Lancair 300 comparison

I am a young pilot trying to compare a Lancair Cloumbia 300 to an SR-22.
Does anyone have any real world experience to share or advice?

If you search this forum’s archives you will find several threads of discussions about this. They are both excellent aircraft and either would be a good choice. Some contrasts:

Speed: Columbia by about 10 kt

Payload with full fuel: SR22 wins here; its full-fuel payload is about like a 182 (i.e. you can either fill the seats or take along 2 passengers and all the bags you can cram in).

Range: Columbia has 100 gal vs 80 for the SR22. So if you don’t care about payload, Columbia wins here.

CG envelope: Cirri are pilot-friendly so long as you put heavier folks up front. Not sure about the current production Columbias, but Aviation Consumer in their article about the Columbia a couple of years ago remarked that it had a tendency towards aft CG issues.

Comfort: SR22 has a roomier cabin and is MUCH easier to enter and disembark from the front seats

Safety: flight characteristics, stall/spin resistance are probably similar. The SR22 has an airframe parachute but the Columbia does not.

Panel: SR22 has garmin 430s, more user-friendly and flexible than the UPSAT stuff in the Columbia. On the other hand the Columbia has more flexible MFD options and more panel space for add-ons, like an engine monitor.

Price: I believe the SR22 wins here although I have not kept close tabs on Columbia’s latest price.

Factory support: Cirrus seems to be well on their way to earning an excellent reputation here. Too early to say about COlumbia as they have not delivered more than a couple dozen planes yet.

My 2 cents. I would choose (and have chosen) Cirrus, but other pilots of sound mind and sober judgment have elected to buy Columbia 300s. Variety and competition are good things!

I too voted with my wallet, for an SR22, so my opinion is biased. I agree with the looks of the Lancair being not so good, although this is clearly a matter of opinion. I do wonder about the stability of the Lancair in a crosswind landing and its tendency to groundloop because the main gear seem to be a lot closer together than the Cirrus. Finally, you can’t make a fair comparison of the two planes without addressing the companies behind the planes. Admittedly, Lancair has been building great kits for years, but Cirrus is way ahead of them regarding high volume manufacturing of a fully certified aircraft and all the problems associated with having responsibility for assembly.

A few more comparisons:

Price: A similarly equipped SR22 will cost you $20K - $30K less.

Visibility over the nose: SR22 - some of the extra panel space int he Lancair comes from a higher panel.

Speed: Difference will probably be more like 5-8 KTAS. Lancair is a know exagerator of performance figures.
Most SR22’s will do there book figures or a knot or two better. I don’t know about Lancair.

Spins: The Cirrus are fairly stall resistant, have benign stall tendencies and are very easy to get out of a stall or spin. Because Lancair does not have the chute, they have done more to make the aircraft comply with spin resistance including rudder limiters.

Delivery Wait: I hear that if you order one today, Cirrus will deliver it by the end of the summer, maybe a few weeks earlier. I don’t know about Lancair, but I would bet the wait is a lot longer.

Seriously though, both airplanes are great designs. They are head and shoulders above and beyond the older designs. the certification standards are far in excess of what any other planes need to achieve. Even the Commander which advertises CAR 23 standards is not even close to the Cirrus or Lancair.

Your choice will probably fall to design philosophy. Lancair’s #1 priority has been speed and it show is a couple extra knots. (does that speed really matter. Try out both airplanes at their book speeds and see how much time you save in a 450 mile trip.) Cirrus has strived for a little more safety (CAPS) and comfort.

I am definitely partial. I’ve voted with my wallet and have never doubted the decision. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Marty SR22 s/n 0017

Totally agree with all the posts, but perhaps useful load has been understated - at least in my experience. Useful load and CG on the 22 is really very good (mine has 1171 lbs) and so much better than average it is a real delight. I can put in full fuel (486 lbs), my whole family (Me, Wife, an 11 year old and a good sized 17 year old - in fairness we are not big folks other than the 17 year old) and still have capacity for over 115 lbs of baggage.

So to be fair, leave out the 11 year old and put in 3 theoritical 200 lb adults and full fuel. I could still put in 85 lbs of baggage. And in all scenarios, including putting both passengers in the back seat AND the 85 poinds in the back, it stays in CG. Really hard to get it out of balance. I cannot comment on the C300 in this regard, but otherwise I have sat in it and looked at it closely. It is a nice plane, you cannot go wrong with it. Your own usage and philopshies should determine the winner. I can say, I love my Cirrus. It is well designed, a heck of a performer, it beats book speeds and highly recommend it.


I started 2001 looking at aircraft with the Lancair Columbia 300 as my intended
purchase and the Cirrus SR-22 as the strong contender for price/feature comparision.
Both companies products blow away Mooney’s, Cessna’s, Piper’s on price-performance.

Along the way something strange happened as I sat in and flew the SR-20/22 and
C-300 as the SR-22 became the lead and the C-300 became the comparision.

There were a lot of small points but I essentially found the Cirrus a more polished,
commercially realised design while the Lancair lent more towards a kit-craft approach.

Anyway in January SR-22 N-741CD will be arriving for me in the UK.

“You pays your money and you takes your choice…”

– Andrew

I, too, have voted with my wallet but there is still another point to consider.

The Columbia 300 and 400 are just plain ugly. The nose gear looks like a cheap afterthought and the wheel pants must have come off a 1966 C-172.