SR-22 Useful load

I’m considering a Cirrus for my next plane and am seeing a useful load of SR22-G2’s on the market in the 920lb to 980lb range. If I think of a mission profile of 320lbs in the front seat, 200lbs in the back seats and 100lbs of luggage, and a 950lb useful load, that limits the flight to about 55 gallons of fuel, which really limits range if I consider fuel reserve requirements on IFR flights.

If my mission consists of no more than 500lbs of people and luggage, I can carry full fuel, so no concerns. If we go above this profile, we would be limiting the amount of fuel we can start with.

If you want to take longer trips, does the mission really need to be limited to 500lbs for people and luggage?

How to Cirrus owners manage flights if the profile is above 500lbs for people/luggage?



I own a 2004 normally aspirated SR22 (no air conditioning and obviously no turbo) with useful load 1050-1080lbs range.

This is something that varies by options and vintage. Some planes have a considerable empty weight. Add a Turbo and it adds O2 systems and lots of weight up front. AC adds like 70 lbs, TKS (non FIKI) adds a similar amount. They are all nice options but having them preclude filling your fuel tanks and your seats at the same time.

On the contrary a lightly equipped early plane can haul a small SUV around. When my plane was delivered it had a 1181 pound useful load. But it is a clean wing. I have only met one G5 owner, which has the 200 LB gross weight increase, that has a UL higher than mine.

Choose your options based on likes and needs, but a fully loaded plane has a lot of non removable weight so choose carefully. But all those options are nice… Or get a fully loaded G5 and have both.


If you are considering a Cirrus and learn about the aircraft in detail from over 3800 members, join COPA I would not buy this large of an investment without having that knowledge. Cirrus aircraft have many options that effect the useful load. The early G1s have more useful load than later G2 and G3. G3s have more fuel load. The G5 got a gross weight increase that helps.

Most of us don’t like to fly longer than 3 hours at a time. So depending on payload it all works out for us.

If you fly lean of peak (14 gph), that would give 3 hours and 55 minutes flying time. With a normally aspirated G2, I would get 174k typically. So the IFR range would be 522 nm. On a long cross country trip, plan on refueling every 3 hours.

My G1 with no extra “stuff” can carry the load you describe and the full 81 gallons of AVGAS and still be 15 pounds under max gross.

The more electronics, A/C, TKS etc the lower the useful load.

All airplanes are compromises. You need to balance load carrying capacity with you desire for extras that might make some trips easier or more comfortable.

Depending on where my TKS fluid level is, I can get about 74 gallons with that payload on my 2005 G2 GTS NA no A/C.

3400 - 2341 = 1059 lbs.

Here is a pic of loading my G2 with AC and TKS full and your loading parameters.

I can take 61 gallons of fuel or 65 if I offload my TKS FLUID.

My bladder fills up before my tanks run dry. I typically cruse high and burn 12.5-14 gph.

Your loads are almost exactly what I travel with all the time. My kids are ready to get out after 2-2.5 hours anyway so this works out well.

With just me or me and the wife we can handle up to 3 hours then I’m ready for a break.

Thanks for the replies.

Not sure if you were talking about me but my G5 has got you beat with a 1190 lb. UL with FIKI and AC but no turbo. But of course it is a little pricier than a G1[;)]


It’s more than a little pricier.

If I traded my G1 for a G5 I suspect it would cost me at least $500,000.

Since I average 200 hours/yr, and burn an average of 15 GPH, with AVGAS running about $5.50/gal the cost of the trade would be about 30 yrs of AVGAS for my G1

I agree…FWIW…I tried to get Cirrus to put the new back bench seat into a G1 so I could save a bunch of money and not leave a kid at home, but they politely declined…something about buying a new plane. Also I am not as smart a pilot as you so I needed FIKI to fly in our neck of the woods…now if I could retire and have a more flexible schedule…hmmm[I]

Joe your question points to an aviation truth. Few airplanes can carry full sets and full fuel in the GA world, and you’ll find a calibrated dipstick to be quite useful to fuel precisely. The simple answer is to hold fast to your minimum fuel requirements at landing and make the fuel stops that are subsequently necessary. That fuel stop isn’t such a bad thing after 2 hours or more in the air, especially if you have 4 bladders aboard. It’s nice to get out for a few minutes frankly. You and your PAX will likely enjoy a long trip more if you get out and stretch, get fresh drinks, etc.

Do be aware of a couple of Cirrus gotchas: have a good hot start technique, and know what your oil dipstick should read with the engine hot and just shut down. With luggage and back seat PAX the airplane will handle differently, too, Be sure you’re in balance as well as weight, and be prepared for a heavy tail at rotation and landing. Then enjoy the fact that, with 4 aboard, your Cirrus costs less per seat mile than Southwest Airlines!


My 04 NA GTS had a useful load of 1060 with no AC, running your numbers, I could get 70 gallons of fuel. Depending on the winds and how lean you are running it, you will still get 4.5-5 hrs of flight which is way longer than my bladder liked to do and certainly longer than my wife or kids could do.

I think it’s also worth while to put this into perspective by comparing it to any other aircraft (Cessna, Mooney, etc) and you will find that they aren’t even close to making the profile compared to the Cirrus. The SR22s have more useful load than anything else out there in it’s class unless you go to a six passenger plane.

This was a typical load for my family:


here is my typical load. We try to keep bags to 80 pounds or so. I think my girls are done growing. [:D]. Lucky I had girls. If I had sons I’d need a Pilatus. .

By the time you pay for weddings, it’s about a wash versus the Pilatus!

I have a 2013 SR22 NA with FIKI and A/C. It has a useful load of 1205 lb. Great airplane to load up and go somewhere.


thanks, Sanjay!


Of course, you’ll always wonder whether the sons-in-law are useful load or not…

ha, maybe I can talk them into eloping and give them a nice fat check! [H]

on edit, if I do that, I may only need one seat in my airplane. [:|]