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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 appears to be an adaptation of the AG100, a trainer developed in China by the Zhejiang China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Institute, a sister company to Cirrus owned by the same  China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. that acquired Cirrus in 2011. The AG100 first flew in June, 2020 and although press reports say the company has orders for the domestic Chinese market, it’s not known if the aircraft has been certified yet.

According to the U.S. type certificate, it will be 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 ft., compared to 38 ft. 4 in. for the SR20. At 3050 pounds, the SR20 is 900 pounds heavier. According to reports in Chinese media, the AG100 was developed using Cirrus technology and is built with fiberglass and carbon fiber. It has two front seats and a single center mounted rear seat and has the trademark Cirrus ballistic parachute system, although we don’t know if it uses the same BRS system found in Cirrus aircraft. It has 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. Also unknown is if Cirrus has decided to move forward with the SR10 in the North American market and, if so, if the airplane will be manufactured in China and imported. We’ve asked Cirrus for additional detail on its marketing plans. Cirrus CEO Zean Nielsen recently told the Duluth StarTribune that Cirrus has approval to market the SR10 in the U.S. but currently does hasve the incentive to do so.

The SR20 and SR22 have found some traction in training, a market dominated by Cessna, Piper and Diamond. In 2019, Cirrus introduced a variants of the SR20 and SR22 purpose-built for the training market. If introduced in the U.S., the SR10 would presumably be a basic, VFR-only trainer. Cirrus currently ships SR20 kits to China for assembly there.

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