SR22 or SR22 Turbo? Considering Purchase

After many years of flying Mooneys (currently an Ovation) I am seriously considering transitioning to Cirrus. The main reason would be the “chute”. I am 72 years old and in excellent health and physical condition but having said that would like to provide the safety margin of the “chute” for my wife and other passengers.

I am looking at the G3 models as the G5 is probably not within my budget. I would appreciate any information you would be willing to provide regarding real would performance of the normally aspirated and Turbo models.

Most of my flights are east of the Mississippi, 500-750nm at altitudes of 8,000-11,000.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Jim Flynn

Sounds like a NA mission to me. No need to top weather and mountains, the turbo doesn’t offer much in that situation. Caveat, in my opinion if you want to fly in real ice, you need to get on top, I worry about the NA even with FIKI in that situation. Turbo will be a little faster at those low altitudes, but not enough on most trips to make a difference.

What speeds are you used to on your longer trips in your Mooney?

You don’t need a turbo for that mission so why carry around the extra weight? Also, if you like to do some of your own periodic maintenance, the NA is a lot easier to work on.

I would concur that the normally aspirated plane is the way to go for that mission profile. I find 8000’ to be nearly ideal for my NA G1. I’ll get 170kts true flying LOP at 14.3gph or so. You’ll lose a little bit of speed going up to 11,000’, but not much … you will still get 165kts TAS up there give or take depending on the temperature and weight.

I fairly regularly fly with a buddy of mine who has a 2001 Ovation with that two bladed cruise prop that was installed at the time to maximize cruise speed. The Ovation is a good 10kts faster than my G1 pretty much across the board, but the takeoff performance with that two bladed prop is abysmal, and like most Mooney’s it is a two person airplane with full fuel. The G3 will be a few knots faster than my G1 which will narrow the speed advantage of the Mooney a bit.

I think that the chute, useful load, interior space and panel layout of the Cirrus are definite advantages. Good luck with your search.

I see this is in the guest discussion. You should join COPA and read all the great articles comparing the two!

We felt the NA met our mission better than the turbo. When you compare book speeds at low altitudes the NA actually performs better. When you get up higher than about 10,000 that’s when the 22T will give better performance.

If flying ROP, at 9,000 feet in the NA G5 we’re doing about 175KTAS at 18gph.

You need to come spend a winter in Wisconsin with my NA. It might change your mind.

Also BTW the NA is actually a little faster at low altitudes especially if it has a metal prop. The Hartzell comopsite is slow down low and the MT is even worse.


I have seen 5-700 ft decrease in climb rate in only moderate icing in the FIKI TN22. Going from 1100 fpm to 400 fpm climb in a turbo at 14,000 feet, is a lot more palatable than going from 500 fpm climb to -200 fpm descent in a NA. Even the Turbo can be overwhelmed. I know of one COPA member here that was just trying out the FIKI outside of SLC, and voluntarily dropped out of the clouds when he was unable to maintain 90 KIAS at full power. Maybe he would chime in.

Also, keep in mind that the FAT Supercharger option provides a nice midpoint between the NA and the Turbo. Half the cost, half the weight, less maintenance, basically the same climb and speed advantages below 10K.

Usually fly full throttle, ROP on the long trips. See 185 kts at 8,000, 182 @ 11,000. My Ovation does not have TKS.

Jim - for comparison I typically run LOP and at 9,500 it is usually between 173 - 176 TAS (SR22 G2 NA TKS non-FIKI) burning 14 GPH. See these pictures for real world rich of peak and lean of peak for me. I let five minutes lapse between readings over multiple runs. 14 GPH 175 and 20+ GPH 178, so very little speed difference for much more fuel burn as a percentage.

Rich of peak picture.

Your friend was most certainly in SLD. I will say that icing in the mountains is different than icing in the flatlands. I can always avoid SLD, but also understand that not every Cirrus pilot has a solid weather/icing knowledge. The understanding of icing is IMHO just as important as the equipment you fly.

On another note the density altitude around here is often -2000 to -3000 feet which results in 2000 fpm climbs even loaded with the family.


Jim Flynn:
Most of my flights are east of the Mississippi, 500-750nm at altitudes of 8,000-11,000.

While a NA SR22 will do that fine, a turbo will allow you to fly higher and on trips of that length there are advantages in doing so. If you’re looking at a G3 there are probably more turbos than not on the market.

Gordon, I thought you would have chipped in by now…

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Regarding performance in my G3 TN I usually fly between 13000 and 18000 burning 15.5 GPH and see between 180 and 200 KTAS.

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We also live east of the Mississippi and l love our turbo. We regularly fly at 15,500 - 17,500 and see similar fuel flow and speed as Clyde. We have a G2 TN. Fuel management is a piece of cake and climbs like a rocket in the winter. Maintenance has been more challenging but not onerously so. I don’t know that I’d ever go back to NA except for a low-n-slow someday.

I would agree that NA is definitely the way to go. After owning both and flying both over 500hrs, there is no doubt that the Turbo is double the maintenance of the NA with only a slight performance advantage on trips under 500miles. My 2008 TN is worked on constantly, whereas the 2006 G2 NA we had before was basically maintenance free between inspections and oil changes.

Absolutely! Understanding icing and the limitations of the aircraft and pilot are as important as the equipment itself.

And regarding ROC, I departed DPA this AM with an OAT of +4, solo with 70 gallons of gas (TOW=2950) and had a ROC of about 2400 fpm at 105 KIAS.

Ok, chipping in.

As I have stated so many times, you don’t get the Turbo because you need to fly higher; you get the Turbo because it is so much better flying higher, even in the flatlands. Here is my take.