The SR22-G3 Generation Three debuted in the spring of 2007. The plane’s appearance on the ramp was visibly different. It stood taller. And, according to Cirrus, there are more than 700-plus design changes to the Generation Three airframe and systems inside.
Robert Goyer, editor of Flying Magazine, has flown hundreds of hours in Cirrus G1 and G2 aircraft but he says, “In terms of handling . . . they never felt great until [the G3]. The new G3 handles beautifully.” “The G3 simply flies better than the G2.”
SR22-G3 has more than 700 Airframe & System Design Changes
- New wing design
- New CG wing placement
- Increased wing dihedral
- Larger fuel tanks for turbo
- Improved TKS inadvertent ice protection
The re-engineered wing structure was a central change to SR22-G3 models, beginning in the spring of 2007, with serial number 22-2438. The G3 wing has a full span internal carbon fiber spar that is 3 feet wider than the G2 fiberglass spar. The longer G3 carbon fiber spar allowed the wing ribs to be spread out further, which shortened the wing tip caps and increased space for the larger fuel tank capacity. The SR22-G3 wing span is 38’4.”
The G3 carbon fiber spar is 87 pounds lighter than the G2 fiberglass spar. After structural changes, the G3 wing has a net lower weight of about 66 pounds compared to the G2 wing.
Wing placement CG for Turbo
The G3 wing improved the airplane’s center of gravity (CG) envelope providing needed relief for the turbocharged model and owners with air conditioning. The major wing design changes benefited turbocharged models the most.
Increased Wing Dihedral
The G3 wing is almost identical in shape and width to the G2. But Cirrus increased the wing dihedral by 1.5 degrees and restyled the wing root fairings, which improved lateral stability and allowed for the elimination of the rudder aileron bungee interconnect. This also helps to make the G3 Turbo more comfortable at higher altitudes.
Robert Goyer says, “This greatly enhances the feel of the airplane, giving it much more pleasing flying qualities.” It also improves taxiing and removes the maintenance cost that the rudder aileron bungee required on the G2.
Larger fuel tanks
Each G3 wing contains a 47.25 gallon fuel tank. Total fuel capacity is 94.5 gallons of which 92 gallons is useable. That’s an increase of 11 gallons over the G2 model. Tabs in each G3 wing tank identify the 30 gallon mark.
The lower net wing weight with the carbon fiber spar just happens to correspond to the fuel capacity increase of 11 gallons (11 gallons x 6 lbs. per gallon = 66lbs).
The G3 TKS inadvertent ice panels span the entire length of the wing’s leading edge and the stall strip is deiced as well. A slinger ring delivers fluid to the prop. The TKS tank capacity was increased to hold 3.75 gallons and a pulse pump supplies 90 minutes of fluid. The TKS filler port and tank was relocated to the upper left wing and the cap equipped with a key lock (G2 TKS cap does not have a key lock).
The fresh air vent is no longer on the wing root fairing which allowed the TKS panel to begin at the wing root. The cabin air inlet is now a NACA scoop on the front cowling. Look for this as a quick way to identify a G3 from a G2 if you haven’t already noticed the other visual differences.
Safety Improvements (cont’d)
The main gear was repositioned inboard to correspond to the new wing rib location, which gives the G3 a higher stance and bigger ramp presence. The taller landing gear allows for better propeller clearance by at least 2 inches, and also increased tail clearance. Cirrus lengthened the foot step and slightly lowered the hand hold to make access onto the higher wing easier.
The SR22 G2 & G3 maximum gross weight limit of 3,400 pounds did not change until 2013 with the G5 model introduction, which received certification for 200 pounds more useful load (Cirrus skipped the Generation Four model designation).
The new wing includes better recognition and taxi lights. Wing tip recognition lights come on with the nose cowling landing light and use light emitting diodes (LED’s).
These changes alone give the Cirrus G3 a “wing-up” on its competition. And, the legacy of Cirrus innovation continues to climb higher and extend farther in generation three.
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