Cirrus Has Option To Sell New Rotax-Powered Trainer (Updated)


With the training market still booming, Cirrus has in the wings a new trainer model, the SR10. Slightly smaller than the entry-level SR20, the airplane has three seats and is powered by the Rotax 915 iS, according to the type certificate approved by the FAA in April of this year. But it may not be pushing the sales button anytime soon.

The SR10 was developed jointly in the U.S. and China by Cirrus under contract with its parent, the Chinese-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). It’s identical to the AG100 now undergoing certification in China after its first flight in 2020. Cirrus says AVIC has orders for the AG100, but it’s not known how many.

According to the U.S. type certificate, it’s certified in the U.S. under CFR Part 23 as a day, VFR aircraft only. Maximum gross weight is given as 2150 pounds on a wingspan of just over 35 feet, compared to 38 feet 4 inches for the SR20. At 3050 pounds, the SR20 is 900 pounds heavier. The SR10 has two front seats and a single center-mounted rear seat and has the trademark Cirrus ballistic parachute system and Garmin avionics.

Interestingly, although the Rotax 915 is approved for 91-octane fuel, the type certificate specifies 100LL. We don’t know if the Chinese documentation approves lower octane fuel, which is more readily available in China. In this AVweb video, Ivy McIver, Cirrus’ director for the SR line, said Cirrus retains the option to sell the SR10 in the U.S. but doesn’t have the airplane on the product roadmap. Cirrus already has its own TRAC line of trainers based on the SR20 and SR22. Further, McIver said, the company has no production capacity to build an additional model.

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  1. Paul, another great article on how standard traditional US aircraft manufacturing has been #%!?-canned for possible calumniator foreign ownership and manipulation. Thank you.

    “We’re the best selling aircraft company!” Stay tuned for “Cirrus goes public, but not for US market interests”. How much longer must GA aircraft owners be simply be shelling out 1.2M per unit to the Chinese govt?

    • Until someone in the USA decides they can do it for a lower cost, and steal the market? But where are these made? In China? Well, the SR2X series is made in USA. How much profit do you think there is, compared to how much is paid to US workers and suppliers?

  2. Hold on a minute….we have a fleet of Cirrus 200 HP trainers at the USAF Academy here and they barely get off the ground on an 80 degree day (granted out field elevation is 6800’, but….). These are heavy planes and need a lot of HP in order to legitimately perform. I’m not understanding how a Rotax powered option is moving the product line forward, but hey, good on ya China!

    • Watch the full interview (at approximately 7 minutes 30 seconds in), there’s actually a loss of power-to-weight ratio with this design over the SR20. I can attest from the fleet of 20+ we have on the field now that if the SR20 has a better ratio, this new airframe and power plant will be a difficult performer at higher-density altitudes even with the Turbo at 132 continuous HP. But time will tell. Regardless, it won’t be here in the US.

  3. In my perspective (here I go again), supporting the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and China Aerospace Investment Group (CAIGA) et al, carries significant risks to the USA. Here’s why:

    Chinese companies are aggressively acquiring American businesses, often with the potential for sensitive technology and infrastructure access. The Chinese government’s practices, which either involve intellectual property theft or legal acquisition, have raised concerns and allegations of IP theft from American businesses. This trend not only strengthens China’s global economic and military standing but also raises questions about the adequacy of US government efforts to prevent further Chinese acquisitions and address accusations of unfair trade practices.

    Furthermore, for those who believe on “jobs created by the PRC investments in the USA” is a good thing, this unchecked advantage in the global economy could, in turn, lead to job losses in the United States as manufacturing relocates overseas.

    However (🤞), the United States has tools to address these issues and there is movement:

    The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) evaluates foreign investments for potential national security risks. The Export Control Reform Act of 2018 grants the US government greater control over sensitive technology exports. The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2021 expands CFIUS reviews to prevent China from bypassing laws through third-party intermediaries. Additionally, the 2022 “China Initiative” aims to combat China’s economic espionage and intellectual property theft.

    But, is it too late? Is our goose cooked? Are we toast?

      • Free trade is one thing, but when you have an actor acting in poor faith as China is, it’s not really free trade any more. They have a demonstrated history of exploiting anything they can, to steal tech from other nations and make their own knock-off versions of it.

        Why aren’t any US or EU nations buying Chinese companies? It’s because China won’t allow them to. They’ll buy other nations companies under the guise of “free trade” but won’t allow the reciprocal.

        • Who is bullying whom? What about Huawei, DJI, and don’t start with the crap of ”national security”, it’s just protectionist BS as usual. If US interests, not to be confused with national security, US government goes to protection mode under disguise of national security.

      • That’s just laughable. The US has always had a lot of protectionism. Much more than most Americans realize. Still a lot less than most, and the most egregious has been a counter to moves by others.

        If the US treated everyone on a do as they do basis, world trade would practically cease.

    • You do realise the Chinese invested in cirrus sound 2011 and if they hadn’t cirrus wouldn’t be around today no Americans came to the rescue when they needed capital yet you moan now ..

  4. Honestly, bring back Piper Colts and Cubs as primary trainers.
    Flying is daunting enough without piling on complexity and cost and special materials.
    If you REALLY want to learn to fly, you don’t need all that expense and technology.

    • I agree, focusing on developing “Stick and Rudder Skills” is more important. New pilots don’t have to become high-tech aviators right away to be safe. Learning about advanced avionics can come later; it’s not only more affordable but also less distracting.

  5. I have been basically saying that for years. A glass cockpit is nice, but is it necessary for flight training? NO! When another agency tried to intice me with their glass cockpit 172, for the price of my current agency 182 steam Guage, I went into the 182.

  6. Given the technology available today and the standards of manufacturing required it can‘t make sense to build new gyro instruments in 2023. „Glass“ is much more likely to endure the stresses of training than gyros and getting rid of those will allow getting rid of vacuum pumps and plumbing. With „glass“ instruments will most probably need less maintenance on the long run. If conventional instruments were cheaper and better, airlines would still buy them, but they don’t. Even standby instruments have screens these days.