Cirrus SR20

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RoleCivil utility aircraft
ManufacturerCirrus Aircraft
First flight21 March 1995
Unit cost
US$319,900 (Base price, 2013)
VariantsCirrus SR22
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RoleCivil utility aircraft
ManufacturerCirrus Aircraft
First flight21 March 1995
Unit cost
US$319,900 (Base price, 2013)
VariantsCirrus SR22

The Cirrus SR20 is an American piston-engine, four-to-five-seat, composite monoplane built by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota. The SR20 is noted for being the first production general aviation aircraft with a parachute to lower the aircraft safely to the ground after a loss of control or structural failure.

Design and development[edit]

SR20 landing

The SR20 was first flown on 21 March 1995.[1] FAA certification was achieved on 23 October 1998.[2] 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.[2]

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.[3]


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).[4]

This improved model is called the SR20 G3 for "Generation 3". The new model includes:[5]


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.[7] For 2008 the SRV model was updated to G3 configuration, with the SR22 wing.[8] Cirrus discontinued the SRV for the 2010 model year.


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.[9][10]

Aircraft type club[edit]

The Cirrus aircraft are supported by an aircraft type club, the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA).[11]



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.[12][13][14]


 United States


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.[17]

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.[18]

Specifications (SR20-G3)[edit]

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

Data from Cirrus SR20 Specifications Webpage[8]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ Aerofiles: Aircraft Ca to Ci Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Federal Aviation Administration (May 2008). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A00009CH Revision 13". Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Cirrus Aircraft". Cirrus Aircraft. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  4. ^ Niles, Russ F. (April 2008). "G3 SR20 Has New Wings, Refined Interior". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  5. ^ Cirrus Design (2007). "Cirrus SR20 What's New". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  6. ^ Flying Magazine: 20. February 2008. 
  7. ^ Cirrus Design (undated). "Cirrus SR20 Models". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  8. ^ a b Cirrus Design (2014). "SR20 Specifications". Retrieved 12 June 2104. 
  9. ^ Associated Press (June 2011). "Academy gets 25 new trainer aircraft for $6.1M". Air Force Times. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "EAA News - USAF Academy Buys Cirrus SR-20s, Designates T-53A". 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  11. ^ Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (2008). "COPA - Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association". Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  12. ^ Rachel (July 2008). "Delta connection academy offers high school students discovery flights in partnership with a nationwide ace camp program". Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  13. ^ Western Michigan University College of Aviation (undated). "Aircraft - Cirrus SR-20". Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Purdue Acquires Cirrus Aircraft". January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-11. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Cirrus News: French Air Force/Cassidian". Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  16. ^ "Cirrus News: Final Air Force T-53A Deliveries". Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  17. ^ AVweb staff (20 December 2011). "Aviation Consumer: Cirrus Safety Record Just Average". AVweb. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (10 April 2014). "Cirrus Reports Dramatic Accident Reduction". Avweb. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 

External links[edit]