I received my SR22 package a day or two ago. It looks to me like an accomodating offer for SR20 position holders. As I see it they are offering current sr20 customers the chance to “step up,” using their existing contract price–not the present SR20 price for new customers–as the basis for determining their SR22 price. (If I read it correctly the CPI inflation rider clock does start ticking again, though–am I wrong?). I think CD didn’t have to do this and I appreciate the gesture. It does benefit both customers who would like increased performance and CD who would like (need?) increased margins.
My guess is that at least half of current SR20 orders will convert to the SR22. Especially out west, the increased load-carrying capability and improved density altitude performance will make it a real family airplane which can go almost anywhere under most altitude and temperature conditions. As for me, I will probably convert my position, given the loads and density altitude conditions which my flying often entails. And dare I say it, I think an sr22 position would be more “marketable” for the next couple of years for those who would decide to sell. However, when and if a 200 hp turbo-diesel is installed in the SR20, that could change.
To be honest, I don’t care so much about the extra speed. On a typical 350 nm trip it would only make 10 minutes’ difference. It would be the A configuration, as I feel that the Sandel HSI and 55 autopilot are expensive additions that I would just hardly ever need. (Readers of this forum have already seen my tiresome diatribes about the questionable value/utility of an HSI in a plane with THREE color moving maps…)
The SR22 does offer an excellent value compared to any other current production plane with comparable performance which would be $100-200K more. Say g’nite Mooney, Commander, Socata…The Columbia 300 would be more of a competitor, but it doesn’t yet qualify as a “production” plane… CD should keep their lines running well for the next several years with the SR20/22 offerings. They will no doubt sell 100’s, maybe low 1000’s of planes.
So looking ahead, what would it take to sell 10,000’s or more planes? I think “the money is out there,” but GA needs to become more attractive to a broader customer base. CD is already going a long way to overcome the public perception that flying is too dangerous. Advanced avionics are making it easier to navigate and fly. Also needed in GA are (a) increased product quality & reliability, comparable to today’s automobiles; (b) less hassle associated with ownership, operation, storage, etc. (a) has been discussed before here, but (b) not so much.
These days, TIME is as much of a concern to the potential larger market segment as money. For those of us for whom flying is a PASSION, it’s a labor of love :-). For the potential broader market, the time which one has to spend on looking after an airplane and its care, feeding, storage, and maintenance are discouraging factors I’m sure. What do you folks all think? I have wondered whether small airplane MANAGED fractional ownerships, or higher-end flying clubs (what the hell, let’s say $800-1000/month membership, then pay only for fuel; planes maintained to near-part 135 standards and kept clean; serious recurrency requirements for members) would bring a lot more people into GA. GA needs this to happen.