Some Intriguing Details Prove That CD's LSA Is More Than A
"SkyCatcher-Catcher" (Part 3 of 3)
With all the attention (good and bad) being paid to the
aggressive position taken by Cessna in bringing an LSA to market,
it seemed that it was time to catch up with Cirrus Design's LSA
program... starting with an overview of the original announcement
at Oshkosh 2007 and updated (previously, in Part Two, and now in
Part Three) with the latest info as of the 2008 Sebring Sport
Aviation Expo, recently concluded in central Florida.
The Cirrus Design SRS is based on the European Fk Polaris, which
was lighter, faster, and not in alignment with the FAA's LSA specs
- prior to its "Cirrus-ization." Once that process is complete, it
will max out the LSA standards -- which will give the CD
engineering team the unusual task of slowing down the lightning
quick European version.
Manufacturer Fk Lightplanes has a 17-year history in light plane
manufacturing. With operations in Poland, the Klapmeiers foresee
the manufacture of their plane remaining in Poland, with assembly
in the US -- a model followed by other vendors of foreign-sourced
For the past four years, Cirrus evaluated two-seat planes from
European manufacturers -- the center of development for this type
"The relationship we have developed with Fk Lightplanes allows
us to rapidly offer cost efficient, sporty, entry-level aircraft
for sport and recreation enthusiasts and basic training," said
Klapmeier. "And our worldwide service and support infrastructure
will make the SRS even more appealing."
Cirrus has more than 170 Cirrus Authorized Service
Centers worldwide; 142 domestic and 31 in 14 international
The goal is to have the first planes off the production line in
the next year. A composite construction low wing craft, the plane
will include a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System sourced from BRS
(the Fk14 already has this feature as standard) and will use a
Rotax 912 engine -- allowing Cirrus to continue offering
single-lever power control throughout its entire line (no mixture
knob.) Preliminary specs also include electric flaps, removable
wings, a large baggage compartment and one-piece cabin, a fuel tank
system outside of the crumple zone, low stall speed, height of 6.9
feet, length of 18.7 feet, a wingspan of 29.8 feet, and interior
width if 45 inches.
In terms of performance, it will have a fuel capacity of 18.6
gallons, a fuel burn of 3.8 gallons per hour, take 100 LL fuel, and
have a useful load of a minimum of 400 pounds. One of the changes
will include adding a step to the plane for easy access (and, Alan
noted only somewhat jokingly, adding drag to help slow the plane
down to LSA speeds), and moving from finger brakes to toe brakes,
which American pilots see as more highly desirable.
Alan Klapmeier spoke about significant issues facing aviation,
particularly bringing more pilots to the arena, and how the SRS and
all LSAs -- including Cessna's newly-announced SkyCatcher entrant,
are all very good for the industry in expanding the market.
"For years we have talked about how we, as an industry, needed
to introduce more people to flying," said Alan. "We believe Cirrus
has been quite successful at opening the doors of aviation through
our current SR product line. The SRS is yet another example of how
seriously we take this responsibility, providing a high customer
value product that is easier to fly, more comfortable, loaded with
safety features - all at an extremely affordable cost."
Added Dale, "We are better off in this market to have lots of
very healthy companies with very good designs out there... We want
to bring back fun to flying. We want to bring kids back to the
airports (watching planes)."
Aero-TV Takes Off With An Update On The
Cirrus Design SRS (Part Three)!!!
About Aero-TV: It's DEFINITELY Show
OK, folks, here we go... we are NOW initiating the first
feature programming series for Aero-TV... we're going to take it
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If you've been an observer of the media and associated media
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Electronic media and print media are both under the assault of
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We've been ready to go for a while, but to be honest, there's so
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said, we're hiring talented new people as
fast as we can find them (a far more difficult
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Aero-TV Shows You How To Build A Glasair Sportsman
2+2 in RECORD TIME, Gets Up Close And Personal With the Newest
Continental Powerplant To Grace A Cessna, Gets A Sobering Briefing
From P.A.S.S., Flies The Piper Matrix, Hears What's Hot At Blue
Mountain Avionics, Gets Some GREAT Rotax Lessons, More On
Gobosh--This Time, Though, On the NEW G800!, Checks Out More "HIGH"
Tech at I/ITSEC 2007, Hears From AOPA On Critical Aviation
Issues, Spills Some Juicy (and HIGHLY Detailed) Cirrus G3
Info, Catches Up On ALL Things SkyCatcher, Scores A BUNCH
of LSA Reports, and SO MUCH MORE!!!!! Do NOT Miss