Cirrus SR20

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SR20
Cirrus.sr20.g-cdly.arp.jpg
Role Civil utility aircraft
Manufacturer Cirrus Aircraft
First flight 21 March 1995
Produced 1999-Present
Unit cost
US$319,900 (Base price, 2013)
Variants Cirrus SR22

The Cirrus SR20 is an American piston-engine, four-to-five-seat, composite monoplane built by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota.

The design is noted for being the first production general aviation aircraft with a parachute to lower the airplane safely to the ground after a loss of control, structural failure or mid-air collision. The SR20 is also credited as being the first manufactured aircraft with all-composite construction, flat-panel avionics and side-yoke flight controls.[1][2]

Design and development[edit]

SR20 landing
SR20 GTS

The SR20 was first flown on 21 March 1995.[3] FAA certification was achieved on 23 October 1998.[4] Hundreds of SR20s have been sold since the first was delivered in 1999. As of December 2012 over 5,000 Cirrus aircraft had been delivered.

One of the major selling points for the SR20 is its by Garmin Cirrus Perspective avionics suite with dual 10-inch (250 mm) or 12-inch (300 mm) screens: one primary flight display (PFD) and one multi-function display (MFD). This provides all standard communication, navigation (GPS and conventional VHF), and surveillance (Mode S transponder) functions. Other avionics features include in-flight weather information and TCAS-like traffic information.

The SR20, like the faster SR22, is equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, a large parachute which can be deployed in an emergency to lower the entire aircraft to the ground safely.[4]

On 1 June 2004, the SR20 became the first aircraft to achieve the new European Aviation Safety Agency certificate for aircraft imported into the European Union.

In 2004 Cirrus introduced the SR20 G2 (Generation 2) and in 2008 the SR20 G3 (Generation 3). Both were defined by airframe modifications, G2 by fuselage and G3 by wing/landing gear changes. Since 2011 simply "SR20" has been used.

In 2012 "60/40 flex seating" was introduced allowing up to three passengers in the rear with a split fold-down seat arrangement. This five-seat configuration was optional in 2012 but became standard equipment for 2013 SR20 models.[5]

Variants[edit]

SR20 G3[edit]

In 2007 Cirrus introduced an updated model of the SR20 that incorporates changes from the SR22 G3 airframe, including installing new, lighter SR22-length wing which has a greater wing area than the previous SR20 wing. The installation of the larger wing increased the SR20's cruise speed by 6–7 knots (11–13 km/h).[6]

This improved model is called the SR20 G3 for "Generation 3". The new model includes:[7]

  • A lighter wing of greater area, incorporating a carbon-fiber spar[8]
  • Increased useful load by 50 pounds (23 kg) by increasing the take-off weight to 3,050 pounds (1,380 kg)
  • Re-designed main landing gear that is 2 inches (5 cm) taller giving greater propeller and tail clearance
  • New recognition lights using LEDs
  • Improved aircraft handling, due to increased dihedral
  • Improved aerodynamics, including new wing root fairings
  • Improved heat and ventilation
  • Dual-redundant GPS WAAS-certified Garmin GNS 430W comm-navigators (they include a VHF radio and a VOR/LOC/ILS receiver)
  • S-Tec Autopilot

SRV[edit]

The Cirrus SRV was a VFR-only version of the SR20 for the low-end private ownership and flight training market. As such it omitted some standard equipment available on the SR20 such as wheel fairings.[9] For 2008 the SRV model was updated to G3 configuration, with the SR22 wing.[10] Cirrus discontinued the SRV for the 2010 model year.

T-53A[edit]

In 2011, the SR20 was selected for cadet flight training with the 306th Flying Training Group at the United States Air Force Academy and given an Air Force model/design/series (MDS) designation as the T-53A. Twenty-five examples will be purchased to replace the Academy's current stock of 20 leased T-52As by May 2012.[11][12]

Aircraft type club[edit]

The Cirrus aircraft are supported by an aircraft type club, the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA).[13]

Operators[edit]

Civil[edit]

A Cirrus SR20 belonging to Western Michigan University.

The SR20 is popular with many flying schools and is operated by private individuals and companies. The largest operators are CAFUC (Civil Aviation Flight University of China) operating 40 aircraft, Aerosim Flight Academy which operates 34, Western Michigan University which has 26 and Purdue University with a fleet of 16.[14][15][16]

Military[edit]

 France
 United States

Accidents[edit]

New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and certified flight instructor Tyler Stanger were both killed in the 2006 New York City plane crash on October 11, 2006, when their SR20 crashed into the Belaire Apartments in New York City. The aircraft struck the north side of the building, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, causing a fire in several apartments.[19][20][21][22][23]

In 2011 the accident record of the SR20 and 22 was the subject of a detailed examination by Aviation Consumer magazine. The review concluded that the series has an overall accident record that is better than average for light aircraft, exceeded only by the Diamond DA40 and DA42. However its fatal accident rate is much worse at 1.6/100,000 hours, placing it higher than the US general aviation rate of 1.2 and higher than the Diamond DA40 (.35), Cessna 172 (.45), Diamond DA42 (.54), Cessna 182 (.69) and the Cessna 400 (1.0), despite the Cirrus's full aircraft parachute system.[24]

By 2014 the accident rate had been dramatically reduced, with a 2013 fatal rate of 1.01 per 100,000 flight hours. This was attributed to better training, particularly in when to deploy the ballistic parachute system.[25]

Specifications (SR20-G3)[edit]

Cirrus SR20 in Avaré
Continental IO-360-ES fitted to a Cirrus SR20

Data from Cirrus SR20 Specifications Webpage[10]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 100 Airplanes:Platinum Edition". Flying. Retrieved 2014-11-08. 
  2. ^ Robert Goyer (2011). "10 Ways that the SR22 Changed Flying". 
  3. ^ Aerofiles: Aircraft Ca to Ci Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b Federal Aviation Administration (May 2008). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A00009CH Revision 13". Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  5. ^ "Cirrus Aircraft". Cirrus Aircraft. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  6. ^ Niles, Russ F. (April 2008). "G3 SR20 Has New Wings, Refined Interior". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  7. ^ Cirrus Design (2007). "Cirrus SR20 What's New". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  8. ^ Flying Magazine: 20. February 2008. 
  9. ^ Cirrus Design (n.d.). "Cirrus SR20 Models". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  10. ^ a b Cirrus Design (2014). "SR20 Specifications". Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (June 2011). "Academy gets 25 new trainer aircraft for $6.1M". Air Force Times. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "EAA News - USAF Academy Buys Cirrus SR-20s, Designates T-53A". Eaa.org. 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  13. ^ Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (2008). "COPA - Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association". Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  14. ^ Rachel (July 2008). "Delta connection academy offers high school students discovery flights in partnership with a nationwide ace camp program". Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  15. ^ Western Michigan University College of Aviation (n.d.). "Aircraft - Cirrus SR-20". Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Purdue Acquires Cirrus Aircraft". January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-11. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Cirrus News: French Air Force/Cassidian". Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  18. ^ "Cirrus News: Final Air Force T-53A Deliveries". Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  19. ^ "Yankee Pitcher Dies as Plane Crashes Into NYC High-Rise". ABC News. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Yankees pitcher killed in crash of small plane in Manhattan". CNN. October 12, 2006. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Yankees Player Among Two Killed In Small Plane Crash On Manhattan's UES". NY1. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  22. ^ Feinsand, Mark (October 11, 2006). "Yankees' Lidle killed in plane crash". MLB.com. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  23. ^ Yaniv, Oren; Leo Standora (October 12, 2006). "2nd victim died living his dream". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  24. ^ AVweb staff (20 December 2011). "Aviation Consumer: Cirrus Safety Record Just Average". AVweb. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  25. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (10 April 2014). "Cirrus Reports Dramatic Accident Reduction". Avweb. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 

External links[edit]