Cirrus Aircraft today (Thursday, January 17, 2013) announced the launch of its latest SR22 models, the Generation 5 SR22 and SR22T. The new 22s features a host of quality-of-life improvements and one showstopper: a 200-pound increase in the airplanes’ maximum takeoff weight.
As in past airframe updates, Cirrus calls a model a new generation only when it makes major changes to the airframe. (The most substantial was the introduction of the Generation 3 airplane, which featured an all-new wing and a host of other changes.)
With the Generation 5 airplane, Cirrus beefed up the one-piece carbon fiber spar, adding a number of layers to the structure to give it even greater strength.
The other big change was to the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS); it’s the first major change to it since the introduction of the SR22 more than a decade ago. The new chute is bigger, has a bigger, more powerful rocket, and features failsafe electronic ignition, versus pyrotechnic firing in the earlier generation. The chute had to be bigger to lower the descent rate of the airplane when it is under canopy so the dynamic force of the heavier airplane touching down are the same as before. An added benefit to the new chute is that at light weights the Cirrus will touch down with an unprecedentedly slow rate of descent.
In terms of weight lifting ability, the normally aspirated SR22 with FIKI (now standard) and air conditioning (ditto), will have a full-fuel payload of 788 pounds and 708 pounds for the Turbo model, allowing the carrying of four 170 pound occupants and change.
The other big change is that Cirrus’ 60/40 flex seating is now standard, meaning that all new Cirrus models are five-seaters. Last year every customer who bought a Cirrus opted for the fifth seat option.
The flagship SR22, the SR22T GTS with all the bells and whistles lists for $724,900.
The company also launched a new SR22 option model dubbed the 2013 Vision Inspired SR22T, which looks to inspire SR22 buyers to put a deposit on a Cirrus Vision jet, or vice versa. The model will feature a host of options as part of the package, as well as a three-year “spinner to tail” warranty. At a price of $829,000, the jet inspired model will be the highest priced SR22 yet.