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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Groundpounder, Jun 11, 2018.
What is the good, bad and ugly about 2003-05 vintage SR-20's?
We have one in our Club rental fleet. Overall it's a nice ride from the feedback we get.
Only a couple of things that keep coming up from our members:
- Low useful load. Pretty well a "two adults + infants" airplane for any serious cross country.
- Our airport is at 4000 ASL and the SR-20 is underpowered on the warmer days.
Thanks. It'd be based in New England, so we won't have high altitude to worry about, but the useful load might be an issue.
Ours has the Avidyne + dual 430 avionics setup, and it's stock as it came out of the factory.
Not sure how much variation in empty weight there is between individual airplanes Cirrus produced back then. They seem more standardized than they are now.
I had a 2004 SR20 G2 for two years (2009-2011), I put about 350 hours on it, and flight school put another 300 on it before I sold it.
1. Pretty good fit and finish
2. Newish airframe compared to other planes, composites easy to maintain, simple mechanical systems, minimal mechanical complications (no retract...)
3. Good speed on reasonable fuel flow
4. Engine management is easy
5. Reasonable upgrade costs to get WAAS approaches and/or XM
6. Commodity market, much easier to sell then almost any other plane. Well established pricing and demand.
1. Continental had a bunch of crank cases cracking. I managed to find enough examples that they gave me a heck of deal to buy a reman engine when my case cracked.
2. Usually around 900lb useful load depending on options. Like most four seat planes, really a three person plane.
3. I found the useful range around 450 miles with reserve. Occasionally if winds right you could get 550.
4. Avionics upgrades will be super expensive. Last I priced solution from Avidyne it was around $150K to install R9.
5. Noisy. Cirrus is just the nosiest single I have ever been in.
6. At MTOW, you really need to step climb past 6K to save fuel.
I have a lot of hours in a g2 SR20 with the 430 avidyne setup. If you are comparing it to an SR22 or SR22T then you will be very disappointed.. as really other than basic looks there is no real comparison. If, however, you are comparing it to your typical flight school beater 172 or PA28 Skyhawk or Cherokee then you'll be very impressed with the much bigger cabin and better "creature comforts"
I flew the SR20 a lot throughout Southern California, on hot days, at gross, and didn't find the cimb performance to generally feel any worse or much different from a Cherokee or Skyhawk. I have flown into Big Bear in the summer, which is at 6,700 msl. Plus, they go much faster, have a much bigger cabin, have two doors, and while not as fast as the SR22 line for a cross country machine you should be able to true out around 140 knots or better
..plus you get the parachute and tight deliberate handling and much better manners in turbulence with its higher wingloading and some proper redundancy with the electrical systems, etc.
They do however, tend to be very expensive to rent hourly, even for an early vintage plane. But flying in general is not a "cheap" hobby so the cost / justification really comes down to what is important to you
Personally, I feel like spending $120/hr on a '72 Cherokee "isn't really worth it" unless you are strictly flying the plane for a rating, currency, etc. For any real XC work or flying with family / friends, pleasure flying, etc. that extra $100/hr or whatever for an SR20, in my book, is money well spent
Where in Boston will it be based? East Coast Aero club has some Cirruses you could take a look at
You are right. I forgot to mention that. It is very loud. I wonder if it has something to do with the way the composite cabin and its shape captures the sound waves in the cabin
Going to sound crazy, the SR22T G3/G5 seems quieter to me in cruise than the g2 SR20 I had been flying. Maybe they changed some of the sound deadening materials?
I actually rent the SR20 out of KBED. The Garming GNS430 have been upgraded to WAAS. Not a bad setup.
Cool! Too bad I don't still live there. I'll drop a line next time I'm back in that neck of the woods
Ok, mental note... If I ever buy a Cirrus down the road, make sure it's a Perspective, not an Avidyne. Or are the older Perspectives just as expensive to upgrade?
Most of my Cirrus time is in SR22’s.
My advice would be to look for a slightly older SR22 in place of a newer SR20 for the same price.
The extra 110 hp makes a huge difference - not so much for speed, but for rate of climb and ceiling. An SR22 can cruise at 17,500’ at over 160 kts on less than 10 gph.
Both have 6-cylinder engines, so maintenance and upkeep should be comparable.
Anyway, that would be my choice.
It won't be in Boston, there is a lot more to New England than just Boston.
Regardless, thanks for the info.
No idea, never priced it.
Someone based here at KMPV recently bought a 2005 SR20. If you PM me your contact info I can try to put you two in touch.
I rent a 20 out of Bedford too. It's a perspective and I don't think I would consider an Avidyne now, but that is just personal preference. The one I rent now is a g3 the one I rented before was a g2. Performance wise they seem about the same. I think the 20 performs great. Hit your speeds and it will do what you want. Climb between a 20 and 22 are night and day, but the 20 is a great flying machine is my opinion.
I fly for work out of BED, maybe one of these days we can split some flying time in the SR-20 so I can check it out.
Sounds like a plan, I'll actually be looking for a safety pilot soon too.
Let me know, I can go up most evenings after work, or occasional weekends.
I’m biased as I only have a little time using the avidyne system. The Garmin perspective is a lot better avionics suite.
Interesting thread. I’m in the process of trying to put something together at 6b6 and an early SR22 is ideally what we want to end up in. Perhaps someone here may be interested?
^goodluck! 6B6 is a cool spot.
Why are the runway lights there always on? Every time we fly over there at night, the lights seem to be on, no matter if someone is in the pattern or not.
Not sure, honestly, other than that the system is LED and was a state-funded upgrade. May be a requirement.
On a smaller airport without taxi lights, it's probably cheaper to pay the electric bill than for a fancy radio-operated switch. My local airport lights are on all night as well, but there are no taxi lights, just fairly dim runway and threshold lights. You'd never realize it was an airport if you weren't looking for it.
Overall very nice planes. As others have said useful load isn’t great if you’re looking for more than two typical adults. Also a bit underpowered on climbout. You get a bit of sink feeling when retracting the flaps after takeoff and on a hot day it ain’t gonna climb fast. Other than that though it’s a great plane.
If you get the sinking feeling in the SR20 as you retract the flaps you either are too slow, or not adjusting the pitch as the flaps change.
...or used to an SR22, which powers through flap retraction with hardly a hiccup in its rate-of-climb.
In any case, I can think of mountain airports near me where the climbout towards rising terrain in an SR22 is not an issue, but might be problematical in a loaded SR20.
As a new student, I just noticed this yesterday. The SR20 I was in was a G6, but with me and my instructor and full fuel (back to back training flights, so they filled it full), climbing out of KFTG (Front Range Airport), I was thinking "I think I can, I think I can..."
Can't remember what the temps were, but I'm wondering if we're going to be grounded on really hot days here in Colorado. Either that, or have to take an SR22 up instead.
I doubt you would be grounded. If near MTOW you may need to "circle" the airport to get altitude. I have straight climbed to 11K in the summer in Texas in an older SR20 from sea level at MTOW. It took a good 45 minutes. Since you are staring off at roughly 5K, it will only take 2/3 as long...
Reality, best bet would to fly with half tanks or 3/4 tanks. That gives plenty of time for most lessons and reserves.
So I had the chance to fly in an SR-20 (not with a POA member). To be honest, I wasn't that impressed. First, it was very noisy and there seemed to be a lot of vibration on takeoff. The climb performance didn't seem that great, there were two big guys up front and I think about 20 gallons of fuel. My knees/shins were right up against the panel when my seat was in a position where I felt comfortable on the rudder pedals, and I wasn't a fan of the side stick. There were also some issues with the avionics, but I was overall impressed with their capability. I think the airplane I flew needed some TLC, but the 182 I flew earlier in the day was a much better airplane, IMHO. I can see the appeal of the SR family, though. It had a lot of modern features that the 182 lacked, and was a little more user friendly, so I can see it appealing to someone that didn't "grow up" on 70's era airplanes.
That’s interesting. The FBO here had an SR20 on the rental line, but it suffered a cracked case a year ago. I did not know they was a common issue
The good is that they're 2003-2005 Cirruses (Cirri?). The bad is they aren't 2003-2005 SR22s.
What vintage did you fly? They are noisier in my experience. There shouldn't be a "lot of vibration" on takeoff in my experience. Maybe there was an issue with the one you were flying?
Do you remember the climb performance numbers? It should have been pretty decent in that configuration depending on how big the "two big guys" were. I would think you were well under gross and over 1000 FPM.
You set the seat too close to the panel. Common problem in my experience. Scoot back a bit and I bet you'll find the rudder pedals just right anyway.
It grows on you with experience. It's really nice having all the space in front of you (as long as you aren't too close to the panel). In fact it grows on you to the point where you will be annoyed by yolks when you go back to flying them.
Bottom line: I wouldn't rule it out after a single flight. I grew up with 70s era planes and I didn't like the Cirrus at first either. But after several flights I have grown to like it a lot for various reasons.
Google Philip Greenspun SR-20. It's an excellent PIREP on that vintage. Ah screw it, I googled it for you. Here ya go
We were climbing out at well under 1000 fpm. I don't remember the exact number, but it was less. I believe the OAT was 23*.
The SR20 is not known for its climb rate, especially hot and heavy. 20C at what altitude?
High maintenance costs
Non-turbo 200HP, on a 2900# bathtub. It's not complicated. The spam-can competition circles around 2600-2700 gross weight on that power rating, with predictably better climb results, especially when you consider what happens to the 20's useful load when you compare apples to apples and restrict it to #2700.
The SR-20 was a prime candidate for the TSIO-360 imo. I think that airplane would have been popular, even among flatlanders. The problem for Cirrus is that if you start selling turbo 20s that compete with NA 22s as low as the low teens, then you start poaching the customer base from your overpriced flagship. Thence you'd have to make the budget model really underperforming in order to bamboozle the customer into believing the 22 is worth the overcharge, which is exactly what they did. Just like they wouldn't widen the Arrow/Dakota and give it the comanche engine because it would poach the Lance/six300 base post-flooding, Cirrus handicapped the 20 in order to shelter its flagship darling. It's the airframe equivalent to garmin's GTN 625 pricing scheme.