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A New Cirrus Aircraft

So the 5th generation SR22 was recently announced and is more than a little exciting.  Of course the SR22 was already a pretty sweet plane, apart from the price :-( , but then again owning a plane can get expensive.  But in the newest incarnation of the plane the folks at Cirrus have managed to pull a magical 200 lbs out of the hat.

For those of you who aren’t into aviation let me explain. Most of us who just stick to vehicles on the road never worry about overloading.  We’ve all seen those cars and trucks with the suspension to the floor and with their bumpers practically dragging on the ground.  Well in a plane bad things happen when you overload the aircraft and so manufacturers specify very carefully how much weight the plane can carry and where that weight can be.  The latter part is important because it can effect how the plane handles.  Overload a plane and if you’re lucky it won’t get off the ground, unfortunately most do leave the ground for a short period of time, normally less than the planned flight duration.

So back to the Cirrus – 200 lbs doesn’t sound like a lot, but most 4 seater (the Cirrus is now 5 seats but still looks like a 4) aircraft have a useful load of around 1000 lbs, give or take a few.  After you add fuel that can be cut down by as much as half, but typically lets say you’re down to 600 lbs.  You want to drop your family and friends in that plane plus some luggage and very quickly you are taking fuel (and hence range) out of your plane.  So you add 200 lbs in and you’re increasing the practical load for the plane 25%!  This means longer trips, more luggage, or more people, all of which are a major plus for folks. You can check out the new Cirrus for yourself at CirrusAircraft.com