By the late 1990’s the Klapmeier brothers had moved away from constructing kit planes. They had a bigger vision that would change general aviation. In 1998 the FAA had certified their first airplane – The Cirrus SR20. Nine certified SR20’s were shipped in 1999 as reported by the General Aviation Management Association (GAMA). Two years later the SR22-G1 was certified and GA would not be the same.
The planes offered more than modern avionics. Cirrus Aircraft delivered continuous innovation, pioneered high-volume composite construction and numerous safety features. All SR-series models from the beginning came with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) as standard equipment. It’s a signature safety feature first marketed by Cirrus Aircraft for GA airplanes. CAPS is also standard equipment on the new Vision SF50 personal Jet.
The SR22-G1 had a TCM IO-500N 310-HP engine that is known as one of Continental’s best motors. A 3-blade prop was standard equipment. This gave the SR22 more payload capacity and speed (Gross weight 3,400 lbs. beginning with the G5 gross weight increased to 2,600 lbs.). The SR20 had a Continental IO-360ES 200-HP motor. The normally aspirated SR22 will cruise in the 170 -180 range while the SR20 runs about 150 knots (not bad). In 2006, the SR22 Turbo pushed these numbers over 192 knots at cruise altitudes in the teens.
The cabin section between the two models were basically the same. But the airframe was slightly different. The SR22 had a wider wingspan, beefed up wing spar and larger elevator. The new wing increased fuel capacity to 81 gallons (The G3 wing expanded usable fuel to 92 gallons).
The Cirrus “SR-series of high-performance piston airplanes are the best-selling aircraft in the world for 14 consecutive years – with over 6,500 aircraft operating in over 60 countries.”
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