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Cirrus Piston Singles Buyers Guide

Understanding the generation gap.

Turbo SR22 - Cirrus Buyers Guide - Plane & Pilot
An early Turbo SR22 featuring the GAMI turbocharging modification.

If you’re in the market for a used Cirrus piston single, it can be daunting to decide which Generation (or Segment) fits your mission and budget: SR20 (200 or 215 HP), SR22 (310 HP), SR22TN (310 HP Turbo Normalized) or the top-of-the-line SR22T (315 HP Turbocharged). Cirrus Aircraft has only been delivering aircraft since 1999, and every single Cirrus ever produced is installed with a whole air-craft parachute, which the company calls the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The innovation doesn’t stop there. Over the 20 years it has been building its SR20 and SR22 singles, Cirrus made hundreds of major and minor improvements. CAPS has been standard on all models, and it remains the most innovative and unique feature of a Cirrus Aircraft.

Cirrus Aircraft periodically introduced a new Generation when a significant number of improvements came out. The original version wasn’t a G1 until the G2 was introduced in 2004. The G3 launched in mid-2007 and skipped to G5 in 2013. The current generation is a G6. So, where did the G4 go? It was skipped as the number 4 is considered unlucky in the Asian culture because it sounds a lot like the Chinese word for “death,” and as a result, Chinese buildings often lack a fourth floor (just as American buildings sometimes skip the 13th). Brokers will often refer to the 2009-2012 segments as “G4” because when the Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) was introduced in 2009, it proved to be a huge market differentiator. The SR22 has been the world’s bestselling aircraft for 17 years, and over 8,000 piston SR-series aircraft have been produced.

On the resale market, which is the hottest it has ever been, over 1,000 Cirruses have exchanged ownership in the past 12 months. The normal inventory of pre-owned Cirruses for sale at any one point in time is typically about 250 out of a fleet size of 6,000 aircraft (in North America), equating to roughly 4% of the fleet for sale. As with many other sectors of the economy, supply has dwindled significantly due to massive demand, with current listings (at the time of this writing) at 77 units, and about half of those are “under contract” awaiting prebuy evaluations prior to closing. This equates to less than 1% of the fleet being available for purchase, so if you see what you want, make an offer immediately contingent on a prebuy. The key is knowing what you want ahead of time. Read on. 

The following is a “CliffsNotes” version of the different generations of the piston models and their current values and availabilities. Aerista is a platinum preowned partner of Cirrus Aircraft and has detailed guides for the changes by model and the original pricing. Aerista’s proprietary pricing database, Aeristametrics, tracks thousands of SR and SF asking prices and closing prices and developed adjustment factors for about 20 parameters other than airframe and engine hours, so Aeristametrics can determine market values in each segment of the market with great accuracy. Sellers, lenders and acquisition clients rely on Aeristametrics to correctly value aircraft in the current market.

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