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Partner Spotlight: Cirrus Aircraft

Date: May 10, 2024 Category: Blog, Partner Spotlights Tags: , , , , , , ,
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If you learned to fly in the past few decades, there’s a good chance you took lessons in a Cirrus SR-series aircraft. Known for advanced safety features and modern, user-friendly design, these planes have become a staple in flight training programs around the world. 

Since the company’s founding in 1984, Cirrus Aircraft has focused on redefining performance, comfort, and safety in general aviation. Now, 40 years later, the aircraft manufacturing company is continuing to innovate and introduce new designs and technologies that appeal to today’s pilots. 

Read on to learn more about Cirrus, the iconic manufacturer behind one of the world’s best-selling general aviation aircraft designs and a longtime partner of Hartzell Propeller. 

Humble Beginnings

As with many innovative companies, the project that would later become Cirrus Aircraft was born in a barn. In 1984, brothers Dale and Alan Klapmeier took over their family’s barn in rural Wisconsin to work on the VK-30, a pusher-propeller, five-passenger homebuilt kitplane. 

After proving their design in a successful first flight in 1988, the company sold the VK-30 as kits to customers. In 1994, Cirrus Aircraft expanded and opened a composite production facility. In the mid-1990s, the VK-30 was discontinued to make way for the SR20 — a single-piston engine composite aircraft that changed the world of general aviation.

The SR20 Revolution

Few general aviation aircraft can claim as many “firsts” as the SR20. With the addition of a complete glass cockpit, it was the first primary flight display incorporated in a small certified aircraft, which soon became an industry standard. 

In 1998, a desire to enhance safety for general aviation pilots led to a revolutionary whole-plane parachute system as standard equipment on all Cirrus aircraft. The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®) was the industry’s first general aviation parachute system produced in an FAA-certified aircraft. According to research, when CAPS is used, a person is 13 times more likely to survive a Cirrus plane accident. As of March 2023, 253 people have survived due to successful CAPS deployments. 

In 2000, Cirrus expanded its SR series with the SR22, a composite piston engine aircraft with a larger wing, larger fuel capacity, and a more powerful engine. 2002 marked the first time SR22 would become the world’s best-selling general aviation airplane, a distinction it has held every year since. 

A Partnership Built On Honor

Hartzell Propeller is the propeller of choice for Cirrus aircraft, with Hartzell props as standard equipment on all SR series aircraft. We’re proud to work closely with the Cirrus team to develop propeller systems that deliver peak performance and value for customers, including our dependable carbon fiber composite propellers.  

Odyssey Carbon Fiber Composite SR22 Propeller

In 2020, Hartzell introduced the new four-blade carbon fiber composite Odyssey propeller for the SR22 and turbocharged SR22T, offering stunning ramp appeal, smoother operation, better climb, faster speeds, and quieter flying. 

The Odyssey is the best-performing four-blade propeller for the SR22 and SR22T. Flight testing confirmed that the Odyssey is more than six knots faster and results in a 14 percent improvement in climb performance versus any other four-blade offering. 

The strength and durability of the carbon fiber composite propeller allow Hartzell to offer the Odyssey with our industry-leading six-year/2,400-hour warranty, which covers the propeller through the first overhaul.

Learn More About Top Prop Aircraft Propeller Upgrades 

Interested in learning more about the Odyssey, or any other of our Top Prop propeller STC conversion kits? Drop us a note with your aircraft make and model, and one of our Top Prop experts will be in touch with you soon!

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