Cirrus Design has joined the swelling ranks of light sport aircraft (LSA) manufacturers, following a tie up with Germany's FK Lightplanes to produce a upgraded version of its FK-14 Polaris, which it has called the Cirrus SR Sport (SRS).

"We've always said we didn't have time to design an LSA," said Cirrus chief executive Alan Klapmeier, at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The show began on 23 July and runs until 29 July.

Speyer-based FK Lightplanes was sought out by Cirrus four months ago so that the fast-growing, Duluth-based manufacturer could offer a trainer and entry-level LSA.

Cirrus 1

When the SRS will go on sale has not been decided, and price will be "around $100,000", says Cirrus.

The current basic price of the European model is 76,550 Euros ($105,930) , but the Cirrus version will include a recovery chute system, improved egress, altered fuel selector and the finger brakes will be swapped out.


Those design alterations and others will increase the gross weight from its current 475kg (1,050lb) while the maximum speed has been reduced to around 120kt (220km/h) to comply with US light sport regulations. "It's the first time we've ever said 'How do we make an airplane go slower?'" said Klapmeier.


When the SRS will be put on the US market is not yet decided, but Klapmeier hopes it will help expand the shrinking number of pilots.

LSA regulations have so far been successful in bringing in new pilots with their reduced requirements and training costs, and Oshkosh has brought the new sector added credibility with the introduction of the Cirrus LSA and the debut on Sunday of Cessna's LSA offering, the Model 162 SkyCatcher.