Todd Simmons, president of customer experience at Cirrus Aircraft, kicked off the OEM’s press conference at AERO 2023 with a kicky little tease. “I want to close this morning with truly an historic milestone and highlight at Cirrus Aircraft, but I’m going to save that til the very end.”
The milestone? Cirrus marks its 9,000th delivery of an SR-series airplane this year, and much as it did with the 7,000th delivery and 8,000th delivery, it has crafted a limited edition run of the SR series, with comprehensive owner packages and bespoke exterior and interior designs.
The 9,000th SR Packages
“The SR Series continues to move people, businesses, and imaginations as we reach another significant delivery milestone,” said Zean Nielsen, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft, in an accompanying statement. “Our talented Xi Design Studio collected inspiration through the lens of our customers and the worldwide travel and freedom personal aviation offers. The 9,000th SR Series delivery means that 9,000 owners are living the Cirrus Life enabled by the best-selling high-performance piston aircraft in the industry for over two decades.”
The design carries two themes, according to Ivy McIver, SR series program manager. The first is the number “9” that is integrated into several places on the aircraft. The second is the color orange—incorporated into the scheme by Xi Design Studios to create four palettes: ’Balos,’ ‘Lava,’ ‘Magma,’ and ‘Santorini,’ using Sherwin-Williams paint in Lava Orange and Aegean Blue.
More Cirrus Metrics
Before Simmons made it to the big announcement, he took time to review a handful of significant numbers that Cirrus has achieved over its 24-year history. Among them, the fact that those 9,000 airplanes—the SR fleet—have amassed more than 15 million flight hours—and for the past nine years, Cirrus has delivered more than 300 piston aircraft per year. In 2022, the SR series was again the top-selling piston aircraft for the 21st year in a row.
And the SF50 has had its own hit parade. As it approaches 500 deliveries this year, the Vision Jet has increased in both market share and its ability to expand the market overall. For the fourth year in a row, in 2022, it was the top-selling jet with 95 units shipped.
But the Vision Jet notched other milestones in recent months, including the first and second saves using the CAPS, or Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. For customers and pilots seeking to acquire the SF50 type rating under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), it has dropped the minimum number of hours to enter the program from 500 to 250 in certain circumstances.
Cirrus has also added more affiliates in Europe in recent years, including the most recent addition of Orbifly, in France, in March 2023. In October 2022, it added CK Aviation in the UK, and in July 2021, Daedelus.
Cirrus has been one of the first OEMs to test out unleaded fuel in its high-performance SR22 and SR22T engines—using the Continental IO-550-N, and TIO-550-K1, respectively. And ti continues to move forward with testing using GAMI’s UL100 as part of the EAGLE program to move towards unleaded fuels.
And the SF50’s Williams International FJ33 engine is all ready to run on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Cirrus was an early SAF adopter with the Vision Jet. From a noise standpoint—also very important, especially under EU skies—the Vision Jet registers between 69 and 71 decibels during flyover, according to its EASA type certificate.