweight aircraft many pilots enjoy flying. It does well with long cross-country flights and is often used as a transitional aircraft for pilots who want to move on to flying an SR22.

How Fast Does A Cirrus SR20 Fly?

Cirrus's 2022 SR20 has a max cruise speed of 155 ktas.

Is Cirrus SR20 High Performance?

Even though the SR20 is less powerful than the SR22, it should still be treated as a high-performance aircraft. It is equipped with a 200-horsepower Continental IO-360-ES engine, making it a lightweight yet efficient aircraft.

How Does The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) Work?

To prompt the parachute built into many Cirrus aircraft, all you need to do is pull the red T-handle for it to deploy. As soon as you pull the handle, your aircraft's rocket-propelled parachute system releases, lowering the entire airplane to the ground.

It's important to note that to pull the handle correctly, you must apply at least 45 lbs. of force with both hands as you pull downward. The best way to do this is by moving in a chin up position as your hands pull the handle down. It's also recommended not to get out of the aircraft until it's reached a complete stop. It would help if you then moved up wind to be further away from any potential harm.

CAPS should only be used in a true emergency situation like a mid-air collision, loss of control, spinning aircraft or engine failure between your CAPS altitude and 2,000 feet AGL. It's extremely important to be adequately trained in the event of an emergency situation. However, CAPS should be viewed as a last resort and not an alternative way to land.

Traditional parachutes for aircraft are extra cargo and/or equipment that takes away luggage space and the weight reserved for its useful load. This is exactly why Cirrus created an aircraft with the system built into its design. It's easy to use and Cirrus provides multiple training courses to give everyone the opportunity to learn how to use it effectively.

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