One more note on the Cirrus Centennial Edition airplane before we move on. It’s been 15 years since it roll off the production line and the plane is destined to become a collector’s classic. Here are five reasons why:
In 2003, Cirrus Aircraft created the Centennial Limited Edition SR22. These planes commemorated the Wright Brothers and a centennial of powered flight from 1903 – 2003. Only one-hundred Centennial Edition planes were manufactured. Once announced, the entire planned production run sold out in just 93 days.
The Cirrus SR22-G1 was the first factory certified all glass panel General Aviation airplane. The Centennial Edition reflects that historic change in GA. From that time forward six-pack instruments literally became a thing of the past.
The Centennial Edition foreshadowed things to come. It was the precursor to the Generation Two Special (GTS) model series and X-Edition options.
The Centennial had unique exterior finishes – chrome steps, chrome grab handles, chrome door levers and a bright ceramic finished exhaust. The interior moved toward Lexus style finishes including luxurious cocoa leather seats, leather door handles, grab handles, throttle lever, and side control stick. Cirrus embroidered each pilot and copilot seat with a special Centennial logo.
The avionics package was loaded with all options available at the time, and included a “glass cockpit” flight deck by Avidyne Entegra with Primary Flight Display and a moving map Multi-Function Display. A Garmin avionics suite included dual GPS navigation and mapping systems, S-Tec 55X fully coupled autopilot with altitude pre-select, TKS inadvertent ice system, L3 Stormscope WX-500 and SkyWatch Traffic Advisory System.
Until 2003, all Cirrus planes were white. But the exterior paint finish on the Centennial was a “linen white” to match the color of fabric used on the Wright Flyer. The plane displays the first of many future exterior paint options.
The Centennial accents the early evolution. It is the quintessential SR22-G1.
The best of the first generation SR22 improvements are embodied in the Centennial Edition planes. Cirrus Aircraft was responsive to pilot feedback on their product. From 2001-2003 they made small and large improvements. For example, some early SR22s had engine vibration. Cirrus changed to a six-point mount and dual exhaust as standard equipment to address those concerns.
The Centennial Edition led the GA transformation of piston engine flight for the 21st century. It’s a collector’s aircraft. The plane reflects the company founders’ appreciation for aviation history and their vision for progressive change. Dale and Alan Klapmeier brothers were inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in October 2014.
“Cirrus Aircraft is a recognized leader in general aviation. Its all-composite line of personal aircraft – the SR20, SR22 and the turbocharged SR22T – incorporate innovative and advanced performance, electronic and safety technologies, including Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin® avionics and the unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS). To date, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed six million flight hours with  lives saved as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all Cirrus aircraft.”(1)
(1) Cirrus Aircraft Press Release, 2014.
(2) CAPS lives saved 150 as of December 2017, COPA website
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