How many airplanes has Cirrus Aircraft Sold (2020)?

Cirrus Aircraft has been manufacturing the certified Vision Personal Jet since 2016 and the SR series airplanes since 1999.  Total customer shipments were 8,234 at the end of 2020.  Details by the numbers are below.

Table 1: Cirrus Aircraft Shipments by Year

YearSF50 JetSR22 TurboSR22SR20SRVTotal

”Cirrus Aircraft’s first high-performance SR Series airplane – the SR20 – was delivered in 1999 and transformed general aviation with intuitive avionics, game-changing performance and revolutionary safety systems, including the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®). The SR Series has been the world’s best-selling single-engine piston for 18 years in a row, with a portfolio that includes the SR20, SR22 and the turbocharged SR22T.” 

In 2021, Cirrus launched a limited edition SR series to commemorate the 8,000th customer delivery. The SR Series aircraft have exceeded 11 million flight hours and are flown in more than 60 countries around the world.

Table 1. References: GAMA Annual Reports and Matt Bergwall, 2006-2010 Cirrus Aircraft stats for factory installed Tornado Alley Turbonormalized (TAT) supplemental type certificate installations, which are not identified in GAMA statistics or the FAA registration database.  The FAA records list model SR22 for Cirrus planes with TAT systems.

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General Aviation Factoids

General Aviation is defined as all aviation other than military and scheduled commercial airlines. The 2020, General Aviation Manufacturers Association fiftieth anniversary report contains a number of GA factoids. For example,

GA includes over 440,000 aircraft flying worldwide today, ranging from two-seat training and utility helicopters to transcontinental business jets, of which 211,000 aircraft are based in the United States and over 133,000 in Europe.

GA supports $247 billion in total economic output and 1.2 million total jobs in the United States.

Fractional Aircraft and Share Owners 2019

GAMA annual report included a section on fractional ownership, and JetNet LLC was the source for the statistics. JetNet’s business model appears to be focused on turbine and helicopter markets. They reported the turbine airplane fleet reached 38,448 and helicopters 31,839 respectively worldwide in 2019. JetNet tracks fractional ownership and but only recorded 860 fractional aircraft ownerships in 2019. The GAMA fractional report implies it’s representative of the entire GA fleet.

Fractional Aircraft and Share Owners 2019

Fractional Aircraft             860 
Fractional Share Owners          3,867 
Source: JetNet LLC

Our hypothesis is the total number of fractional aircraft and fractional share owners in the U.S. and worldwide is unknown. JetNet’s stats imply an average of only 17 fractional aircraft per state in the United States and even less if the assumption is worldwide. Logically, JetNet’s fractional numbers are too low and the reporting is incomplete to be representative of the entire market. The U.S. general aviation fleet has more than 211,000 aircraft.

GAMA and JetNet should clarify how their reported records on 860 fractional aircraft relate to the total U.S. and worldwide general aviation fleet.

U.S. General Aviation Fleet by Aircraft Type2018
Single-Engine Piston Airplanes       130,180 
Twin-Engine Piston Airplanes         12,860 
Turboprop Airplanes           9,924 
Jet Powered Airplanes         14,595 
Helicopters           9,988 
Experimental         30,084 
Other aircraft           4,112 
Total       211,743 
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Contribution of GA to U.S. Economy 2018, February 19, 2020

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Aviators Reelin in the Years 2019

Here’s a summary of U.S. pilots by generation just “reelin’ in the years, and stowin’ away the time.” The FAA U.S. pilot population statistics were used to group pilots as close as possible into each generation.

Generation Age Group StatsPercentage
Silent Generation74-91         24,931 4%
Baby Boomers~55-74       184,786 28%
Generation X39-54       156,288 24%
Millennials23-38       206,823 31%
Generation Z7-22         91,735 14%
Total        664,563 100%
Summary by generation of FAA Statistics on Pilot licenses 2019.

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U.S. Pilot Population by Age 2019

For 2019, GAMA reported the FAA pilot population by age and certificate ratings. Here’s the summary by age group:

Age GroupTotal Pilots
14-15              465 
16-19         21,229 
20-24         70,041 
25-29         78,366 
30-34         66,742 
35-39         61,715 
40-44         52,044 
45-49         49,602 
50-54         54,642 
55-59         60,477 
60-64         55,915 
65-69         40,269 
70-74         28,125 
75-79         15,628 
80 & over           9,303 
Total       664,563 
Summary by generation FAA Statistics on Pilot licenses 2019.

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U.S. Pilot Population is Growing 2019

For 2019, GAMA reported annual aviator stats as follows: Active student pilot certificates reached 197,665, which was a 17.8% increase over the prior year. The number of Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot certificates also increased to 100,863 and 164,947 respectively. The number of Private Pilot Licenses dropped by 2% to 161,105.

The bulk of primary pilot training occurs in general aviation aircraft. FAA data shows more people are seeking flight training and obtaining pilot certificates.

The population of females holding U.S. pilot certificates climbed to 7.9%, one of the highest ratios on record for a total of 52,740 certificates.

FAA Data2019
Student Pilots       197,665 
Private Pilots       161,105 
Commercial       100,863 
ATP       164,947 
Total       624,580 
Summary FAA Statistics on Pilot Certificates 2019; excludes recreational & sport pilots licenses.

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Air Traffic Modernization Milestones 2020

GAMA’s annual report provided a brief update on an important milestone for U.S. Air Traffic Control modernization, which was reached January 1, 2020 when the automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) mandate went into effect. Over 108,000 aircraft were equipped with ADS-B when the mandate went into effect. But the GAMA annual report did not summarize the overall ADS-B compliance rate in the U.S.

As of July 1, 2020 the FAA is reporting 142,000 aircraft equipped but only 129,000 are good installs. FAA data excludes experimental and Light Sport Aircraft.

There are approximately 212,000 aircraft in the U.S. General Aviation Fleet (excluding commercial and military aircraft). So, it appears the compliance rate is currently about 60% for ADS-B. Still a lot of work left to do.

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, “Contributions of General Aviation to the US Economy in 2018,” PWC, Published 2020, page 6.

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GA Economic Impact Factoid

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers, report on GA economic impact, “At the national level, each direct job in general aviation supported 3.3 jobs elsewhere in the economy.” Nationwide 273,500 full and part-time workers were directly employed in general aviation in 2018. In total, GA’s direct employment supported 1.2 million jobs and $247 billion in economic output. About a 3.3 to 1 ratio.

Economic activities by pilots also have direct, indirect, induced and enabled impacts among related businesses in the economy. It’s an hypothesis that the related business to pilot ratio is similar to that found in the PWC report (3.3 to 1). Therefore, the number of related businesses to pilots would be greater than 1 to 1. There are 633,000 pilots registered with the FAA.

Reference: PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Contribution of General Aviation to the U.S. Economy in 2018,” GAMA’s State of the Industry Press Conference, February 19, 2020.