Thursday, May 19, 2016

An SR22 ride at last

I've been dropping hints for years to various Cirrus drivers that I'd love to take a ride in an SR22, but none was ever forthcoming.  I did fly an old SR20 years ago, and I wasn't particularly impressed.  It seemed underpowered and a little twitchy.  This was a Gen1 plane though,  seemed to always be in the shop and I was well aware that Cirrus has made a ton of improvements to the plane.  Everyone I spoke with about the Cirrus let me know the SR22 was a different animal.  I also had some preconceived notions about the plane.  Not necessarily negative ones, I just wasn't particularly enamored with the airplane because they all seem exactly the same... completely interchangeable.   Seen one, seen them all, or so I thought.  Those notions were blown away as I finally got to fly my friend Alex Disessi's beautiful and totally custom Cirrus SR22 G3 with the Tornado Alley turbo normalizing system.

This plane has a totally custom paint job... not the standard white pill bottle of all the rest.  It's in a Nascar inspired theme with gorgeous lines.  The interior is also completely custom designed, with black leather.  It's just gorgeous and spacious to sit in, with comfortable leather seats and plenty of room for 4 passengers, the doors latch smoothly.

The avionics is the Avidyne R9 system which is very much like the fully integrated G1000 but better in many respects.  Everything is totally integrated, with an FMS style interface reminiscent of the Honeywell Apex but much easier to use.  Large screens and synthetic vision as well as a fully integrated autopilot.  Nice.

The plane was quiet, smooth and handled beautifully.  The side stick felt nice and solid and not at all twitchy.  The plane is fast and efficient.  I was very impressed.  Overall I really loved this Cirrus.