When Cirrus Aircraft co-founder Alan Klapmeier barely survived a midair collision in 1984, he vowed to put a parachute into his planes. By 1999, Alan and brother Dale had created the Cirrus SR20. With a parachute, better visibility, and an ergonomic interior design, it was safer and looked great. In 2001, Cirrus debuted the faster and improved SR22. In 2003, it added a full glass or computer-based Avidyne instrument panel to both designs. The Cirrus series was a “clean sheet” design— new inside and out—the first in 50 years.
In 2003, this Cirrus SR22, N266CD, became the first single-piston engine aircraft with a “glass panel”— fully integrated avionics via computer screens—to be FAA certified. The primary flight display showed basic instrument information like altitude and airspeed. Its multi-function display provided moving maps, communication, and other data. Prior to the SR22’s full Avidyne panel, this technology had only been available in commercial and multi-engine aircraft, or as separate components. As an all-new design, the SR22 became the instant best seller of its class, energizing the general aviation market.