I’m a young engineer and I’m thinking about certifying a new product for the Cirrus SR-20 and SR-22. At this point, I’m doing market research and I’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions, concerns or ideas. Your input can help me create a better product for the Cirrus community.
My company is working to provide pilots with ground transportation solutions. We believe that modern airplanes, like Cirrus, should be as convenient as our cars. We’d like to travel door-to-door without hassle or delay. It shouldn’t require a taxi to get a sandwich or a rental car to visit grandma. We need ground transportation wherever we land and it isn’t available at many small airports.
In 2007, we began designing belly pods that allow pilots to carry a street-legal motorcycle. After landing, it takes 3-5 minutes to remove the motorcycle, unfold the handlebars and ride away. I’ve had one on my RV-10 for about a year and it has fundamentally changed the way that I use my airplane. I’ve started to use my airplane more and I’m amazed at how easily I can reach every-day destinations.
The pods may be attached or removed from the airplane in 60 seconds without tools. A built-in winch system raises the pod to/from the belly where it is secured with pins. While attached the pod will reduce cruise speed by about 5% but I remove it whenever it isn’t needed. I also use my pod to carry bulky cargo and it keeps the weight near the center of gravity. It’s long enough to fit bicycles, 2x4s, skis and surf boards!
We convert 250cc motorcycles to fit inside our pods and an electric motorcycle from Zero Motorcycles may soon be available. Some of the custom features include smaller wheels, folding handlebars, non-spill plumbing and carbon fiber body. The street-legal motorcycles carry two adults, exceed 85mph and keep up with highway traffic.
The pods are constructed from composite materials, just like the Cirrus airframe. STC’d pods will probably cost between $10,000 and $12,000 and converted motorcycles will be available for $8,000 to $10,000.
Does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Does the pricing sound reasonable? What do you think Cirrus owners will like or dislike? I greatly appreciate your feedback and I look forward to meeting some of you at the upcoming Cirrus Migration.
David Shelton, MotoPOD LLC