Learn to fly in The Cirrus SR20 this plane is a piston engine composite monoplane that seats four. The SR20 is noted for being the first production general aviation aircraft equipped with a parachute designed to lower the aircraft safely to the ground after loss of control, or structural and engine failure .
The SR20 was first flown on 21 March 1995. FAA certification was achieved on 23 October 1998.Hundreds of SR20s have been sold since the first was delivered in 1999. As of December 2006 over 2000 Cirrus aircraft had been delivered.
One of the major selling points for the SR20 is that it has a fully digital avionics suite with one 10-inch (250 mm) Avidyne FlightMax primary flight display and one multi-function display. A pair of Garmin GNS430s provide GPS navigation, conventional radio navigation, and radio communications.
The SR20, like the faster SR22, is equipped with the Ballistic Recovery Systems Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System, a large parachute which can be deployed in an emergency to lower the entire aircraft to the ground safely.
On 1 June 2004, the SR20 became the first aircraft to achieve the new European Aviation Safety Agency certificate for aircraft imported into the European Union.
In 2007 Cirrus introduced an updated model of the SR20 that incorporates changes from the SR22 G3 airframe, including installing the new lighter SR22 wing which has a greater wing area than the previous SR20 wing. The installation of the larger wing increased the SR20's cruise speed by 6–7 knots (11–13 km/h).
This improved model is called the SR20 G3 for "Generation 3". The new model includes:
- A lighter wing of greater area, incorporating a carbon-fiber spar
- Increased useful load by 50 pounds (23 kg) by increasing the take-off weight to 3,050 pounds (1,380 kg)
- Re-designed main landing gear that is 2 inches (5 cm) taller giving greater propeller and tail clearance
- New recognition lights using LEDs
- Improved aircraft handling, due to increased dihedral
- Improved aerodynamics, including new wing root fairings
- Improved heat and ventilation
- Dual-redundant GPS WAAS-certified Garmin GNS 430W comm-navigators (they include a VHF radio and a VOR device)
- S-Tec Autopilot
The Cirrus SRV was a VFR-only version of the SR20 that was optimized for the low-end private ownership and flight training market. As such it omitted some standard equipment available on the SR20 such as wheel fairings. For 2008 the SRV model was updated to G3 configuration, with the SR22 wing. Cirrus discontinued the SRV for the 2010 model year and no longer offers an aircraft with analog instruments.
In 2011, the SR20 was selected for flight training at the United States Air Force Academy as the T-53A. Twenty-five examples will be purchased to replace the Academy's current stock of 20 leased T-52As by May 2012.