Cirrus Design marked the tenth anniversary of the certification of its SR20, which happened at the 1998 AOPA Expo, with the announcement that the aircraft is getting some SR22-like upgrades. The less powerful entry-level Cirrus has always been less popular since the SR22 was introduced and now accounts for less than 20 percent of sales. But with tough times dominating discussion everywhere, the company has offered the Garmin Perspective panel, with optional enhanced vision, as an option in the SR20 for less than $300,000. Meanwhile, the development of the Vision jet continues unabated, despite market-related layoffs and production cuts for the current aircraft.
Klapmeier said the concept aircraft can go a lot faster than the 300 knots targeted by Cirrus as the comfortable speed for the final product. That, he said, means there's room to improve the slow speed performance of the aircraft. The big passenger-side door touted in the concept has been eliminated for weight reasons and wing configuration tweaked for the same reason. He said that although times are tough, the industry will recover. "I'm still very optimistic about the future of the industry," he said.