The \"Underpowered\" SR20??

Yesterday I read another post that referred to the SR20 as being under powered, as though it were a fact of life like the sun rising in the East. At the risk of being accused as blindly speaking well of the aircraft, I don’t get it.

Underpowered relative to what? The 22? Well of course. But you’d think people expected 250 HP and only got 200!

I live in the flat, hot midwest, and I’ve never had a mission I had to cancel due to the plane’s power. I’ve flown to Mt. Rushmore and Denver, both at or near full gross, and never with a problem.

The plane was not advertised as being able to climb fast at 12,000’ or climb at all at high altitudes in extreme heat. It’s not good at routine flying over the Rockies, which is a mission that’s not relevant to most pilots. An Archer would struggle more, as would a 172 SP, both of which cost about the same as an SR20.

Yes, the overheating is a real issue, and it indirectly impacts performance. So let’s concede that there’s a CHT/OT problem. Yes, it goes about 5 knots under book, as does virtually every other plane - wish it didn’t.

If rapid climbing at high altitudes is important to your mission, then the SR22 is the appropriate plane (and a great plane it is). Personally, given the profile of my typical flying, I don’t want, need, nor can I afford the extra power.

I read the specs when I purchased the plane, and my recollection is that the sales materials did mention that the plane had a 200HP engine. So, relative to the expectations I was lead to, it’s powered properly.

The guy in the hangar next to me has a Cherokee 180; the next guy has a 172. They look at my SR20 like I look at the SR22 - a high-power, high-performance, high-speed airplane. Hardly a meeting goes by without them mentioning how lucky I am to be flying this plane. If they heard all the complaining about the lack of power, they’d probably think we were a bunch of can’t make 'em happy ingrates.

Andy

Andy, I couldn’t agree more. The guy in the hangar across from me has a new 172. In reality he has a new 50 year old airplane. He and his wife look at my 22 and she always tells him that he should have gotten the 20 for just a few more dollars. I hope their marriage lasts.

Amen, Andy!

Steve

Hi Andy,

I agree 100%! We Westerners are utterly delighted with our SR20 and its performance.

Cheers,
Roger

Everything in life is relative. I have been flying Cessna 172’s and Cardinal RG’s for a long time now and the SR20, compared to both of them, is VERY WELL POWERED, not underpowered.
It all boils down to the mission. If you do not fly often over 11,000 feet, the SR20 will be fine, as far as power is concerned, forany flight you take.
Brian

" In reality he has a new 50 year old airplane. "


This is the reason because Cirrus is selling so many airplane.
Like me, there are people who wants fly faster and maybe better (comfort) respect many (al?l) other new-old similar airplane/hp/price.

My impression is that Cirrus is setting new G.A. standards. I heard many other GA aircraft company announcing new product (like cirrus) in “Near future”. Cirrus will have 4 to 6 year of advantage meanwhile. Ok, there will be a lopt of street to do for Cirrus again, but also new improvement annuced from Cirrus in last two year are much more than every other company announce in ten…!

Come back to SR20, I haven’t big experience but, wich kind of Cessna and Piper close to SR20 have similar performance in kts, stall, cabin wide/height, instrument, avionics and not last, price?

Nobady post nothing concerning Mooney reduction price of 90.000 USD. If I was an older Mooney owner or I was thinking to buy one… No way, I’ll buy a different aircraft.

Uhmmm… Cirrus won, all other…? Yea, there will be many nostalgic that will cohntinue to buy Cessna, Piper or… But I’m stating to think they will be cut thei employed meanwhile.

They did nothing for years, I hope only that they will not start to push on US gover for some help that could create some trouble to Cirrus.

Yes, it goes about 5 knots under book, as does virtually every other > plane - wish it didn’t.

Only 5kts your lucky - I bought a plane that was advertised as doing 160kts mine does 145kts max. Cirrus’s response clean the bugs off it - get real guys. I doubt they will change the cowl underwarranty if that is the fix.

Don’t get me wrong I love the Cirrus - I just wish they would advertise it as a 140kt plane and have people surprised when it does a few knots extra.

It’s having a bunch of SB’s done today so I’ve asked the SC to check
the prop governor. is set correctly., Not sure if underpowered is the right phrase but underperforming defintely, perhaps it does not like the thin Denver air.

Robert

I fly My 20 all over the west. Altough in the cooler time of year and yes I wish it would do the book # in cruise . But I dont think there are any planes that do it. You have to deduct for bugs and all the other varibles. I went to look at a trinidad used to be an owner of 2 for alot of years and hours. Thought I might go back not going to happen. We have a more modern and economical airplane same cruise for 8 $ an hour less. And there are only a few flights a year that I realy need the speed. Most of the time im just punching holes in the sky or giving rides. If I did live in high country in the summer I would get a 22 might anyways someday. So for now I am quite content. From Don

You’re right, everything considered, the SR20 is the best bargain in new aircraft today (I’ll reserve “best value” for the '22).

Once Cirrus (and Lancair, Diamond, etc.) are up to full production and waiting times are not so long, Cessna and Piper will be hard-pressed to sell Archers, Saratogas, 172s, and 182s. Even now, Cessna has to offer remarkable purchase and financing incentives to move their inventory. Personally I strongly suspect that Cessna will bow out of piston single production within 4 years. I wouldn’t worry, the government doesn’t care enough about small airplane GA to consider any sort of “assistance” for them–thankfully, as it would screw up the marketplace to do so.

Understandably, this forum often focusses on everyday issues about owning Cirri. It’s worthwhile every so often to take a look at the big picture and realize, in view of GA’s history over the past 2 decades, what an astonishing success story Cirrus really is.

…which kind of Cessna and Piper close to SR20 have similar performance in kts, stall, cabin wide/height, instrument, avionics and not last, price?
Maurizio,
The short answer is that no other company has anything comparable in the 200-HP class. Looking at performance alone:
[]The http://skyhawksp.cessna.com/Cessna Skyhawk SP has only 180 HP, as do the http://www.tigeraircraft.com/perf.htmTiger and the http://www.newpiper.com/aircraft/arc_perf.htmPiper Archer. The closest competition from Cessna is the 195-HP click hereHawk XP, but that’s been out of production for 20 years. A new one cruised at 127 KTAS at 75% power. (There’s an article about the Hawk XP in this month’s http://www.aviationconsumer.com/issues/current/usedaircraftguide/5188-1.htmlAviation Consumer, available to subscribers only.)[]The http://www.newpiper.com/aircraft/arr_perf.htmPiper Arrow has 200 HP, but is slower and has the complication and expense of retractable landing gear.Perhaps the best point of comparison would be the http://www.socataaircraft.com/tb200.htmEADS Socata TB 200 Tobago GT. It has fixed gear, 200 HP, and a constant-speed prop. It also cruises at a stately 130 KTAS at 75% power![/list]Conclusion: The SR20 is really in a class of its own. If you’d rather be in a higher class, buy an SR22.

Cheers,
Roger

Come back to SR20, I haven’t big experience but, wich kind of Cessna and Piper close to SR20 have similar performance in kts, stall, cabin wide/height, instrument, avionics and not last, price?

Well, how about a used T210? It will beat the SR-22 in everything and is less than half the price. Plus, the bugs are worked out (and you don’t need to clean them off to get book speed). As much as I’d like to see Cirrus be a resounding success, I think this is one of its problems. Before I get blasted, let me point out that all my complaints have been echoed by others, and the number of SR-20s on the used market is truly astounding given you few of them are out there. There are 2 for sale near me, alone. That has to be about half the Cirrus fleet in Denver.

-Jonathan

I wouldn’t be so quick to count Cessna out of GA piston sales. With carbon fibre/composite tech becoming mainstream and easier to work with, advanced avionics becoming affordable, and Jet A powered piston engines available, I’m willing to bet that Cessna (and perhaps some of the other “established” airframe builders) will take advantage of the primary research and engineering development done by Cirrus, Diamond, and Lancair to bring new versions of their old designs and new designs to market in a couple of years. After all, its easier to reverse engineer someone else’s design than to spend the mega$ and time to learn/develop it from scratch yourself!

Bill and Kevin,

Another interesting question to contemplate is whether the aftermarket modification industry will provide upgrades for Cirri in the same way they have for Cessnas and Pipers.

[]When your SR20 engine times out, wouldn’t it be cool to turn it into a http://www.260se.com/Peterson SR260 with a forward canard and a 260-HP engine?[]Or when the engine in your SR22 reaches TBO, how about slapping a http://www.tradewind-bonanza.com/index.htmlturboprop on the firewall?And what about a Cirrus on floats? (Hey, why not?!? The RAF experimented with a http://hep2.physics.arizona.edu/~savin/ram/spitfire-9-float.jpgSpitfire on floats during WW II, and Convair built a supersonic jet seaplane in the 1950s.)[/list]The possibilities are endless, and it’s going to be interesting to see what the market offers.

Cheers,
Roger

I wouldn’t be so quick to count Cessna out of GA piston sales. With carbon fibre/composite tech becoming mainstream and easier to work with, advanced avionics becoming affordable, and Jet A powered piston engines available, I’m willing to bet that Cessna (and perhaps some of the other “established” airframe builders) will take advantage of the primary research and engineering development done by Cirrus, Diamond, and Lancair to bring new versions of their old designs and new designs to market in a couple of years. After all, its easier to reverse engineer someone else’s design than to spend the mega$ and time to learn/develop it from scratch yourself! <

William,
I felt the same way before purchasing the 22. However, I had a long talk with an alleged senior level marketing person for Beechcraft at Sun-N-Fun 2001 that changed my mind about that. I thought that Beech, with their experience building the Starship years ago, would be the likely candidate to build a next generation single. So, I was very interested to find out if there was anything ‘in the works’. After about 20-30 minutes of questions and answers, I finally got to the meat of the matter. The guy explains to me that expected liability costs are still a huge part of the purchase price of new aircraft. Right now, Beech can expend their resources developing business jets flown by professional pilots and make $500,000 to $1 million apiece or they can develop a new single engine piston plane for a $50,000 profit apiece flown by ‘amatuers’ and hope nobody crashed and sues. They have to sell ten singles to earn the same profit of one bizjet and accept the liability risk for ten amatuers vs. one professional pilot.
Like it or not, that’s what the guy told me. It sounds to me like Cessna and Beech are handing over the reins for at least singles right now. I concluded the companies that are going to fall on tough times are the ones with no bizjet products, like Mooney and Piper. Events of the past twelve months seem to have reinforced that conclusion.

I think you are right, but I think the next generation 'Cessna’s" won’t be made by Cessna.

Look at http://www.fourwindsaircraft.comhttp://www.omf-aircraft.com for the next generation 182’s 172’s en 152’swith more traditional designs made with composites etc. and newer tech. But(that way) they don’t reach the level of a SRXX / Columbia.

my 0,02 Euro’s

Jaap

“…wouldn’t it be cool to turn it into a Peterson SR260 with a forward canard and a 260-HP engine?”

As you can imagine, such a fantasy has entered my mind from time to time, as I own a Peterson conversion and love it. The possibility of lowering stall and approach speed by 15 kt with some concomitant gain at the top end seems really attractive. However the economics wouldn’t be there until the Cirrus fleet numbered in the thousands. Certification costs alone would be in multiples of 6 figures or more; then figure that only a fraction of the fleet would be interested at even a rock-bottom price. Too bad…this modification improved EVERY aspect of the 182: uses 1/3 - 1/2 the runway, climbs 40% better, approaches 15 kt more slowly, and it will cruise with an SR20.

The SR20 is already a fine aircraft, but with a mod like this…whew! Anyone got $500,000 burning a hole in their pockets for certification? Maybe I could twist Todd Peterson’s arm…

However the economics wouldn’t be there until the Cirrus fleet numbered in the thousands.

Kevin,

At the current rate of production, there should be 1000 Cirri in the fleet by this time next year and over 2000 by fall 2004. So it could happen sooner than we think!

Cheers,
Roger

Kevin,

The traditionalist that he is, I suspect Todd would promptly reverse that arm twist into a hammer-lock head-hold embracing the cranium of anyone who would suggest adapting his metal working and engine skills to the Cirri.

I, too, love my 260se/stol. She purrs like a cat, is gentle as a lamb, can cruise with the `20, and touches down like a feathered lady, slow and easy.

Cheers all,

Pete

In reply to:


The SR20 is already a fine aircraft, but with a mod like this…whew!


Kevin,
I don’t know about the SR20, but I believe that Marty Kent already tried this out on his SR22 one afternoon a few months back. He had a little spare time on his hands while he was in the Bahamas, and used their excellent, well equipped shop to whip up a Peterson SR262 Mod before he departed for Louisville.
Enroute, he tried out some slow, low flight… and promptly got the shazbad scared out of him, as he realized that at those speeds, he was getting some unwanted attention from some of the larger fish.
As luck would have it, our very own airboy, aka Roger, was around to snap the this photo. Marty loved the mod, but didn’t feel like spending the rest of the afternoon doing all the paperwork for the local FSDO, so he just put the plane back to the way it was.

Mike.

I had an SR20 in Santa Fe (6348 MSL) from 10/00 through 5/01, and it performed admirably until the day I took off at gross (the old 2900 lb gross, mind you) to ferry it to CA. The nonlinearity of performance versus temperature was, well, rather marked. In the summer it’s pretty much off the performance charts from early morning until well after dark (as the unfortunate gentleman from Duluth discovered at Angel Fire.)

The SR22 is a much more practical airplane for situations like mine, particularly if you don’t mind getting your butt kicked all over the sky flying over the desert on summer afternoons…

So in NM I’d call the SR20 “underpowered” but not in CA, unless I spent a lot of time at Mammoth or Big Bear. But then people here fly 172s, just not in the middle of summer days. 9000+ DAs are a fact of life for a few months.