|First flight||21 March 1995|
|Number built||1,332 (through 2016)|
|Developed into||Cirrus SR22|
The SR20 was the first production general aviation aircraft equipped with a parachute to lower the airplane safely to the ground after a loss of control, structural failure or mid-air collision. It was also the first manufactured light aircraft with all-composite construction and flat-panel avionics.
Design and development
The SR20 mock-up was unveiled in 1994. The aircraft first flew on 21 March 1995 and FAA certification was achieved on 23 October 1998. At the time of the airplane's release, the general aviation industry was struggling; the SR20 was one of the first of its kind to earn FAA Part 23 certification in several years. Over a thousand SR20s have been sold since deliveries began in 1999. As of June 2015, more than 6,000 Cirrus aircraft had been delivered, something that no other aviation company has done for decades.
One of the major selling points for the SR20 is its Garmin Cirrus Perspective avionics suite with dual 10-inch (250 mm) or 12-inch (300 mm) screens: one primary flight display (PFD) and one multi-function display (MFD). This provides all standard communication, navigation (GPS and conventional VHF), and surveillance (Mode S transponder) functions. Other avionics features include in-flight weather information and TCAS-like traffic information.
SR20s made from 1999 to 2003 were equipped with traditional analog instruments and a 10" MFD. In July 2003, Cirrus made PFDs standard on the SR20 and faster SR22, pioneering the use of glass cockpits in the light aircraft general aviation industry.
The SR-series remains the only airplane in its class to include side stick flight controls that combine aspects of a traditional yoke handle (this has been referred to in the industry as a "side yoke").
The SR20 and SR22 are equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), a large parachute that can be deployed in an emergency to lower the entire aircraft to the ground safely. As of September 2018, the SR-series has deployed the system 79 times carrying 163 survivors.
In 2004, Cirrus introduced the SR20 G2 (Generation 2) and in 2008 the SR20 G3 (Generation 3). Both were defined by airframe modifications, G2 by fuselage and G3 by wing/landing gear changes.
In 2012, "60/40 flex seating" was introduced, allowing up to three passengers in the rear with a split fold-down seat arrangement. This five-seat configuration was optional in 2012 but became standard equipment for 2013 SR20 models.
In 2016, Cirrus introduced enhancements to the SR Series, including Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a remote keyless entry, convenience lighting system, and a new easy access door latch, among other interior and exterior improvements.
In 2017, the company introduced the SR20 G6 (Generation 6), with several upgrades to the avionics, new navigation lights and an increased useful load.
In September 2019, Cirrus unveiled the TRAC, a training-oriented version of the SR20 with a simplified interior, more durable seat material, backseat radio transmit switch to allow an observer to communicate with air traffic control, electronic stability and protection system, integrated engine indication and crew alerting/warning systems, and simulated retractable landing gear controls and position lights to allow cadets and instructors to feign landing gear operation and failures during instructional flights (the actual landing gear remains permanently fixed).
In 2011, the accident record of the SR20 and -22 was the subject of a detailed examination by Aviation Consumer magazine. The review concluded that the series has an overall accident record that is better than average for light aircraft, exceeded only by the Diamond DA40 and DA42. However, its fatal accident rate is much worse at 1.6/100,000 hours, placing it higher than the U.S. general aviation rate of 1.2 and higher than the Diamond DA40 (.35), Cessna 172 (.45), Diamond DA42 (.54), Cessna 182 (.69) and the Cessna 400 (1.0), despite the Cirrus's full aircraft parachute system.
By 2014, the accident rate had been dramatically reduced, with a 2013 fatal rate of 1.01 per 100,000 flight hours. This was attributed to better training, particularly in when to deploy the ballistic parachute system.
By 2015, the accident rate had continued to decrease, with a 2014 fatal rate of .42 per 100,000 flight hours, making it one of the best safety records in the industry. This marked the fewest fatalities in a single year for Cirrus since 2001, and the first year where the number of CAPS deployments (12) exceeded the number of fatal accidents (3).
- Original version produced from 1999.
- SR20 G2
- Improved variant introduced in 2004, including Avidyne Entegra avionics.
- Introduced at the 2003 EAA AirVenture Convention and brought to market in 2004, the Cirrus SRV was a VFR-only version of the SR20 for the low-end private ownership and flight training market. As such it omitted some standard equipment available on the SR20 such as wheel fairings. For 2008 the SRV model was updated to G3 configuration, with the SR22 wing. Cirrus discontinued the SRV for the 2010 model year.
- SR20 G3
- Introduced in 2007, the "Generation 3" G3 has a lighter wing of greater area, incorporating a carbon-fiber spar. The new wing increased the SR20's cruise speed by 6–7 knots (11–13 km/h). The G3 also added a 50 pounds (23 kg) increased useful load by increasing the take-off weight to 3,050 pounds (1,380 kg), a re-designed main landing gear that is 2 inches (5 cm) taller, giving greater propeller and tail clearance, improved aircraft handling due to increased dihedral, improved aerodynamics including new wing root fairings, LED recognition lights, improved heat and ventilation, dual-redundant GPS WAAS-certified Garmin GNS 430W comm-navigators (that include a VHF radio and a VOR/LOC/ILS receiver) and an S-Tec Autopilot.
- In 2011, the SR20 was selected for cadet flight training with the 306th Flying Training Group at the United States Air Force Academy and given an Air Force model/design/series (MDS) designation as the T-53A. Twenty-five examples will be purchased to replace the Academy's current stock of 20 leased T-52As by May 2012.
- SR20 G6
- Introduced in January 2017, the G6 model adds a Lycoming IO-390 engine of 215 hp (160 kW), an enhanced "Cirrus Perspective-Plus" flight deck (by Garmin) with a 10-times faster instrument processing speed, new LED wingtip lights and a useful load increase of 150 lb (68 kg).
The SR20 is popular with many flying schools and is operated by private individuals and companies. The largest operators are CAFUC (Civil Aviation Flight University of China) operating 40 aircraft, Aerosim Flight Academy which operates 34, Western Michigan University which has 29, Lufthansa Flight Training with a fleet of 25 and Purdue University with 16.
Accidents and incidents
- On March 23, 1999, Duluth native Scott D. Anderson was killed in a plane crash while flight-testing the first production model SR20 before it went on sale. Anderson was a pilot, author, engineer and adventurer who served as Chief Test Pilot at Cirrus in the mid- to late-1990s, performing all the inflight test-deployments of the CAPS. His plane, which had not yet been equipped with CAPS, experienced an aileron jam during experimental stress-testing and went down in a field near the Duluth International Airport. Anderson was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010.
- On October 11, 2006, New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and certified flight instructor Tyler Stanger were killed in the 2006 New York City plane crash when their SR20 crashed into the Belaire Apartments located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The aircraft struck the north side of the building, causing a fire in several apartments. The accident was the result of high winds and pilot error.
- Length: 26 ft 0 in (7.92 m)
- Wingspan: 38 ft 4 in (11.68 m)
- Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
- Empty weight: 2,126 lb (964 kg)
- Gross weight: 3,050 lb (1,383 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental IO-360-ES six cylinder, horizontally-opposed piston aircraft engine, 200 hp (150 kW)
- Propellers: 3-bladed
- Cruise speed: 155 kn (178 mph, 287 km/h) TAS
- Stall speed: 56 kn (64 mph, 104 km/h) CAS
- Service ceiling: 17,500 ft (5,300 m)
- Rate of climb: 828 ft/min (4.21 m/s)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- General Aviation Manufacturers Association (2017). "2016 General Aviation Statistical Databook & Industry Outlook" (PDF). Retrieved 22 February 2017. Cite journal requires
- "Purchase Planning Handbook" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week Network. June 2019.
- "Top 100 Airplanes:Platinum Edition". Flying. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
- Robert Goyer (2011). "10 Ways that the SR22 Changed Flying".
- CompsitesWorld (2010). "Cirrus Aircraft's SR22 second-generation design improves functionality and enables faster processing". Retrieved 2015-08-31.
- Aerofiles: Aircraft Ca to Ci Retrieved 24 July 2011.
- Federal Aviation Administration (May 2008). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A00009CH Revision 13" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-14.
- Goyer, Robert (Sep 2008). "Cirrus SR20 G3". Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Cirrus Aircraft News (June 15, 2015). "Cirrus Aircraft Celebrates 6,000th Airplane Delivery". Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- Davison, Budd (December 14, 2015). "Aviation 1965–2015". Retrieved January 5, 2016.
- National Transportation Safety Board. "Introduction of Glass Cockpit Avionics into Light Aircraft" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-09-11.
- Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (12 October 2018). "Cirrus CAPS History". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- "Cirrus Aircraft". Cirrus Aircraft. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Cirrus Aircraft 2016 SR Series Introduction". Vimeo.com. January 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
- Cirrus Aircraft News (February 16, 2016). "Cirrus Aircraft Unveils Enhanced 2016 SR Series". Retrieved June 10, 2016.
- Grady, Mary (4 January 2017). "Cirrus Updates SR22 And SR20". AVweb. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- Hirschman, Dave (24 September 2019). "Making Better Pro Pilots Faster: New TRAC Trainer from Cirrus". aopa.org. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- Mark, Rob (25 September 2019). "Cirrus Unveils TRAC Series of Flight Training Aircraft". flyingmag.com. Flying. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- AVweb staff (20 December 2011). "Aviation Consumer: Cirrus Safety Record Just Average". AVweb. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Bertorelli, Paul (10 April 2014). "Cirrus Reports Dramatic Accident Reduction". Avweb. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Zimmerman, John (11 February 2015). "Fatal Cirrus crashes are way down – thank the parachute". Air Facts. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Beach, Rick (1 July 2014). "Mid-Year 2014 Update on Improved Cirrus accident rates". Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Anders, Clark (22 May 2015). "Cirrus SR22: The Plane with the Parachute". Disciples of Flight. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Colby, Douglas (2004). "The New Cirrus SRV". Plane & Pilot. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- Cirrus Design. "Cirrus SR20 Models". Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Cirrus Aircraft (2016). "SR20 Specifications". Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- Niles, Russ F. (April 2008). "G3 SR20 Has New Wings, Refined Interior". Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- Cirrus Design (2007). "Cirrus SR20 What's New". Archived from the original on 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Flying Magazine: 20. February 2008. Missing or empty
- Associated Press (June 2011). "Academy gets 25 new trainer aircraft for $6.1M". Air Force Times. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "EAA News – USAF Academy Buys Cirrus SR-20s, Designates T-53A". Eaa.org. 2011-07-06. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- Rachel (July 2008). "Delta connection academy offers high school students discovery flights in partnership with a nationwide ace camp program". Archived from the original on 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- Western Michigan University College of Aviation. "Aircraft – Cirrus SR-20". Archived from the original on 12 April 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Purdue Acquires Cirrus Aircraft". January 2010. Archived from the original on May 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- Burns, Ashley (2017). "Cirrus Tapped for Lufthansa's Airline Pilot Training Program". Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Cirrus News: French Air Force/Cassidian". Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Cirrus News: Final Air Force T-53A Deliveries". Archived from the original on 2012-05-20. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "ASN Aviation Safety Database results SR20". Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- Passie, Peter (April 2010). "Pilot Scott Anderson Remembered". Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Fallows, James (November 21, 1999). "Turn Left at Cloud 109". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
- Fallows, James (March 7, 2007). "Lidle lawsuit update: the myth of 'aileron failure'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
- Higdon, Dave (March 31, 1999). "Cirrus SR20 demonstrator kills test pilot in prison crash". Flighglobal. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
- "Yankee Pitcher Dies as Plane Crashes Into NYC High-Rise". ABC News. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
- "Yankees pitcher killed in crash of small plane in Manhattan". CNN. October 12, 2006. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
- "Yankees Player Among Two Killed In Small Plane Crash On Manhattan's UES". NY1. October 11, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
- Feinsand, Mark (October 11, 2006). "Yankees' Lidle killed in plane crash". MLB.com. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
- Yaniv, Oren; Leo Standora (October 12, 2006). "2nd victim died living his dream". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cirrus SR20.|