Cirrus is the among the most successful of the new companies offering certificated aircraft, having delivered over 50 SR20s of 620 on order. The Duluth, Minnesota-based company started life designing and producing the VK-30 four-seat pusher kitplane, but soon changed direction to pursue its goal of the certificated SR20. Production is up to two per week and will increase to one per working day by the end of the year. Cirrus’ plant is capable of producing up to 800 aircraft per year. Fuselage production is moving to the Grand Forks, North Dakota, plant where many individual parts are now produced. Wing production and aircraft final assembly will remain in Duluth.
With European and Canadian certification of the SR20 now in progress, Cirrus has begun development flying with a derivative dubbed the SR22. This is a more powerful, higher weight aircraft. Power comes from a 230kW (310hp) Continental IO-550, and gross weight is increased to around 1,540kg. Wingspan is increased 0.64m (25in) to handle the extra weight, and also contain extra fuel, by an extension of the wingtips. Certification of the SR22 is expected at the end of this year.
Formal announcement of price and specification is due within three months. Cirrus believes the SR22 will be the first piston-engined aircraft to be certificated for instrument flight rules (IFR) operation with no vacuum system. It will be all-electric, with dual alternators and battery system with a fail-operational/fail-safe design. This level of redundancy in the electrical system paves the way for full-authority engine controls as they become available for piston-powered aircraft.