Cirrus Design is to certificate and deliver the first SR22 light single, a more powerful derivative of the popular SR20, by the end of the year.


The Minnesota-based company, which displayed the prototype SR22 at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) meeting in Long Beach, California, 20-22 October, says manufacture of the first production aircraft is underway at its Duluth site.

The company had already logged 178 orders for the SR22 as the show began, and expected to see the backlog grow to 200 by the end of the month. The aircraft will be built on a parallel assembly line to the SR20, for which Cirrus has orders for 459 and has delivered 75, 16 of which have been handed over to European operators.

Production of SR20s is set at three per week, but new tooling will enable this to increase to one per day in December: "By the end of 2001, we hope to be at two or three times that rate," says Cirrus sales support director, Ian Bentley.

The new aircraft is fitted with a 230kW (310hp) Teledyne Continental IO-550-N engine in place of the SR20's 200hp IO-360-ES powerplant. "We have had to do a major wing re-design to accommodate more fuel [300litres (81 USgal) versus 210 litres in the SR20] and to handle the higher gross weight which is increased by 230kg to 1,545kg (3,400lb)," says Bentley. That, in turn, leads to higher strength landing gear and a 1m (3ft) wider wing span." Wing span now measures 11.7m. "Aerodynamically it is the same shape, but it has a heavier spar and provides better low-speed support and high-altitude cruise," he adds.

Cruise speed increases to180kt (333km/h) at 75% power at 8,000ft (2,440m), versus 160kt for the SR20 under the same conditions. The SR22 will climb at up to 1,300ft/min (7m/s), against 920ft/ min for the original aircraft. The extra fuel and bigger wing also gives the SR22 extended range and payload capabilities. "It has a maximum useful load of 520kg and can cruise for 1,500km (800nm) at 180kt, or for more than 2,800km at slower speeds and higher altitudes," says Bentley.

Cirrus is also fitting out the aircraft with an all-electric dual alternator, dual battery system rather than the traditional vacuum system. "It's what we call a robust electrical system, and it will support a full glass cockpit," he says.

The $276,600 basic SR22 will feature a Garmin GNS 430 colour global positioning system, a GNS 420 GPS and communications system, an electric horizontal situational (EHSI) indicator and an S-TEC/Meggitt System FiftyX autopilot. For $294,700, the aircraft can be equipped with the more advanced S-TEC/Meggitt System Fifty FiveX autopilot, dual Garmin GNS 430s, altitude pre-select and a Sandel 3308 EHSI.

Source: Flight International