The year 2016 ended on a high note for Cirrus Aircraft. It made its first customer delivery for the SF50 Vision Jet.
A company that never relaxes after achievements, the year 2017 is kicked off with a host of new features for its piston products from the Duluth, Minnesota team.
The most notable transformation has been made from 6-cylinder Continental Engine to 4-cylinder Lycoming engine for the entry level SR20.
Meanwhile, new safety enhancing win tips become standard across the piston line along with a panel upgraded with Garmin G1000 NXi.
Cirrus Spokesperson Ivy Mclver stated, to improve performance of the SR20 it will now be powered by 215 HP Lycoming IO-390 engines. It will reduce the maintenance costs for customers considering there are two less cylinders to take care of.
The switch also standardizes engine brands across Cirrus offering for training airplanes.
The SR20 was introduced in late 1990s and it carried Continental IO-360 engine that provided 200 hp. The demo flight showed that 15 hp extra power made a noticeable difference in climb rate.
The 2017 SR20 weighs nearly thirty pounds less than the 2016 version because of changed avionics and lighter engine. When combined with extra horsepower, there is 100 pound increase in gross weight to 3,150 pounds.
Additional weight can be saved by picking the option of composite Hartzel prop in place of standard aluminum ones. There is useful load improvement of nearly 150 pounds in the new SR20.
Continental supports the idea to lean of peak, but Lycoming does not. The leaning guidance at peak exhaust gas temperature given by the Garmin panels provides the best economy setting.
In continental powered models, pilots are directed by the Garmin panels to lean of peak during cruise flight. Cirrus states that the primary role of SR20 is to fly as a trainer. In such conditions any fuel difference between Lycoming peak operation and Continental lean of peak are inconsequential.
Lycoming powered SR20 can be easily differentiated by pilots as it has only one exhaust in place of two. Another distinguishing feature of 2017 Cirrus planes is the upswept wing tips highlighted with automotive type LED lights.
To enhance visibility on the ground, the wing tip is lined with a string of LEDs. LED strobes are placed at the fore and aft edge of the tips, which also contains embedded LED navigation lights.
Bright LED recognition / landing lights are on the front of the tip.
Visibility on the ground is further enhanced by downward facing LEDs underneath the tips.
The Cirrus SR20 2017 has an option for keyless remote entry. When used it turns on the halo lights, step lights, interior lights and down facing lights along with unlocking the doors.
At 300 feet AGL after takeoff, the halo lights switch off automatically and the landing lights turn into pulsating recognition lights. The pulses are synchronized with the strobes to enhance visibility.
Inbound for landing, the recognition lights stop pulsating at 300 feet AGL and turn into landing lights.