Reason 3 – Turbocharged Cirrus

You should consider the Cirrus SR22TN Tornado Alley Turbo because it has efficient GPH climb performance. The Cirrus Turbo can expedite a climb, Rich of Peak (ROP), to 8,000 feet on just 3.11 gallons of fuel.

My Piper Archer II, 180 HP Lycoming engine required 4.53 gallons to accomplish the same task.

Reason 3 – Efficient GPH Climb Performance

Fully loaded, the Cirrus SR22TN can climb 1,500 feet per minute at 100 knots Indicated Airspeed (IAS) and reach 8,000 feet while burning just 3.11 gallons of fuel.

In contrast, the normally aspirated Piper Archer quickly loses vertical climb performance, dropping below 400 feet per minute as it works to reach 8,000 feet and consumes more fuel than the turbo (see appendix for detail). In the Piper Archer, if you use a more shallow climb, to improve forward speed it only compounds the additional use of fuel to reach altitude.

Max Power Climb to 8,000 feet

Aircraft Engine MFG Fuel Used VS IAS
Cirrus SR22TN IO-550-N Continental 3.11* 1,500 100
Piper Archer II O-360-AYM Lycoming 4.53 Avg. 446 76

*Note: Rich of Peak climb fuel flow

In the Cirrus SR22TN Turbo, normal climb out is 120 – 130 IAS, with a vertical speed of about 1,000 feet per minute, but in Houston’s Class B airspace it’s not unusual to receive an Air Traffic Control request to expedite a climb greater than that rate.

I enjoyed flying the Piper Archer II for eight years, but I was mistaken in thinking the normally aspirated piston engine with lower fuel flow was saving money.


Piper Archer II, PA28-181, Max Power Climb Example

TAS VS Altitude Gallons Used Minutes Climb GPH
76.00 500 2,000 1.00 4.00 15.00
76.00 475 4,000 1.05 4.21 15.00
76.00 420 6,000 1.19 4.76 15.00
76.00 390 8,000 1.28 5.13 15.00
Summary 446 8,000 4.53 18.10 15.00

Cirrus SR22TN Tornado Alley Turbo, Continental IO-550-N, Max Power Climb Example

TAS VS Altitude Gallons Used Minutes Climb GPH
100 1,500 8,000 3.11 5.33 35.00
Summary 1,500 8,000 3.11 5.33 35.00

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