Cirrus SR22

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Role Civil utility aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cirrus Aircraft
Produced 2001–present
Number built 4,365 through 2013[1]
Unit cost
US$499,900 (base price, 2015)[2]
Developed from Cirrus SR20

The Cirrus SR22 is a single-engine four- or five-seat composite aircraft built from 2001 by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota.

It is a development of the Cirrus SR20, with a larger wing, higher fuel capacity, and a more powerful, 310-horsepower (231 kW) engine.

The SR22 has been the world's best-selling single-engine, four-seat aircraft every year since 2004.[3]

It is equipped with a whole-plane emergency recovery parachute system, the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). This has contributed to its market success and has given it the name "the plane with the parachute".[4][5][6][7][8]

Design and development[edit]

Cirrus SR22T G3
Cirrus SR22 G2 showing how the doors open
Cirrus SR22 Gen 5

The SR22, certified in November 2000, is a higher-powered version of the earlier SR20. The SR22 is a low wing cantilever monoplane of composite construction, featuring fixed (non-retractable) tricycle landing gear with a castering nose wheel and steering via differential braking on the main wheels. It is powered by a nose-mounted 310 hp (230 kW) Continental IO-550-N piston engine. The four-seat cabin is accessed through a door on each side.

The Cirrus SR22 is equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), a whole-plane parachute recovery system capable of lowering the entire aircraft to the ground in an emergency.[9]

In 2004 the company introduced the SR22 G2 (Generation 2) and in 2007 the SR22 G3 (Generation 3). Both were defined by airframe modifications, G2 by fuselage and G3 by wing/landing gear changes.[citation needed]

In 2013, the manufacturer introduced the SR22 G5 (Generation 5) (there was no G4). Key changes were an increase in gross weight to 3,600 lb (1,633 kg) and a standard five-seat cabin arrangement.[10] The G5 received only minor changes for 2014, including integrated LED lighting and high performance Beringer brakes.[11][12]

In 2014, the SR22 and SR22T were the best selling four-to-five-seat fixed wing aircraft in the world, and had been for twelve years in a row.[13][14]

In 2016, Cirrus introduced enhancements to the SR Series, including Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a remote keyless entry, convenience lighting system, and a new easy access door latch, among other interior and exterior improvements.[15][16]

Turbocharged models[edit]

Cirrus introduced the "SR22 Turbo" in 2006, which features a Tornado Alley turbonormalizing upgrade kit, factory installed under a Supplemental Type Certificate. It features twin turbonormalizers and twin intercoolers.[17] The conversion also includes built-in oxygen and a Hartzell three-blade lightweight composite propeller. The weight of the conversion reduces the SR22's useful load. Air conditioning is available with the SR22 Turbo, but this further reduces the useful load. The turbo version has a certified ceiling of 25,000 feet (7,600 m), a maximum cruise speed of 211 knots (391 km/h), and a top speed of 219 knots (406 km/h).[18][19][20]

In 2010, Cirrus introduced the SR22T. This used a new engine, the Continental TSIO-550K, which produces 315 hp (235 kW) with a 7.5:1 compression ratio and can run on 94 octane fuel.[21]

Glass cockpit[edit]

Pre-2008 Cirrus instrument panel with the Avidyne Entegra primary flight display
Instrument panel with Cirrus Perspective avionics by Garmin

SR22s and SR20s built before 2003 were equipped with traditional analog instruments and a 10" Multi-function display (MFD). In February 2003, Cirrus began offering SR22s with the Avidyne Entegra primary flight display (PFD), making the plane the first of its kind to come with a glass cockpit.[22][23] Later that year, they became standard equipment on all SR-series aircraft.[24] Retrofits are available for the older aircraft that replace the instrument panels with a new one that will include the PFD, a new multifunction display and the installation of back-up mechanical instruments.[25]

On 22 May 2008, Cirrus and Garmin revealed a new cockpit, Cirrus Perspective (by Garmin).[26] Both cockpits were available for a period (the Avidyne cockpit was initially standard equipment). Today Cirrus offers only the Perspective panel.

In 2009, the third-generation Cirrus SR22 GTS came equipped with a new enhanced vision system (EVS), a sophisticated dual-wavelength instrument that offers both infrared and synthetic vision.[27]

At the 2010 EAA AirVenture, Cirrus announced its plans to certify Garmin's system—known as ESP (Electronic Stability and Protection)—on the Cirrus SR22. It included advanced flight envelope protection that could stabilize the aircraft with the push of a button, to avoid spiral from developing.[28]

Flight into known icing[edit]

Cirrus completed testing for flight into known icing conditions (FIKI) on 12 January 2009. The equipment change involved installing a larger fluid tank for the TKS Ice Protection System and protecting more areas of the aircraft. The FAA approved the new installation in April 2009.[29][30][31]

Operational History[edit]

Ryan Campbell departing OSH on record attempt

Robert Goyer of Flying magazine wrote in a 2012 review that the Cirrus SR22 "is the most sophisticated single-engine civilian airplane ever built and by a long shot."[32]

Ryan Campbell, who, in 2013, became the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world, used an SR22. On 7 September 2013, he landed back in Australia. His SR-22, Spirit of the Sapphire Coast, was modified by removing three seats and adding a 160 U.S. gallons (610 L; 130 imp gal) fuselage tank for a total of 250 U.S. gallons (950 L; 210 imp gal) usable.[33]

As of 2015, the SR22 series has deployed the parachute recovery system 53 times carrying 107 survivors.[34]


Original version
SR22 G2
Improved variant
SR22 Turbo G2

In July 2006, Cirrus announced a turbo normalized SR22. Some initial models were identified as Signature Edition SE22 G2's—equipped with additional features including an unequally painted exterior, black leather seats, and the signatures of Cirrus founders Dale and Alan Klapmeier on the cowling.[35]

SR22 G3
Improved variant for 2007 with increased fuel capacity from 81 to 92 U.S. gallons (310 to 350 L; 67 to 77 imp gal), lighter stronger carbon fiber wing spar and redesigned taller landing gear for better prop clearance.[36] Upgraded models, such as G3 GTS, with XM weather and audio, and airbag seatbelts on all four seats' shoulder harnesses.[37]
SR22T landing
Introduced as a new model in June 2010, with a ground-boosted Continental TSIO-550-K producing 315 hp (235 kW). The engine has low compression pistons, producing a 7.5 to 1 compression ratio to allow the engine to run on lower octane fuel, 94UL.[38][39][40] The SR22T has an increased maximum cruise speed of 214 kn (396 km/h), and empty weight of 2,348 lb (1,065 kg) and a maximum operating altitude of 25,000 ft (7,620 m). This model also has a decreased useful load of 1,052 lb (477 kg) and reduced range of 1,046 nmi (1,937 km),[41] as well as a Hartzell three-Blade Lightweight Composite Prop.[42]
Version with a Tornado Alley turbo-normalizing kit added to the Continental IO-550-N engine producing 310 hp (231 kW).[38]
SR22 G5 and SR22T G5
On 17 January 2013 Cirrus Aircraft announced the fourth generation of the SR22 and SR22T (skipping G4 as a designation for the new version of the aircraft). New features included a 200 lb (91 kg) increase in the maximum takeoff weight, and some previous options—60/40 split back seat, ADS-B transponder, and Garmin GFC700 autopilot—became standard equipment. The wheel pants were redesigned, and included an access door for the inflator valve. Cirrus improved the aircraft's ballistic parachute using a larger canopy to account for the higher takeoff weight and a more powerful rocket. The rocket firing changed to a fail-safe electronic ignition and could now be deployed at 140 knots (formerly 133 knots). Earlier versions used a pyrotechnic rocket ignition system. They increased the airspeeds at which flaps can be deployed to 150 knots for the first notch and 110 knots for the second notch, and added another 3.5 degrees of extension. Fuel burn slightly increased at cruise speeds, rate of climb was reduced, liftoff speed increased to 80 knots from 72 knots and stall speed increased to 60 knots from 58 knots.[43][44]


ImagineAir Cirrus SR22

The aircraft is used by flying schools, air charter and small air taxi carriers as well as private individuals and companies. The largest current dedicated fleet operator is ImagineAir, which commenced operations in 2007. SATSair was formerly the largest operator, with 26 aircraft. It began operation in 2004 and went out of business in 2009.[45][46] In 2015 Emirates purchased a fleet of 22 aircraft for training purposes.[47]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Between 2001 and May 2014 147 US-registered Cirrus SR22 aircraft crashed, resulting in 122 fatalities.[48]

In 2011, the accident record of the SR20 and SR22 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 per 100,000 flight hours—which places it higher than the United States general aviation rate of 1.2, and higher than the Diamond DA40 (0.35), Cessna 172 (0.45), Diamond DA42 (0.54), Cessna 182 (0.69), and the Cessna 400 (1.0), despite the SR22's full aircraft parachute system.[49]

By 2014, the accident rate was dramatically reduced to a 2013 fatality rate of 1.01 per 100,000 flight hours. This was attributed to better training, particularly in when to deploy the ballistic parachute system.[50]

By 2015 the accident rate continued to decrease, with a 2014 fatal rate of .42 per 100,000 flight hours, making it one of the best safety records in the industry. This marked the fewest fatalities in a single year for Cirrus since 2001, and the first year where the number of CAPS deployments (12) exceeded the number of fatal accidents (3).[51][52][4]


SR22, 2003 model
Front view of Cirrus SR22

Data from Cirrus website[53] and The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage[54]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: four passengers
  • Length: 26 ft 0 in (7.92 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 4 in (11.68 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
  • Airfoil: Roncz
  • Empty weight: 2,225 lb (1,009 kg)
  • Gross weight: 3,600 lb (1,633 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 92 US gallons (348 litres)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental IO-550-N Six cylinder horizontally opposed aircraft engine, 310 hp (230 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed


  • Cruise speed: 183 kn (211 mph; 339 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 60 kn (69 mph; 111 km/h) flaps down
  • Range: 1,049 nmi (1,207 mi; 1,943 km) with reserves at 65% power
  • Service ceiling: 17,500 ft (5,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,270 ft/min (6.5 m/s)

Garmin Cirrus Perspective integrated avionics system including:[55]

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


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  2. ^ Cirrus Aircraft (2015). "SR22 Domestic Price List" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-12-23. 
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External links[edit]