The Klapmeier Brothers Barnstormed the General Aviation Piston Market to Become the Dominate Leaders

Back in 1999, the General Aviation piston-engine market was ready for innovation.  And, the Klapmeier brothers barnstormed the industry with it to become the dominate leaders.  Cirrus by design, has segmented a high-end niche market away from its competitors. The 2018 GAMA report makes it clear to see if you categorize piston-engine shipments.

In business parlance it’s called market segmentation. All piston sales are not the same. Piper sales do not compete with Light Sport Aircraft (LSA).  Cessna sales don’t compete with taildragger shipments. These are very different customer markets within piston-engine airplane sales. And, a feature doesn’t create market segmentation. Segmentation is not achieved with a claim to “the fastest piston engine plane.”

The 2018 GAMA report shows Cirrus Aircraft won half of the traditional “four-seat” airplane sales. Cirrus has successfully separated their airplanes from the competition.

2018 Piston Single-Engine Shipments

Description2018%
Cirrus SR22 & SR20             380 49%
Piper Archer & Arrrow             114 15%
Piper Malibu Mirage               20 3%
Cessna Skyhawk & Skylane             160 21%
Cessna Turbo Stationair               32 4%
Diamond DA40               45 6%
Beachcraft A/G36               15 2%
Mooney Ovation & Acclaim               14 2%
Sub Total             780 100%
Taildraggers               38      –   
LSA             103      –   
Other               33      –   
Total Single-Engine Piston Shipments             954      –   

Cirrus has defined new airspace for single-engine competition.  Again, this year, hundreds of people are willing to stand in line for a new Cirrus piston-engine airplane and pay $1.0 million dollars each. Why? Has the pursuit of relentless innovation delivered that much product differentiation for Cirrus customers?

In many ways, the piston-engine market is still ready for innovation.  Archaic components remain and need to be upgraded. The market could very well be successfully segmented again or new markets might emerge – how about Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Who will be the next visionary to step forward?

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No more magnetos?

We really need electronic ignition for piston engine airplanes. Magnetos are an archaic mechanical device from a by-gone era. Magnetos drift and fail. The FAA knows this and requires mandatory 500 hour inspections and repairs.

At least two companies are working on electronic ignition replacements for piston engine airplanes: Surefly Electronic Ignition and Electroair Electronic Ignition Systems.

Surefly began operations in 2015 and have offices in Granbury Texas and Terre Haute Indiana. Their objective is an affordable drop-in solid state replacement magneto. As of January 2019, they have an engine STC but still need an airframe STC. The fly out price for their solution may be around $2,000.

Electroair is based in Howell Michigan and began operations in 1992. Several COPA members have installed Electroair’s electronic ignition system in their Cirrus airplanes. Fly out price is about $10,000.

Join Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association to see the complete member discussions of both products in the COPA online forum.

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Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®

Cirrus Performance Braking System by Beringer Aero

In 2014, Cirrus announced the performance braking system created specifically for Cirrus by Beringer Aero.  The enhanced braking system became the G5 standard, but it’s now available for all Cirrus airplanes. The company ramps up the marketing around three innovative features: Continue reading “Cirrus Performance Braking System by Beringer Aero”

A quick reference list to Cirrus SR22 Generations manufactured

Here’s a quick reference list of Cirrus SR22 Generations that have been manufactured. If you’re interested in transitioning to Cirrus Aircraft this may be a good starting point for categorizing significant model changes important to you and establishing a budget. You’ll benefit from having a framework to compare aircraft if you’re in the market to buy.  Knowing the design changes and production quantities will help you better understand how supply and demand affects market prices.

Summary SR22 Generations and Units Shipped
SR22 Generations Years Avionics Units Shipped*
Generation 6 2017 Perspective  TBD
Generation 5 2013 – 2016 Perspective  1,073
Generation 3 2008 – 2012 Perspective  1,051
Generation 3 2007 – 2008 Avidyne  678
Generation 2 2004 – 2007 Avidyne  1,616
Generation 1 2001 – 2004 Avidyne**  818
Total SR22’s  5,194

*Estimated SR22 units shipped by Generation manufactured.
**Avidyne Avionics became the G1 and G2 standard but the first SR22 planes were shipped with six-pack flight instruments and ARNAV MFD units.
Note: Cirrus skipped the Generation 4 label and designated the 2013 SR22 models G5’s. Continue reading “A quick reference list to Cirrus SR22 Generations manufactured”

Here’s a summary of yearly airplane ownership fixed cost

What are the yearly fixed expenses for airplane ownership? Typically, the list starts with insurance, subscriptions, hangar, annual, and lease payments – if there is a loan on your aircraft. Just those items alone can total to more than $13,000 per year.  Want to save 50% – 75%? Continue reading “Here’s a summary of yearly airplane ownership fixed cost”

Here’s a cost summary of life limited items on Cirrus Aircraft

Aircraft Life limited Components are a category of airplane fixed expenses. Life Limited Components expire based on a set number of calendar days and are typically not serviced based on airplane flight hours for part 91 operators. Continue reading “Here’s a cost summary of life limited items on Cirrus Aircraft”

A gremlin was intermittently switching our traffic system to standby during flight

Considering the advanced technical nature of Cirrus Perspective by Garmin avionics we’ve found it relatively trouble-free. But recently we had a gremlin in our avionics.  He intermittently switched our traffic system to standby during flight, which required us to select the traffic page and press the soft key to reactivate the system. Continue reading “A gremlin was intermittently switching our traffic system to standby during flight”

We chased a gremlin in our Cirrus Perspective avionics

Considering the advanced technical nature of Cirrus Perspective by Garmin avionics platform we’ve found it relatively trouble-free. But we have encountered one gremlin in our avionics, which occurred before the software version upgrade previously written about last week. Continue reading “We chased a gremlin in our Cirrus Perspective avionics”