A Kick In The Glass: A First Look at the Cirrus Design SR22-G2 (Part Two) | Aero-News Network
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Wed, May 12, 2004

A Kick In The Glass: A First Look at the Cirrus Design SR22-G2 (Part Two)

An Evolutionary Step Forward For A Revolutionary Airplane

Cirrus Design was kind enough to send Gary Black over to allow me a chance to play with the G2 and verify some of the performance enhancements we'd been hearing about. Gary is an excellent spokesman for Cirrus -- knowledgeable, affable and quite honest… a true pleasure to work with-as well as being an interesting guy with some good stories to tell.

After an external tour of the new enhancements boasted by CD, I spent a little time going over the airplane and noted a number of subtle fit and finish improvements over year's past (which weren't remotely bad, to begin with)… a process that can only improve as CD gains experience with the new manufacturing criteria for the G2. I do wish there was a way to develop some flashier paint schemes for the bird… the lines inherent in this design scream out for something that isn't so darned white… and some other colors might do wonders. I mean… this is one of the sexiest GA airplanes in the world (especially inside) and all they can come up with is something that's mostly white? There have to be some alternatives that will do this airplane some justice.

Entry and exit haven't changed much from the original SR20… a fuselage mounted step offers access to the wing (on either side) and a thin anti-skid wingwalk that could really stand to benefit from some wider dimensions. Doors swing wide and away form the fuselage, and offer few limitations to entry. Entrance to the front is simply a matter of ducking and entering… with few gymnastics necessary to get seated… though the back seaters will require moving a front seat all the way forward to be able to step into the back… and makes their entry and exit dependent on the persons in front of them.

With two live adults in the front seat (one of whom is known to have never passed up desert), I found the interior dimensions to be pretty comfy… especially with the nicely padded new seating, which offers oodles of back support. Shoulder room is pretty generous in the 49 inch wide cabin, head room is adequate (even with a headset on), and leg room seems well-planned. Best of all, the effect is spacious, in large part due to the fact that there is no center stick or yoke monopolizing some of the most comfort-critical real estate in the whole airplane. Seat adjustment is a bit ponderous… but then again, so is every other seat adjustment setup that we've seen. Someday that'll change… but for now, I haven't heard that as a major gripe so I'm not going to fret over it--much.

First Impressions

The first thing that one finds upon entering the G2 is an overwhelming impression of luxury-- a sensation not all that well-known to the GA market unless you're spending at least a million bucks. For the first time in a long while, the GA world is starting to build airplanes that offer the panache and creature comforts that several hundred thousand dollars should command. The overall spaciousness of the cabin, the leather seating and accoutrements, the attention to detail… they're all first-tier and ultimate proof that the GA world is finally beginning to understand the psychology of people who have the means and the need to plunk down $300-$400K for a personal aircraft… and what it's going to take to get them to make the purchase. The leather work is masterfully done and the panel/cabin appointments not too far from that… with some occasional minor quality gaps in tight corners/junctions, but otherwise an exemplary effort.

The PFD/MFD present a huge presence in the cockpit and dominate the panel real estate to great effect. I quite agree with the Cirrus mentality that suggests that the widest possible (Landscape) presentation for the PFD, is the best possible presentation… though I'm a bit more amenable to a portrait mode for the MFD. I've flown a few of the portrait oriented PFDs and don't have much trouble with them, but when you're working real live IFR (as I have done now for several hours in various SR22s) that Wiiiiidddeeeee Landscape presentation is worth it's weight in gold-pressed latinum (or your otherwise preferred coin of the realm). What might be interesting, though, is a landscape PFD and portrait mounted MFD… especially when the MFD is in mapping mode with everything laid-over… the ability to see a LONG way ahead, in reference to your route of flight, might be just the ticket.

Secondary instrumentation (mostly powerplant) stands to the right of the MFD while a series of annunciators is based close in to the left of the PFD. A center stack that divides the front cabin's leg wells proffers room for the audio panel, auto pilot, transponder and nav/coms. The radio stack is angled out from the panel and falls readily to hand… making for an easy reach and adjustment. Below that is the power pedestal and some ancillary control functions such as flaps, boost pump (optional) rudder trim, and fuel tank selection. A small ledge on the left side of the cockpit, bordering the bottom of the panel, positions a number of switches with a prescient guard over switches that dare not be trifled with (especially electrical functions that could cause an interesting mess if switched off… since this is an all electric airplane).

Just below that lies my one continuing beef with the CD airplanes. Three secondary instruments, to be used in the event of EFIS failure, an ASI, electric AI, and altimeter, await possible duty. Their visual position will require a pilot to look fairly low on the panel to assume their information… necessitating a lot of vertical head movement as a pilot attempts to transition from IFR to VFR… inviting the possibility of vertigo asciated with rapid head movement. I sure would like to have found a way to position them above the PFD or even between the PFD and MFD, as others have done.

Cirrus Design, Inc.
Performance

SR20-G2   

SR22-G2  

Takeoff

1,341 ft  

1,020 ft

Takeoff (50' object) 

1,958 ft    

1,575 ft

Max rate of climb

900 ft/min    

1,400 ft/min 

Cruise speed

156 KTAS     

180 KTAS*

Stall speed w/flaps

54 KIAS    

59 KIAS 

Maximum range

882 nm   

over 1000 nm 

Landing (Ground roll) 

1,014 ft    

1,140 ft 

Landing (50' object)

2,040 ft   

2,325 ft

Cirrus Design Inc., Specifications  

Powerplant 

Continental 
IO-360-ES

Continental
IO-550-N

Horespower

200hp

310hp

Length

26'

26'

Height   

8' 6"     

8' 7"

Wingspan   

35.7'

38' 6"

Wing Area   

135 sq ft   

144.9 sq ft 

Cabin Length   

130"   

130"

Cabin Width   

49"     

49"

Cabin Height   

50"     

50"

Landing Gear   

Fixed Tricycle   

Fixed Tricycle

Max Gross Wt

3,000 lbs    

3,400 lbs

Std Empty Wt   

2,050 lbs  

 2,250 lbs

Maximum Useful Load   

930 lbs  

1,150 lbs

Fuel Capacity (Usable)   

56 gals/336 lbs   

81 gals/486 lbs



To be continued...

[Next On The Roster: ANN will be publishing flight test data and research from our flights in the recently certificated Lancair Columbia 400 as soon as we finish the SR22-G2 series… don't miss it!]

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com

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