Why is the Cessna 400 faster than the Cirrus SR22?

Does anyone happen to know why a Cessna 400 is so much faster than a Cirrus SR22 when both planes have essentially the same body, horsepower, and weight? Thanks for any guidance.

It has a different turbo system and burns a lot more fuel at normal operating procedures. Overall I will take the Cirrus turbo system obver the Cessna/Columbia any day.

This subject has been discussed a great deal here over the years. We tried to organize a head to head fly off at one point between a stock TN22 and a Columbia 400. Could never get the Columbia guys to cooperate.

Columbia publishes the POH based on ROP operations while Cirrus POH is based on LOP operations that accounts for much of the difference. The TKS panels on the Cirrus account for another big difference may 3 or 4 knots.

If anyone knows someone with a Columbia 400 in California who would like to race let me know.

I would like to see a wing tip to wing tip cruise test between the Columbia 400 and a TN22 with both running LOP. My guess is the TN22 gives up at most 5 knots to the Columbia 400 (both running LOP) while carrying CAPs and TKS along for the ride.

I flew a Columbia 400 in January of 2007 but the demo pilot never got me up to comparable altitudes to test the difference between that plane and the SR22. But, as Bob says, their speed numbers are based on ROP operations that burn far more fuel. I know of very few if any Cirrus drivers that cruise ROP. It is just not worth the fuel burn for the given speed change.

Having flown both I can tell you that any speed advantage is not much and it does not compensate for the increased operating cost from the fuel.

Isnt the Cessna “charged” and the Cirrus “normalized”?

Per the Mfr websites:

MaxCruise: C-400 235kts, SR22Turbo 219Kts, A 16 Kt difference, about 7%

The turbo systems might be part of the difference,

Look at the non-turbo comparison:

MaxCruise: C350 191Kts, SR22NA 185Kts, A 6 kt difference, about 3.5%.

Each manufacturer makes design trade-offs for streamlining vs:

. cockpit comfort (size, headroom and shape).

. Handling/stability

And Cirrus carries around CAPS.

And per the Mfr base base model price: C-400 $650k, SR22turbo $446k

As long as the total Gross Weights are the same CAPS and TKS don’t really matter. What are the loading assumptions in the comparisons?

You are correct about the gross weight comparison but not the TKS. TKS panels degrade cruise speed by up to 5 knots (maybe more in G3 with 4’ longer panels). Comparing a clean wing Columbia 400 versus a TKS TN22 is not a fair fight. My guess is a clean wing (no TKS panels) TN22 versus a Columbia 400 at the same gross weight with both running LOP at same percent power would cruise side by side a very close to the same TAS.


The #'s on the 350 are BS. I have owned a NA 22 and I now own a 2006 Columbia 350SL. My old SR22 would do 182 knots ROP and 172 knots LOP at 13 gph (assuming 9,500 MSL). This Columbia 350 goes 183 knots ROP and does 171 knots LOP at 13 gph. They are identical in speed and my Cirrus had TKS and this 350 doesn’t have anything on the wings. There are a lot of nice things in the Columbia that I really like though. It’s electrical system is awesome. It also has G-1000 which I see as a big plus. i really like the prop knob as well. No parachute is a killer though. If Cessna would put FIKI and a parachute on their 400, they would do a lot of damage to Cirrus. Of course, Cessna is not an innovator, so I wouldn’t plan on seeing these options until 10 years after Cirrus has a FIKI plane… [:D]

Bob, if you would ever come over to PSP we can do the test. My hangar partner has a Col 400 along side of my CP. He is AOG right now but should be going in a week. I haven’t flown side be side with him yet but have flown with a few times and at similar engine settings there is not much TAS difference.

Interesting. Over the Thanksgiving weekend I was at Thermal. Somebody just bought a new Cessna Columbia 400 and parked it in the hangar across from me. Have not met the fellow yet. Maybe we need a too get everyone together and make some friendly wagers.

Remember there is also a roughly 5% difference in the wetted cross section of the airplanes. End of day, both planes running same weight and richness, 400 a couple of knots faster … but who cares?

Anyone have any insight on FIKI SR22? I know the second TKS tank is prebuilt into the wing, so they are obviously thinking about it. My understanding is would reqiure the second tank, second pump, spray bar for widshield and what needs to be done to the vertical stab is still up for debate.

I am pretty frustrated now living in the midwest (really ice belt) but also had to leave plane in PHX thanksgiving due to ice in AZ and CO. bummer. Commercial flight was really cheap but NOT FUN.

Bob, let’s plan something at Thermal. I would also like to compare fit and finish of the new 400 to the CP.

Did not know that. Which one has more? Good move on going commercial. I have done that before trying to get across the rockies.

IIRC Columbia quoted cruise numbers at 85% power while Cirrus quoted them at 75%. When they were Lancair they actualy quoted MPH rather than Knots. All of which combined to make the Columbia numbers bigger when in fact there was no material difference but the marketing philosophies of the companies.

Maybe after Christmas. Guy across from me drove up with Cessna rep in new Columbia 400 with Cessna logo on the tail. Backed it into the T hangar and have not seen him since. Hangar is locked so I have not had a chance to see the new airplane. Heard he has a King Air and some other airplane. This would be his third. Thermal is an amazing place for toys.

Cirrus is a little larger

If anyone is interested I got a copy of the script for the Czzzna script selling against the Cirrus

Please explain the TKS drag statement. Does that not also mean the stall strips slow it down? I would think the panels would be negligible.

In October I flew a 400 from Bend to SFO. Landing at SFO was a hoot, and the controller actually thanked us for keeping up our speed.

During cruise, we ran it LOP at 16.5 gph. (The demo pilot didn’t like the higher turbine inlet temps at 17.5 gph.) At 11,000 feet. saw 185 KTAS.

Been a number of comparison between the TKS and non TKS NA SR22’s over the years. TKS installation causes more drag. Boundary layer disruption around the paint joint between the panels and the wing is one big source of the drag. No real debate about this subject. Has not been talked about much lately as virtually all SR22’s have TKS installed lately.

TKS equipped G3’s are slightly slower than TKS G2’s because of the the extra 4 feet of panels.