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Cirrus SR20/T-53

Decarli Model 1/72 Cirrus SR20/T-53 Kit First Look

By Chuck Holte

Date of Review May 2017 Manufacturer Decarli Model
Subject Cirrus SR20/T-53 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72016 Primary Media Resin, White Metal
Pros Easy build, unique subject Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (GBP) £33.00

First Look

Cirrus SR20/T-53
Cirrus SR20/T-53

The Cirrus SR20 is an American designed four seat light aircraft of all-composite construction, powered by a six cylinder horizontally opposed Continental engine.  Built by Cirrus Aircraft, Duluth, MN, the Cirrus SR20 was first flown in March 1995, customer deliveries began in 1999 and over 1000 SR20 type aircraft have been produced since that time.  The SR20 was the first general aviation aircraft equipped with a parachute to lower the entire aircraft to the ground following a terminal inflight emergency and the first light aircraft equipped with 'flat panel avionics.'

The SR20, as the T-53A, was selected by the United States Air Force as a new primary flight trainer for the Air Force Academy in 2011, replacing a leased fleet of twenty T-52A (Diamond D-40) aircraft. USAF purchased 25 T-53As, with deliveries by 2012.

The Decarli Model kit of the Cirrus SR20/T-53A consists of 26 finely cast grey resin parts with engraved control surfaces and a one piece clear cast resin windscreen and canopy.  The fuselage and wings are cast as one piece with a separate nose cowling, vertical and horizontal tail pieces.  The main landing gear struts consist of a one piece cast white metal part.  Kit fuselage and wingspan dimensions are accurate in 1/72 scale.   The 3" x 3½" decal sheet provides clearly printed color markings for a single French Air Force SR20 and a single USAF T-53 in AF Academy markings for the 557 Flying Training Squadron (FTS) "Boss Bird." 

Instructions include a single 8½" x 11½" sheet of "exploded view" assembly and a similar size page of four-view color painting and marking placement for both the French and USAF versions.

Options in this kit:

  • Both two-blade (USAF) and three-blade propellers (SR20)
  • Box top photo of the USAFA T-53A on decal sheet
  • Build USAF or French AF versions

This should be a popular kit for those who model modern trainer aircraft and particularly those who model USAF primary trainers.