At its Global Sales meeting at Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida, Cirrus unveiled the latest Cirrus SR22 to its dealers, and the big news is, it now has an optional fifth seat. The five-seat layout is not a new model but rather an optional seating layout for the 2012 SR22, so there’s no new model name. Cirrus achieved the additional room needed for the added occupant in back not by modifying the design of the airframe but by changing the profile of the side panels, creating several inches of extra room.
With the optional seating arrangement, the airplane can now accommodate a fifth passenger on a split bench seat. Cirrus is not touting it as being large enough for three full-sized adults, and there are no changes to the operating weights of the airplane. The center belted seat is narrower and is a good fit for a small child between adults or for a group of youngsters. The extra room also adds a touch of convenience. Even where there are just two in back, there’s a space between the two full-sized seats, giving passengers extra room for personal items, such as laptops, a small cooler or light jackets. The big rear bench seat also folds down (though not quite flat) with a 60/40 split, so you can load bags on one or both sides, for added loading flexibility.
Other options on the 2012 model include the new Perspective Global Connect, a satellite phone, texting and worldwide weather utility that allows SR22 occupants to call through the intercom system, send text messages, and get weather wherever it is available worldwide. The system uses the Iridium network and per minute or per message charges apply, with weather costs based on data used. XM Weather will continue to be the main option for North American weather.
We flew the new SR22 last week and again earlier this week on the trip from Texas to Florida and back. Look for a full flight report in an upcoming issue of Flying.