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Cirrus SR20

Lightweight General Aviation (GA) Aircraft [ 1999 ]

The Cirrus SR20 lightweight aircraft has proven popular with the General Aviation audience and also serves as a trainer for the USAF Academy.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/08/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Cirrus SR20 is a lightweight General Aviation (GA) monoplane aircraft. The type was flown for the first time on March 21st, 1995 and entered serial production in 1999 (production continuing today - 2022). Over 1,500 of the light aircraft have been built to date and the design serves both civilian and military markets - hugely popular in the former and as a flight trainer in the latter. The SR20 has been further developed into the "SR22" which broadens capabilities some, namely through a reworked airframe and more powerful engine.

The aircraft has a conventional configuration with its engine in the nose, the side-by-side cockpit just aft (with integrated passenger cabin), and single-finned tail unit. The undercarriage is wheeled though fixed and spatted for aerodynamic efficiency. The mainplanes are low-mounted appendages along each side of the fuselage and are straight in their general shaping.

The aircraft has a running length of 26 feet with a wingspan of 38.3 feet and a height of 8.10 feet. Empty weight is 2,125lb against a gross of 3,050lb. Power is from a single Continental IO-360-ES 6-cylinder, horizontally-opposed piston engine of 200 horsepower. Cruising speeds reach 180 miles-per-hour and the service ceiling is listed at 17,500 feet. Rate-of-climb is 828 feet-per-minute.

The original production form was the "SR20" of 1999. This was followed by the improved / updated model of 2004 through the "SR20 G2". The SRV was unveiled in 2003 and introduced in 2004 while offering VFR-only capability. The "SR20 G3" of 2007 was given a lighter-weight mainplane with increased surface area to affect control and speed. The "SR20 G6" of 2017 carries the Lycoming IO-390 engine of 215 horsepower with updated avionics. The "TRAC" form of 2019 is a simplified trainer model and carries the IO-390 series engine.

The United States Air Force Academy took on the SR20 as the "T-53A" to succeed a line of twenty Diamond DA40 lightweight aircraft used as flight trainers (detailed elsewhere on this site).

Only the United States and France (Air Force and Navy) operate the SR20 at the military level.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

In Active Service.


National flag of France National flag of the United States France; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Training (General)
Developed ability to be used as a dedicated trainer for student pilots (typically under the supervision of an instructor).
Training (Basic)
Used in the aerial training role to cover basics of flight, general handling, take-off/landing actions, and related.

26.0 ft
(7.92 m)
38.3 ft
(11.68 m)
9.0 ft
(2.75 m)
Empty Wgt
2,127 lb
(965 kg)
3,053 lb
(1,385 kg)
Wgt Diff
+926 lb
(+420 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Cirrus SR-20-G3 production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Cirrus SR-20-G3 production variant)
Installed: 1 x Continental IO-360-ES six-cylinder, horizontally-ooppsed piston engine developing 200 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Max Speed
180 mph
(290 kph | 157 kts)
Cruise Speed
118 mph
(190 kph | 103 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+62 mph
(+100 kph | 54 kts)
17,388 ft
(5,300 m | 3 mi)
830 ft/min
(253 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Cirrus SR-20-G3 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
SR20 - Base Series Designation.
SR22 - Increased wing size, increased fuel capacity, and powered by 310hp output engine.
T-53A - USAF Academy designation for SR20.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Cirrus SR20
Image from official Cirrus Aircraft marketing materials.

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