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New Cirrus turns heads

The new G6 from Cirrus Aircraft has a long list of new features—but the one that gets by far the most attention, positive and negative, is the color.

“Himalayan salt,” was the technically correct answer—although salmon, mauve, or even pink would have been close.

Other exterior color options include Corso, Monarch, and Mykonos. (Also known as red, dark blue, and light blue.)

The full fleet of SR aircraft have a wide selection of colors to choose from.

“The standout color is Evolution red,” said Ivy McIver, Cirrus director of the SR aircraft line. “It’s run away with the popularity contest, and it gets the most orders across the board.”

Himalayan salt gets the most comments and questions from observers, however.

“I’ve been flying these airplanes for 15 years and this is one of the very few that gets multiple comments from tower controllers on the [aircraft radio] frequency,” she said. “It’s something that people aren’t used to seeing on an airplane and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. It starts a lot of conversations.”

The all-new, fully loaded, and somewhat pink Cirrus SR22T parked in front of AOPA headquarters, tempting the staff to take a short walk for a closer peek. Photo by Josh Cochran.

All Cirrus aircraft used to be white to reduce surface heat and protect the underlying composite materials. Over time, however, paint manufacturers have developed new ways to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat while using darker colors.

Metallic paint, for example, reflects more heat than matte colors.

Other additions include streamlined wheel fairings, keyless entry doors and baggage compartment, a lighted step, and high-power USB-A and -C charging ports. Aerodynamic improvements add about 9 knots to the turbocharged SR22T’s top cruise speed at high altitude.

The base price for a Cirrus SR ranges from $524,600 for a 215-horsepower SR20 to $827,900 for an SR22T—and options can raise the price for a top-of-the-line SR22T beyond $1 million. Cirrus sold more than 450 SRs in 2021, and the current sales backlog means a new airplane ordered today is likely to be delivered in 2023.

The new color formulations also have a practical side: All of them can be applied with the same paint nozzles, and that streamlines the production process. The capacity of paint booths has long been a choke point on the Cirrus production line.

Cirrus also offers a customization process in which individual buyers choose their own colors and schemes. The company keeps close tabs on their selections, and a few of those that customers select most are later adopted as special editions or added to the standard color palette.

“A huge part of what we do is listen to customers,” McIver said. “It’s the part of my job I take the most seriously.”

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