Useful Load

I am a member of the Yankee Flying Club slated for, I think, SR-20 #78. I am very excited, but I have heard that the useful load is 650lbs(nearly 1/2 of the useful load of our 182RG’s). I have heard that this might grow to 800 or 850lbs. What happened to the 1025lbs originally advertised? Is there any hope for a 1,000lb useful load? Will there be any change to the wing to increase the useful load, or will they simply reduce the performance numbers? I would sacrifice a few knots to be able to carry 4 people a reasonable distance. Even a Piper Arrow has a useful load of 1,000lbs. Can anyone tell me what the plans are?

I am a member of the Yankee Flying Club slated for, I think, SR-20 #78. I am very excited, but I have heard that the useful load is 650lbs(nearly 1/2 of the useful load of our 182RG’s). I have heard that this might grow to 800 or 850lbs. What happened to the 1025lbs originally advertised? Is there any hope for a 1,000lb useful load? Will there be any change to the wing to increase the useful load, or will they simply reduce the performance numbers? I would sacrifice a few knots to be able to carry 4 people a reasonable distance. Even a Piper Arrow has a useful load of 1,000lbs. Can anyone tell me what the plans are?

I think current sr20s are leaving the factory with full-fuel payloads around 490-520 lb (useful load 825-855 lb). Several recent postings on this site have reported news from Cirrus indicating that a 150-200 lb gross weight increase is nearly a done deal, slated for the fall and retroactive to earlier airplanes with at most minor mods. I don’t know to what extent that would affect performance (especially rate of climb), but a loss of at least 100 fpm seems likely. Probably not much effect on cruise speed.

The CirrusDesign web site says that the FULL FUEL load is 614 lbs. Assuming 336 for fuel that’s 950 lbs total.

My plane a ‘C’ configuration has a basic empty weight of 2083lbs, 2900 mtow, full tanks 56gall @ 6lbs 336lbs thus useful load equals 471lbs. Sorry I forgot 6lbs start/taxi. 477lbs.

I would certainly like another 100/200 lbs.

Anybody have a guess on the SR22’s useful load? The engine will weigh more, but lift more, too.

I am a member of the Yankee Flying Club slated for, I think, SR-20 #78. I am very excited, but I have heard that the useful load is 650lbs(nearly 1/2 of the useful load of our 182RG’s). I have heard that this might grow to 800 or 850lbs. What happened to the 1025lbs originally advertised? Is there any hope for a 1,000lb useful load? Will there be any change to the wing to increase the useful load, or will they simply reduce the performance numbers? I would sacrifice a few knots to be able to carry 4 people a reasonable distance. Even a Piper Arrow has a useful load of 1,000lbs. Can anyone tell me what the plans are?

I think current sr20s are leaving the factory with full-fuel payloads around 490-520 lb (useful load 825-855 lb).

Can anyone tell me where the usefull load has gone?

I understood that the “A” models are coming out of the factory above 950 LBS UL. Subtract 336 lbs. for fuel and another 35 for options (15 more for the 3-blade prop) still leaves above 575 Lbs.

If the UL falls below 600 lbs, is anyone interested in buying contract #119??

I am a member of the Yankee Flying Club slated for, I think, SR-20 #78. I am very excited, but I have heard that the useful load is 650lbs(nearly 1/2 of the useful load of our 182RG’s). I have heard that this might grow to 800 or 850lbs. What happened to the 1025lbs originally advertised? Is there any hope for a 1,000lb useful load? Will there be any change to the wing to increase the useful load, or will they simply reduce the performance numbers? I would sacrifice a few knots to be able to carry 4 people a reasonable distance. Even a Piper Arrow has a useful load of 1,000lbs. Can anyone tell me what the plans are?

I think current sr20s are leaving the factory with full-fuel payloads around 490-520 lb (useful load 825-855 lb). Several recent postings on this site have reported news from Cirrus indicating that a 150-200 lb gross weight increase is nearly a done deal, slated for the fall and retroactive to earlier airplanes with at most minor mods. I don’t know to what extent that would affect performance (especially rate of climb), but a loss of at least 100 fpm seems likely. Probably not much effect on cruise speed.

After this increase,

Do you mean 850+150(200) = 1,000-1050lbs Useful?

Or do you mean 650+150(200) = 800-850lbs Useful?

I think current sr20s are leaving the factory with full-fuel payloads around 490-520 lb (useful load 825-855 lb).

Can anyone tell me where the usefull load has gone?

I understood that the “A” models are coming out of the factory above 950 LBS UL. Subtract 336 lbs. for fuel and another 35 for options (15 more for the 3-blade prop) still leaves above 575 Lbs.

If the UL falls below 600 lbs, is anyone interested in buying contract #119??

If you’re serious, I’d be interested. I’m just about to put money down.

I think current sr20s are leaving the factory with full-fuel payloads around 490-520 lb (useful load 825-855 lb).

Can anyone tell me where the usefull load has gone?

I understood that the “A” models are coming out of the factory above 950 LBS UL. Subtract 336 lbs. for fuel and another 35 for options (15 more for the 3-blade prop) still leaves above 575 Lbs.

If the UL falls below 600 lbs, is anyone interested in buying contract #119??

I’m waiting for a contract but would be happy to “buy up” the delivery queue for a reasonable price.

After this increase,

Do you mean 850+150(200) = 1,000-1050lbs Useful?

Or do you mean 650+150(200) = 800-850lbs Useful?

Ok, let’s get this straight. Useful load is the difference between empty weight and max gross weight. The current max gross on the SR20 is 2950 lbs. Current SR20s have empty weights of around 2050lbs (this has apparently gone down by about 6lbs, but of course it depends on the equipment fitted).

This means current useful loads are around the 900lb mark. The upcoming gross weight increase will raise this to 1050lbs at least, maybe as high as 1100lbs. Empty weights will only go down.

Full fuel load is 60 gals, or 360lbs. Subtract this from useful load to figure out how much you can put in the seats and baggage compartment.

But be clear - even at 900lbs, the SR20 compares quite well to other single-engined 4 seat planes. With the higher load, it will be as good as any and better than most. Also remember that 60 gals in the SR20 will take you quite a ways (much further than the 50 gals in an Arrow at 140KTAS). Even half fuel (30 gals) will allow you to fill the seats right now, and still allow you to fly about 350NM with a 45 minute reserve.

I made a mistake with the numbers - the max gross is currently 2900, not 2950. So they don’t look quite as good (850 lbs useful). But the general comments are still valid.

To clarify, here’s my understanding of the weight issue:

  • Spec for SR20, as per web site, is 950lb total useful load (336 full fuel + 614);

  • I gather that early models are “somewhat” heavy. Meaning 50-100 lbs? (Anyone know more precisely than that? Walt?) That would make useful load on early models 850-900; I understand that Cirrus is trying to shrink this pound by pound.

  • There has been a widely discussed impending increase in gross, of the 100-200 pound range. This would bring it back at least to previous 950 and one hopes above 1000.
    I will now stop pretending to be an expert about this. Jim F

To clarify, here’s my understanding of the weight issue:

  • Spec for SR20, as per web site, is 950lb total useful load (336 full fuel + 614);
  • I gather that early models are “somewhat” heavy. Meaning 50-100 lbs? (Anyone know more precisely than that? Walt?) That would make useful load on early models 850-900; I understand that Cirrus is trying to shrink this pound by pound.
  • There has been a widely discussed impending increase in gross, of the 100-200 pound range. This would bring it back at least to previous 950 and one hopes above 1000.
    I will now stop pretending to be an expert about this. Jim F

Jim you are right on. I wrote this rather hash note and thought oh what the heck:

Get a grip! While the useload is off by 200 to 250 lbs, Cirrus is attempting to get most if not all of it back my getting the gross weight increased. My plane weighs 2059# and has official useful load of 841#. That’s not what I was promised either; however, the plane flys quite nicely at “a little over gross” as I inadvertently found out. I mistake in calculation resulted in takeoff at about 3300 and at SL the climb rate was about 800 FPM and cruise speeds were pretty close to advertised. The bottom line is: 1) Cirrus will likely not have much trouble getting an increase in gross weight approved; and b) with some experience you can fly right on “gross numbers+” without any problem.

There are other ways to increase the useful load. For me, my bride says “lose some weight” and she is not talking about the plane!. Calculate the fuel required for the trip. Why carry around 3 times the fuel required and then complain about the useful load? Weight is always an issue so get a grip and deal with it! May the future will offer some lighter weight alternatives than current construction methods, but in the meantime I am flying with a more limited weight restriction than was promised, but I am flying and enjoying every minute of it.

There are other ways to increase the useful load. For me, my bride says “lose some weight” and she is not talking about the plane!. Calculate the fuel required for the trip. Why carry around 3 times the fuel required and then complain about the useful load? Weight is always an issue so get a grip and deal with it!

Walt, I really respect and enjoy most of your comments, but I think you may have missed the boat on this one. I agree with Marty’s post above. A 250# decrease in usefull load (with or without full fuel) is significant. Some of us are looking for a plane which increases our range AND payload.

your seggestions about not carrying more fuel than you need or flying overgross are probably ill advised. As you know, there is nothing more useless in aviation than fuel left at home!. I look at additional fuel as a safety margin (especially when IFR), as I do following the POH’s numbers. To fly with less than a very comfortable margin is not what I’m about. At a 1100# UL, I can use the plane to fly my family of 4 600 miles in comfort with a safety margin. At about 850#, I’ll either have to make a fuel stop or leave one of the kids at home. (I’ll let you tell Jill that!)

I wish it was just my wife an I that I have to worry about carting about, but I am really looking for a new, safe, quick bird to haul my family around. I don’t think ‘getting a grip’ or ‘dealing with it’ the plane’s shortcomings are the best solutions nor would intentionally flying overgross.

I’m not trying to be mean, just pointing out that each of us has our own reasons for purchasing this or any plane and that a 250# (20%+) reduction in UL can significantly change the equation.

There are other ways to increase the useful load. For me, my bride says “lose some weight” and she is not talking about the plane!. Calculate the fuel required for the trip. Why carry around 3 times the fuel required and then complain about the useful load? Weight is always an issue so get a grip and deal with it!

Walt, I really respect and enjoy most of your comments, but I think you may have missed the boat on this one. I agree with Marty’s post above. A 250# decrease in usefull load (with or without full fuel) is significant. Some of us are looking for a plane which increases our range AND payload.

your seggestions about not carrying more fuel than you need or flying overgross are probably ill advised. As you know, there is nothing more useless in aviation than fuel left at home!. I look at additional fuel as a safety margin (especially when IFR), as I do following the POH’s numbers. To fly with less than a very comfortable margin is not what I’m about. At a 1100# UL, I can use the plane to fly my family of 4 600 miles in comfort with a safety margin. At about 850#, I’ll either have to make a fuel stop or leave one of the kids at home. (I’ll let you tell Jill that!)

I wish it was just my wife an I that I have to worry about carting about, but I am really looking for a new, safe, quick bird to haul my family around. I don’t think ‘getting a grip’ or ‘dealing with it’ the plane’s shortcomings are the best solutions nor would intentionally flying overgross.

I’m not trying to be mean, just pointing out that each of us has our own reasons for purchasing this or any plane and that a 250# (20%+) reduction in UL can significantly change the equation.

You’re absolutely right! I was out of line. My circumstances are not the same as everyone else. When I fly my family (my bride and I) are typically the only ones flying … besides our 6 grown children (a) wouldn’t fit: and (2) wouldn’t want to go. For us we can haul our golf clubs and luggage and have a good time with full fuel. UL is always going to be an issue because we will always want more. Sorry for being so harsh … I knew it when I wrote it, but posted it anyway.

The SR20 is a great plane NEARLY every respect.

I think that a lot of the issues with useful load resolve around that most 4 place airplanes are not true full fuel 4 place airplanes. And one would think that if you designed a new airplane that you would make improvements – resulting in a true four place full fuel airplane. The original useful load of ~1100 lb would result in a true four place fuel fuel airplane and I think a lot of people desire the SR20 to be the perfect airplane.

There are other ways to increase the useful load. For me, my bride says “lose some weight” and she is not talking about the plane!. Calculate the fuel required for the trip. Why carry around 3 times the fuel required and then complain about the useful load? Weight is always an issue so get a grip and deal with it!

Walt, I really respect and enjoy most of your comments, but I think you may have missed the boat on this one. I agree with Marty’s post above. A 250# decrease in usefull load (with or without full fuel) is significant. Some of us are looking for a plane which increases our range AND payload.

your seggestions about not carrying more fuel than you need or flying overgross are probably ill advised. As you know, there is nothing more useless in aviation than fuel left at home!. I look at additional fuel as a safety margin (especially when IFR), as I do following the POH’s numbers. To fly with less than a very comfortable margin is not what I’m about. At a 1100# UL, I can use the plane to fly my family of 4 600 miles in comfort with a safety margin. At about 850#, I’ll either have to make a fuel stop or leave one of the kids at home. (I’ll let you tell Jill that!)

I wish it was just my wife an I that I have to worry about carting about, but I am really looking for a new, safe, quick bird to haul my family around. I don’t think ‘getting a grip’ or ‘dealing with it’ the plane’s shortcomings are the best solutions nor would intentionally flying overgross.

I’m not trying to be mean, just pointing out that each of us has our own reasons for purchasing this or any plane and that a 250# (20%+) reduction in UL can significantly change the equation.

You’re absolutely right! I was out of line. My circumstances are not the same as everyone else. When I fly my family (my bride and I) are typically the only ones flying … besides our 6 grown children (a) wouldn’t fit: and (2) wouldn’t want to go. For us we can haul our golf clubs and luggage and have a good time with full fuel. UL is always going to be an issue because we will always want more. Sorry for being so harsh … I knew it when I wrote it, but posted it anyway.

The SR20 is a great plane NEARLY every respect.

For the most part all of the posts on this subject are valid and thought provoking, but When I placed my deposit, Cirrus Design was comitting to a range of about 750 NM’s plus IFR Reserves and a Usefull Load of 1100# (or 740# w/full fuel).

This worked out great for my needs: A family of 4 who likes to travel 300 - 600 for weekends. The comfort, new design issues, speed and safety were other positive considerations.

As it stands now, I am looking at a plane with under 600# of UL full fuel or only about 2-3 hours of endurance (300-450 NM range) with 700# in the cockpit.

Just as I got home I went to my mail box and took a look at the new April issue of Plane & Pilot magazine. A feature story on True Four-Seaters (182 & Dakota). This artical also has a comparison of other four-seaters and lists useful loads, max fuel etc. A lot of good info. Interesting that a Cherokee 180 has a useful load of 1170 lb – pretty darn good for a vintage 60’s airplane. You’d sure think that Cirrus could do better with 30+ years of technology and 20 extra horsepower!!!

I think that a lot of the issues with useful load resolve around that most 4 place airplanes are not true full fuel 4 place airplanes. And one would think that if you designed a new airplane that you would make improvements – resulting in a true four place full fuel airplane. The original useful load of ~1100 lb would result in a true four place fuel fuel airplane and I think a lot of people desire the SR20 to be the perfect airplane.

There are other ways to increase the useful load. For me, my bride says “lose some weight” and she is not talking about the plane!. Calculate the fuel required for the trip. Why carry around 3 times the fuel required and then complain about the useful load? Weight is always an issue so get a grip and deal with it!

Walt, I really respect and enjoy most of your comments, but I think you may have missed the boat on this one. I agree with Marty’s post above. A 250# decrease in usefull load (with or without full fuel) is significant. Some of us are looking for a plane which increases our range AND payload.

your seggestions about not carrying more fuel than you need or flying overgross are probably ill advised. As you know, there is nothing more useless in aviation than fuel left at home!. I look at additional fuel as a safety margin (especially when IFR), as I do following the POH’s numbers. To fly with less than a very comfortable margin is not what I’m about. At a 1100# UL, I can use the plane to fly my family of 4 600 miles in comfort with a safety margin. At about 850#, I’ll either have to make a fuel stop or leave one of the kids at home. (I’ll let you tell Jill that!)

I wish it was just my wife an I that I have to worry about carting about, but I am really looking for a new, safe, quick bird to haul my family around. I don’t think ‘getting a grip’ or ‘dealing with it’ the plane’s shortcomings are the best solutions nor would intentionally flying overgross.

I’m not trying to be mean, just pointing out that each of us has our own reasons for purchasing this or any plane and that a 250# (20%+) reduction in UL can significantly change the equation.

You’re absolutely right! I was out of line. My circumstances are not the same as everyone else. When I fly my family (my bride and I) are typically the only ones flying … besides our 6 grown children (a) wouldn’t fit: and (2) wouldn’t want to go. For us we can haul our golf clubs and luggage and have a good time with full fuel. UL is always going to be an issue because we will always want more. Sorry for being so harsh … I knew it when I wrote it, but posted it anyway.

The SR20 is a great plane NEARLY every respect.

Interesting that a Cherokee 180 has a useful load of 1170 lb – pretty darn good for a vintage 60’s airplane. You’d sure think that Cirrus could do better with 30+ years of technology and 20 extra horsepower!!!

Bernie, you forget about the 35+ knots the SR20 has over the 180? The extra avionics and safety equipment? Jeesh…