GA aircraft comparison chart
Here is a interesting specification chart which illustrates the differences between different aircraft types:
I knew that information already, but this is a chart you can look at if you don’t happen to know which is the difference between Diamond DA40, Cessna C182, Cirrus SR20 and Piper Archer. Needless to mention (but I mention anyway), the models utilizing composite high aspect ratio wings with super-accurate surface and laminar flow airfoils are the winners on this chart, namely the Diamond DA40 and Cirrus SR20. On this chart, the DA40 wins also SR20. Indeed, the DA40 is pretty good compromise, but the SR20 is not so bad compromise either. It has for example larger cockpit for larger people. However, bigger size does not come without a penalty and it is evident in the specs, SR20 takes more power to go as fast as the DA40 with 20 hp smaller engine (75% power = 135 hp whereas on Cirrus 75% power = 150 hp). The biggest losers on the chart, obviously, are made of metal (with protruding pop-rivets), and have turbulent flow over the low aspect ratio wing.
The same page also has a comparison made between trainer type aircrafts:
The comparison chart contains Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse, Cessna C172, Piper Warrior and Cirrus SRV.
This is not completely fair because some of the planes are 4 seaters and some two seaters, but isn’t still too hard to see the difference between the laminar flow planes compared to turbulent flow planes. Both Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse and Cirrus SRV use laminar flow airfoil, slotted flaps and a high aspect ratio wing. Both are made of composite materials. I have flown myself the Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse and the SR20 (the IFR version though, but it is no different from the SRV other than in terms of certification and equipment), both are really nice aircraft to fly and they perform pretty well when comparing to the competition. Of these, the DA20 is most pleasant although quite a bit slower in the reality than the Cirrus.
The page also has a performance vs. altitude chart for three aircraft types – 2 Mooney and Cirrus SR22 (normally aspirated version). From this chart, the effect of the turbo is quite evident on the turbo-version of the Mooney. At high altitudes it is the fastest of the compared aircraft. The comparison would get tougher if the SR22 was the turbo-model which cruises well over 200 kts at high altitude.
The comparison chart has some things which I am not in full agreement with. For example the front hinged canopy superiority. It gives good view from the cockpit yes, but it is stating that it makes it easy to get into the cockpit. That is very far from the truth. It is a lot easier to climb to a Cirrus through the door than to a Diamond. Getting into the Diamond is like getting to a sports car. It is not that difficult and I would not consider it personally a problem, but saying that it is superior in easiness compared to the side doors of Cirrus, that is bullsh*t. Cirrus is a lot bigger and easier to get into. Diamond excels elsewhere than on this. And there are other things too on this list, so please have your filter set to on when reading it. In a sense, the comparison chart in the plastic planes is better.
Here is the comparison from plastic airplanes:
And here is a Cirrus SR20 review:
And here is a Diamond DA40 review: