Extra operating costs of SR22 over SR20

Let’s say you re flying 100 hours a year, what would be - in percentage - the extra cost of flying a SR22 over a SR20 , all other expenses being equal ( hangar , fuel price, etc)?

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In my opinion, not enough to justify owning the 20 over a 22. I’m sure 20 owners will feel differently. Insurance will be only more as a result of higher hull value, fuel will be more for the exact same hours, but if you measure it based on equal annual distance flown the percentage difference would (educated guess) be single digits. I don’t see how anything else would be different. But I’m sure I’ll get educated shortly. :grin:

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30% or more in my experience

Hello David
30% is the rough value I calculated from respective specific ranges ( 10 NM / USG for the -22 vs 13 NM / USG for the -20). What about maintenance costs ?

Thanks Rob
What about maintenance costs of the IO550 of the 22 over the IO360 of the 20?

My experience was that everything associated with ownership was cheaper. I was perfectly content with the performance of the 20 related to cost of ownership. The majority of my flying is in the southeast and northeast so mountainous terrain wasn’t an issue.

I am thankful for the opportunity I had to get into a 22T though, however, it wasn’t due to any dissatisfaction with the 20
Both are great machines.


This is a surprisingly complex question.

Fuel and oil costs on an engine with 50% more power are obvious, but with higher rates comes higher performance and reduced operating time, so it becomes a function of how far you typically fly.

If you fly primarily long distances (greater than 200nm per leg), you’ll find the differences in operating costs to be lower, while if you fly primarily short distances (less than 200nm per leg), they are substantial greater, due to less time at higher speed and altitude. Short trips at relatively low altitudes is where the 20 shines. Cross country travel is a sweet spot for the 22.

The vast majority of parts and systems are largely the same between the airframes, so repairs and maintenance tend to be fairly similar in cost, particularly when you consider the 20’s mission as being shorter hops with relatively more landing and takeoff cycles. The engine replacement is a little cheaper, but not a frequent enough event to be of much concern.

Insurance is far more subjective; insurers charge a premium based on horsepower, and number of seats that can be practically occupied (3-4 in the 20 versus 4-5 in the 22). This seems to be a significant premium for low time pilots, and perhaps more concerning, a reluctance to insure older pilots, particularly at the higher hull values of newer 22s.

Finally, I’d argue that a 22 isn’t really justified for someone who isn’t traveling places regularly, or doesn’t have specific requirements, like filling the seats or operating in mountainous areas. If you like to fly around for pleasure, travel short distances (like between islands), or are doing extensive flight training, the 20 should be all the aircraft you NEED. That said, while Prius’ are practical and efficient cars, many people choose ground vehicles that they find more fun to operate, so cost efficiency is not the primary determiner of personal value.

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Thanks Bill for the exhaustive reply.
While extra fuel cost is something which can be assessed with fair accuracy, the only gray area turns out to be related to insurance issues.
I need to sort it out.

Thanks David for the heads up

I would dispute that number for the 22. I routinely see 12-13nmg in cruise, usually at 65%ish.

One thing that I will recommend is purchase the plane that you think will be your “forever plane” if you can afford it.

I could have afforded a 22 (or 22T) but as a student pilot bought an SR20 G3 for reasons that probably couldve been worked around (22T has too much power; I am not good enough to fly that, 20 will be an easier transition from a DA40, blah blah blah).

Still love my SR20… but today was the first day since getting my IR when I had to cancel dispatch due to icing layer concerns. Low but thin cloud layer at or below freezing from ~1000 to 2500 and clear skies above, near the Great Lakes.

I now wish that I had bought an SR22 NA or T (with FIKI). Today would have been easy dispatch if I had a 22… but no go with the SR20. Trying to figure out if it financially makes sense to flip a plane around now after only a year worth of ownership :sweat_smile:

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Your post makes sense. I indeed can’t afford to buy the ‘wrong’ plane now at this stage of my life :sweat_smile:

Ok but then you re doing -20 speeds ….

Nope. Typical cruise for me around 8-10k is 13gph @ 165ktas = 12.7nm/gal

Similar to @BLatham62, my average over the last year according to Savvy is 12.8NM/g at 170KTAS cruise LOP.

Resulting in 172 KTAS

SR22 POH shows 10.88 NM/USG at 8000 ft, 66% power …

The POH numbers are ROP, Dave and I and countless others are running LOP.

You should go ahead and join COPA so you can access volumes of threads on this topic and compare real world costs of the two models vs just reading manuals. It’s a good investment if you’re serious about ownership.

I know, but there’s nothing in the performance section regarding lean of peak figures.
As an airline pilot I’m used to relying on manufacturer’s publications …

Btw, what is the average bill for an annual maintenance with a -22?
Thanks again