Cirrus Test Registrations

Dear All,

For those of you that collected your aircraft from the factory, can you tell me if your aircraft first flew with a test registration (e.g. N2002X or N2008H).

This information does not get recorded by the FAA, is it recorded in the paperwork that comes with the aircraft?

Thanks in anticipation for any help you can give.


Paul Rushton


I don’t remember seeing any mention of a test registration. In addition, I know that Cirrus knew of the N number I was going to use for the plane several weeks/months ahead of the delivery date and when it was first in the FAA database, my N number was shown as belonging to Cirrus (later it changed to my name).

I suspect the same is true of the other owners as well.

This information leads me to believe that the final N number is used for the test flights (and the flight to Hibbing for paint, prior to delivery).

But I don’t know for sure. Just guessing.

I’ll email you a picture of my plane separately!


Paul, N-75VK was flown with a different tail number to be painted. Larry
SR-22 153#

Ours was N2008H. This is going by the photographs we received during production. We also had a vanity tail number which was applied at some later point. I have no other information about this number, nor is it recorded anywhere other than in the photograph.


For whatever it’s worth, serial 0148 was first flown with test registration N46X. It is now registered as N34CD. As far as I know, the test registration does not appear in any of the paperwork that comes with the aircraft. Actually, if if it were not for the practice of the Contract Administrators of sending an email with progress photographs of the aircraft being built, I would not have this information at all. I was at the factory on the way back from Oshkosh and saw that they were still using the test registration numbers on planes flown to Hibbing for paint.

I just received pictures 20 minutes ago from Michelle of our 22 getting its interior installed, It had our N322TW stuck on the side. See attached Delivery set for next Friday.


Our SR22 Serial #236 was flown to the paint shop with a different tail number (see attachment) and after paint, the registration number N224AZ was applied. Hope this is helpful.


And after the paint.


Thanks Walt - looks like I was wrong about CD using the final tail number for the paint and test flights!


Hi Doug,

Thanks for posting that information and the picture. What is interesting to note about your machine is that it is already painted in a gloss white (hard to tell when its inside), whereas all of the others that I have seen carrying test/ferry registrations are in matt grey. At first I thought that it had already been to Hibing and back, but that does not explain why there are no cheat lines or anything else painted on it (unless everything else is applied as a transfer).

Please can you tell me what the manufacturers serial (or construction) number of your aircraft is, as it is not on the FAA web site or in my production list. The FAA can take up to 90 days to catch up with registrations, at the moment the highest SR22 c/n I know of is 0297.

Thanks once again taking the time to respond.


I also noted that it was painted white, it had me puzzled. That was one of the reasons I posted the picture.
Our SN is 312 and the contract #is 344

Regards, Doug

FYI, all of the colored trim on Cirrus planes are applied via laser-cut transfers, including 12-inch registration numbers. Pretty obvious when cleaning. Can be pricey to replace when they get nicked (sorry, “scratched” in British English).


Hi Doug,

What is the difference between the SN and the Contract number please? I guess that the SN is the number which is the ‘line/constructors number’ or the number which is stamped on the constructors plate (wherever that is located on the aircraft)? I’m puzzled as to why the numbers are different?

I hope that you will bear with me on asking these questions, I’m learning a lot here!



My understanding is that the “decals” with the final N-number and trim are added in Duluth. Hence the airplane has the temporary N-number on it both going to and returning from the paint shop, as was the case for our SR20 ( here).


Paul, jumping in a bit, here is some Cirrus Design lore.

Contract numbers are 2 sequences, one for each of SR20 and SR22, of contract positions. Plunk down your money and you get one of these. However, they are sometimes treated more like futures options and are traded between owners. So many such transactions were taking place that Cirrus placed an administrative fee of $500 on them. However, such transactions preserved the contract number.

Serial numbers are the obvious production sequence numbers that you see in the FAA database, one that starts at 1000 for SR20s and one that starts at 1 for SR22s, with a few exceptions that you’ve already noted.

In a perfect world, you would expect contract numbers to match serial numbers.

But, many SR20 position holders of contract numbers upgraded their contracts to SR22s. Cirrus encouraged this by offering pricing incentives. When a position holder switched their order from an SR20 to an SR22, they got a new SR22 contract number and vacated the SR20 contract number. Hence, many SR20 contract numbers were never fulfilled. And I know of a couple of SR22 position holders who deferred their deliveries, perhaps also with contract number changes.

And a few contracts may have been cancelled, as per the terms and conditions of the contract, again causing some contract numbers to not be fulfilled.

Great fun, eh?

And looking forward to your historical observations.


Hi Rick,

Thank you so very much for explaining that for me!

As to my ‘historical observations’, my production listing should be posted by Steve Lin some time soon and I hope to generate an article for one of our UK magazines once I’ve got enough original information to include (some of what you have just explained would be ideal!). I will of course share it with the forum BEFORE I release it to Air Britain!

Thanks once again.


In reply to:

my production listing should be posted by Steve Lin some time soon

Paul’s listing is now available in the “Miscellanous Stuff” area of the public section of the Main COPA Site.

Thanks Paul!!


As a non-member of COPA, you may not have been given access to the page with delivery dates. Contains entries posted by membes with position numbers, delivery dates from Dec 2001 until Sep 2003. Happy to extract it and email it to you shortly, with appropriate cautions about use of member info. Thanks for your spreadsheet, now posted.


I’d be concerned about the whole plane getting nicked!

The company that makes the graphics and registration numbers was exhibiting at Oshkosh. I think Cirrus made a good choice in using them.

I guess I can’t let that one pass can I?

‘Nicked’ in British English slang means stolen!

I guess this means that if you scratch the transfers, you can’t do much about it as you couldn’t T-cut it!

White is nice!!!