DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

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ZAV
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by ZAV »

Bought my 2011 DA40 XLS 18m ago. Couldn't be happier with it. Meets my needs perfectly. I've only been flying for 3yrs so safety, benign flight characteristics, and a forgiving design were really important factors to me as I started on this journey of flying and plane ownership. I bought the DA40 and finished up my IFR rating in it. The DA40 really is a nice balance between fun flying and regional travel with a capable IFR platform if you need it. Some people don't like the cockpit. That's all personal. Just go sit in the plane types you're interested in and see how it feels. The DA40 seats and cockpit size are perfectly fine for me.

I also looked at the SR20 and DA40 NG. There were more used SR20's on the market so I was tempted to get one just based on availability but I didn't like the power and performance numbers. I do understand that there are different SR20 power plant options now so that is a consideration. I was in the buying market for a used DA40 for 12m before I lucked upon my first airplane. So if you're looking for a used DA40 then be prepared to search for awhile.

I did a test flight in a DA40 NG. There were a lot of things to like but ultimately for me, the maintenance and servicing concerns made me cross that one of the list. I'm based at a Class C regional airport and none of the mechanics here had any Austro experience. Needless to say, my airplane wasn't going to be their first.
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CBeak
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by CBeak »

From a less experienced, less wealthy, and lesser certified pilot’s perspective. I learned to fly in my early forties and logged about 450 hours in my 1979 C172N. I’m not ashamed to say I’m a fair weather pilot, and I don’t need to fly if it won’t be fun. I live where the desert meets the mountains and run my business full time....so I’ve never followed up to become IFR certified. Still might do it, but where I live, IMC conditions almost always mean convective activity that I am not going up in, so I’d have trouble staying real world current and proficient. My wife and I were interested in modernizing a bit, but we are not wealthy people. We looked at SR20 and DA40 a lot. For budget reasons, we were trying to stay under $180k. That left G1 or G2 SR20’s, or older DA40s. We had multiple concerns about the airframe parachutes, including the cost of replacing every 10 years. And we eliminated G1 SR20’s because of the need to cut and repair the fuselage every time. We really like the DA40, and my wife (who is not licensed but could fly and land our C172 from the right seat in a pinch) really preferred the DA40 as an inherently safe airplane, vs the older SR20 that purported to be safe because of the parachute. It seemed the parachute had been required because of flight characteristics, which just didn’t strike us a a “plus” for actual safety. We were used to flying a 65 knot final approach and didn’t like the idea of stalling the Cirrus in the pattern if we dropped below the low 80’s.
We found that the availability of DA40s was much lower than the SR20s. We would have gladly bought an early steam gauge model or an early G1000 model. One day on controller.com I saw a 2005 DA40 listed in a distant state.....but noticed in one of the photos that it was actually sitting in a hangar about 100 yards from mine. Amazingly perfect scenario. I contacted the broker, who was performing his due diligence by telling me there were several potential full price buyers. Long story short....through on field contacts I found out the seller was reluctantly letting the airplane go because of life changes, and he was thrilled to cut a home field deal. We’ve become friends and arranged for him to be able to fly it sometimes. I was also able to take over the hangar lease....which was great because my previous T hangar was not sufficiently wide and hangars are hard to come by here.
I’m very pleased with the airplane. It’s easy to fly and the transition from my 172 was shockingly easy. The KAP 140 has bugs that we’ve never worked out, which has been disappointing. Autopilot is new to me and I want to be able to use it. I have been following the legacy G1000 issues on these boards with some interest. I’m much less educated on the topic than many, but as a VFR only pilot, my concerns lack the urgency that many other pilots have. It’s a great airplane for me, my wife, and our 90 pound canine companion.
Almost forgot....I’m 6’2” and my wife is 5’0”. The DA40 works for me just fine, and she’s thrilled because the with adjustable pedals, the DA40 is much easier for her to copilot than the C172 was.
CBeak
N614DS 05 DA40
Legacy G1000 ; KAP 140; GTX 345R
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TimS
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by TimS »

@CBreak

Glad you love your DA-40.
I bought a 2003 SR22 G1 last year with two partners for 160K.
A few incorrect things you mentioned.
1. Chute was required due to one of the founders having had a midair collision. Nothing to do with how it flies. The ELOS was a cost saving measure.
2. Stall speed on the SR20 is 55 KIAS (at least that was what mine was a few years ago).

Tim
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Boatguy
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by Boatguy »

From the SR20 G3 AFM. Presumably at MTOW.
SR20 G3 Stall.png
Last edited by Boatguy on Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Don
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by Don »

Wow! Those are considerably higher than the DA-40.
Diamond Star XLS, N623DS, SN40.1076
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by Boatguy »

DA40NG stall speeds. My typical trip with wife, luggage and fuel is about 2,600lbs. Stall speed determines approach speed which changes landing distance. Beyond that, we all need to fly the correct approach speed.
DA40NG stall speed.pdf
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by Antoine »

Compared to a DA40-180, both the Cirrus and the DA40-NG have significantly higher stall speeds.
And for the anecdote, an Extra 400 with a MTOW of 4400 lbs / 2'000 Kg and the same wingspan has a lower stall speed (58 KCAS).
Isn't this embarrassing?
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by Derek »

When I bought my DA20 I saw accident stats around 0.28 per 100,000 flight hours for DA40 and DA20, and 1.2 for Cirrus. Diamond was statistically 4 times safer than a Cirrus, mostly due to its more benign flight characteristics, plus it had far less incidences of post-crash fires.

I’m 9yrs into my DA20 and love it.
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pietromarx
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by pietromarx »

TimS wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:05 pm
1. Chute was required due to one of the founders having had a midair collision. Nothing to do with how it flies. The ELOS was a cost saving measure.
The chute allowed Cirrus to avoid spin-testing for the FAR 23 certification. Those who reportedly have tried spinning a Cirrus said it wasn't benign. This goes to the heart of how it flies.

The plane may be nice, but the chute should have been additive safety, not a shortcut in providing safety.
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by Colin »

I am not a fan of the spring-loaded controls. I want to feel the air a little more, but I admit that I am not the best pilot and perhaps feeling my way around the sky is not the best long-range plan.
Colin Summers, PP Multi-Engine IFR, ~2,600hrs
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http://www.flyingsummers.com
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