Cirrus SR20

Cirrus SR20 Aircraft

The Cirrus SR20 is an American piston-engined, four- or five-seat composite monoplane built since 1999 by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota. The aircraft is the company's earliest type-certified model, earning certification in 1998.

Above all, it was the first production general aviation (GA) aircraft equipped with a parachute to lower the airplane safely to the ground after a loss of control, structural failure, or midair collision. The SR series is also the first mass-manufactured light aircraft with all-composite construction and flat-panel avionics.

The SR20 developed into the Cirrus SR22, which was introduced in 2001. Above all, it is the most-produced GA aircraft of the 21st century.



Cirrus Aircraft started its journey with the intent to revolutionize personal aviation. Its first breakthrough was the SR20, which was welcomed by private pilots and flight training organizations alike due to its performance and safety features. Following the SR20, Cirrus released the more powerful SR22 in 2001. As a result, it became the best-selling general aviation aircraft for several consecutive years.


Unveiled in 1994, the SR20 first flew on March 21, 1995 and FAA certification was achieved on October 23, 1998. At the time of the airplane's release, the GA industry was struggling. The SR20 was one of the first of its kind to earn FAA Part 23 certification in several years. Over a thousand SR20s have been sold since deliveries began in July 1999. As of January 2021, nearly 8,000 SR-series aircraft have been delivered, something that no other aviation company has done for decades.

One of the major selling points for the SR20 is its Garmin Cirrus Perspective avionics suite. It contains dual 10-inch (250 mm) or 12-inch (300 mm) screens: one primary flight display (PFD) and one multifunction display (MFD) which was first introduced by the company in May 2008. 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.


SR20s made from 1999 to 2003 were equipped with traditional analog instruments and a 10″ MFD. In July 2003, Cirrus made Avidyne Entegra PFDs standard on the SR20 and faster SR22, pioneering the use of glass cockpits in the light aircraft GA industry.

The SR-series remains the only airplane in its class to include side-stick flight controls that combine aspects of a traditional yoke handle (this is referred to in the industry as a “side yoke”).

The SR20 and SR22 are equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), a large parachute that can be deployed in an emergency to lower the entire aircraft to the ground safely. As of September 2018, the SR-series has deployed the system 79 times carrying 163 survivors.



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. Cirrus introduced the SR20 G2 (Generation 2) and in


The SR20 G3 (Generation 3). Both were defined by airframe modifications, G2 by fuselage and G3 by wing/landing gear changes.


By 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.


Cirrus introduced many enhancements to the SR series. They include Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a remote keyless entry, a convenience lighting system, and a new easy-access door latch, among other interior and exterior improvements.


The company introduced the SR20 G6 (Generation 6). It contains several upgrades to the avionics, new navigation lights, and an increased useful load.


That brings us to September 2019 when Cirrus unveiled the TRAC, a training-oriented version of the SR20. The simplified interior contains a more durable seat material, backseat radio transmit switch to allow an observer to communicate with air traffic control. For the crew, improvements include an electronic stability and protection system, integrated engine indication and crew alerting/warning systems. The simulated retractable landing gear controls and position lights to allow cadets and instructors to feign landing-gear operation and failures during instructional flights (the actual landing gear remains permanently fixed) is a flight instructor's dream.


Ultimately in January 2020, the company introduced a new mobile application for the SR series, called “Cirrus IQ”. It enables remote aircraft communication including access to preflight status information such as fuel and oxygen levels, battery voltage, oil temperature, aircraft location, and flight hours. Upgrades also include a new stabilized approach-advisory system for the flight deck. In January 2022, speed and aesthetic improvements were added to the G6 SR-series, with a 9 knots (17 km/h) increased cruise speed, upgrades to the mobile IQ app, USB-A and USB-C charging ports and more.



Original version produced from 1999

Cirrus SR20 G2

Improved variant introduced in 2004, including Avidyne Entegra avionics


Introduced at the 2003 EAA AirVenture Convention and brought to market in 2004, 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. For 2008, the SRV model was updated to G3 configuration, with the SR22 wing. Cirrus discontinued the SRV for the 2010 model year.

SR20 G3

Introduced in 2007, the G3 has a lighter wing of greater area, incorporating a carbon-fiber spar. The new wing increased the SR20's cruise speed by 6–7 knots (11–13 km/h). The G3 also added a 50 pounds (23 kg) increased useful load by increasing the take-off weight to 3,050 pounds (1,380 kg), a redesigned main landing gear that is 2 inches (5 cm) taller, giving greater propeller and tail clearance, improved aircraft handling due to increased dihedral, improved aerodynamics including new wing root fairings, LED recognition lights, improved heat and ventilation, dual-redundant GPS WAAS-certified Garmin GNS 430W comm-navigators (that include a VHF radio and a VOR/LOC/ILS receiver) and an S-Tec Autopilot.

SR20 G6

Introduced in January 2017, the G6 model adds a Lycoming IO-390 engine of 215 hp (160 kW), an enhanced “Perspective-Plus” flight deck with a 10-times faster instrument processing speed, new LED wingtip lights and a useful load increase of 150 lb (68 kg).


Introduced in September 2019, the TRAC is a flight-training version with a simplified, more durable interior, IO-390 engine, Perspective+ flight deck, rear seat push-to-talk functionality, and simulated landing gear controls.



The SR20 is popular with many flying schools and is operated by private individuals and companies. The largest operators are Civil Aviation Flight University of China with 40 aircraft, Aerosim Flight Academy with 34, Western Michigan University with 29, Lufthansa Flight Training and United Aviate Academy both with 25, and Purdue University with 16.


French Air and Space Force and Navy Academies (operated by Cassidian) – 23 aircraft (mixed fleet of 16 SR20s and 7 SR22s)[41]

United States
United States Air Force Academy – 25 T-53A aircraft (version of SR20)[42]


Engine Lycoming IO-550-C3B6 215 hp  
Speed 155 knots  
Useful Load 1,028 lbs (469kg)  
Takeoff 1,685 feet  
Dimensions (Wingspan x Length) 38.4 ft x 26 ft  


This article uses material from various web resources and Wikipedia article, released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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