Flew A Cirrus today. Long

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by j1b3h0, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    Brand new SR22t. Flew from Livenomore to Monterey. Warm and pleasant weather. Just thought I’d jot down my impressions - The airplane was very slick, with a modern metallic maroon and silver paint and fancy scissor doors. The interior was like a new Lexus combined with a Falcon 7X. The pilot’s seat adjustment doesn’t merely move closer to the panel-it moves the seat higher, too. I’m a shade under 5’11” and when close enough to comfortably work the rudder pedals my noggin was uncomfortably close to the roof (within an inch). The side control was natural to get used to, and the controls felt Mooney-ish. Heavy spring in pitch, aileron was direct but not light. Brakes and (hence steering by brake) was easy and predictable. I fell in to a habit I got used to flying Turbo Commanders, instead of tapping or riding the brake to keep the airplane from weathervaning, I just held a rudder to the floor while taxiing, which elicited a comment from Beth the nice CFI demo pilot. Thought I used the rudder too much. True, I’m sure but I own a Stearman, so...before I speak to the actual flying I should mention that a lot of focus is necessarily aimed on programming the Garmin glass: the airplane was equipped with a version of the G1000. Not only were there prompts like one might receive before driving a Prius, all normal and non-normal checklists are conducted by scrolling and acknowledging by pushing the enter button. I found all this a little tedious, not being used to programming the FMC like it requires a type-rating, for an airplane no faster than a Bonanza, but I admit I’m an old school grump.
    On takeoff the airplane accelerated about the same as similarly powered machines. The pitch attitude is fairly nose-low and the side stick control heavy, but has a ‘chinese Hat’ pitch trim button that was sensitive enough that made it easy to adapt the the controls. We climbed out between 120-130KIAS. There are flaps to retract, but no gear, no fuss engine management, and the fancy glass panel made it easy to fly very precisely, if you’re used to glass which I am. In cruise @ 5500ft at 79% power we putted along at about 170 true, burning 17gph. A little slower than my V35A on a little more gas. The airplane doesn’t build speed in the descent like the Bonanza so slowing is easy and half flaps can be extended at 150kts. I found it interesting that power adjustments are to a percentage, rather than MAP or RPM. Beth warned me the she has been very entertained during landings with airline pilots flying the Cirrus, and true to form, I fugoided in the flare while attempting to full-stall it on to the runway. Wasn’t pretty but hey it was on the centerline. When I spoke with Beth earlier I mentioned that for $925K a guy like me might rather have an immaculately cared for Merlin IIIB, or dash ten Turbo Commander, and take 5-9 of my friends for a 310kt cruise. She understood but told me they’re selling about one new Cirrus a day despite my value concerns.
    Clearly Cirrus has a very successful business model and, now that they’re involved in training folks who buy their product, the sky is the limit, so to speak. As a tool to travel, the SR22 is well equipped to battle the elements, what with its turbo and FIKI certification. But to me there is what an airplane can do (the SR22R can do plenty - good payload, fly high and fast and with the Garmin suite, present a great deal of info to the person in the hero-chair) and then there is the way an airplane feels to the person flying it. On that score my Bonanza wins, hands down.
     
  2. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks for the write up. I assume it was a G5/G6? For what it's worth in my experience the SR22TN G3 seems slightly faster with better gph than the later SR22T models

    The G5 I fly hangs out around 170 true under 10K at 17gph. To hit the 180 range it needs closer to 18.3 gph and right on 30.5 manifold press

    In comparison, the TN seems faster at a lower manifold pressure and much lower fuel burn, low to mid 16 gph range

    Kind of makes me want a G3 TN over a G5/G6 T (both would need the perspective g1000). My mission is 1-2 people. No kids. Not much luggage, we travel light.. so the higher weights of the G5 don't mean as much to me as the extra 10-15 knots
     
  3. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    When sitting in a Cirrus with the doors open the fuselage reminds me of sitting in a fiberglass bath tub.
     
  4. DanWilkins

    DanWilkins Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Did the Cirrus slip like a Stearman?!? ;)
     
  5. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    Just remembered a couple other noteworthy things: The flap control is a knob, like for a defroster fan in a car. Similarly, the throttle (not sure of the official Cirrus nomenclature - might be thrust lever, or some such) looks like the rectangular gear shift in car with a “console automatic”. There was no prop control - Beth said the FADEC knows what we want from the prop, there was a mixture lever, with a standard red knob like other airplanes, and the MFD could be switched to display every engine parameter one could imagine. I should mention one other thing, the Jesus lever, on the roof, between the door jams, with a velcroed cover labeled “IN CASE OF FIRE BREAK GLASS”, or words to that effect, for the ballistic parachute. Before each flight Beth removed the velcroed cover and pulled the pin to prevent unwanted deployments. I inquired about the envelope for its deployment and was told below 140kts., but there have been some “helpmemrwizard” events which deployments happened above 200kts. and it still worked.
    The Cirrus is a unique product in a landscape with scarce real competitors. It was clearly designed for (and by) people who like to stare at their personal device. I would be interested in a conversation with folks who learned to fly in a Cirrus, then transitioned to more conventional airplanes. That would be like learning to drive a Tesla, then a “68 VW with a stick-shift.
     
  6. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    The flap control was a knob???
     
  7. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    I flew a late model 20 one time two winters ago. The on screen checklist oddly made me feel disconnected from what I was about to do (preflight and fly). I’m sure it gets better with a few more flights.

    On the prop control, at least on the older Cirrus, it’s not FADEC, it’s actually just a gate and linkage on the throttle lever mechanism that adjusts the prop depending on direction of travel and position.
     
  8. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, it’s a 3 position rotating switch. Left is 0, middle is 50%, right is 100%. Someone younger or blowing off work will be here shortly to post a pic.
     
  9. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the write up and sharing your perspective (no pun intended).

    One clarification. There is no FADEC but rather a mechanical linkage between the constant speed prop control and the throttle lever. As you advance the lever, it mechanically advances the prop control with a mechanical mixing linkage. Its a pretty clever system that basically mimics what you would do with a blue knob but with no additional electronics or pilot input required.

    Here is a link to a video that explains it better than I can:
     
  10. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Welcome to the world of elite aviators
     
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  11. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Tip: skip to the 2:00 mark in the video to get to the point. The prop control is mechanically linked to the throttle; it has nothing to do with an electronic FADEC.

     
  12. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    Nice write up. Flying a Cirrus sounds.... like pretend flying. I'm 100% certain that I would be in awe flying one, although I have no interest. Not my style of flying, I prefer high wings, and I can't afford one. :) They sure are impressive machines and seem to be incredibly capable of doing a lot of IMC flying by computer, wrapped in a luxurious cabin. For that price, though, they should be.
     
  13. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I could never afford one either. That’s why I find rich people who let me fly them!
     
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  14. DeckardTrinity

    DeckardTrinity Pre-Flight

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    I flew in a 22 about 3 years ago. First "upgraded" plane since I learned to fly back in 2003, and all my time has been in 172s / 172SPs. I had much the same experience as OP - the jump from the 172 to a 22 is like going from a VW Jetta to a Ferrari. The acceleration is awe inspiring, and it is damn fast comparatively speaking.

    The one oddity I found was the fuel system - there is no "both" selector that I saw, so fuel management becomes more important. I've read of a few fuel related crashes in 22s, and wonder if it's because they didn't manage the fuel properly?
     
  15. DeckardTrinity

    DeckardTrinity Pre-Flight

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    Also... I find it interesting that a well maintained 2000-era 22 can go for less than a 2004-era 172SP. (steam gauges in both, but still... much higher performance at a lower price point).
     
  16. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    That’s quite common in low wing airplanes where a fuel pump has to do the work that gravity does in your Cessna 172s. Not just a Cirrus thing.
     
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  17. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    The beauty (if you’re a buyer) of a manufacturer continuously improving the product is heavy depreciation. A 2000 era SR22 is quite a bit different from a 2018 SR22 while a 2004 172 is pretty similar to a 2018 272.
     
  18. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think a big part of that is that the arachute needs to be repacked periodically (every 10 years?) at a cost of about $10k.


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  19. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    I learned to fly in a Cirrus 2004 SR20 G2 (bought one and trained in it). Switched to 19070s Seminole with a single GNS430 for the only screen for a multi when selling the Cirrus. Then flew an Aerostar with all steam gauges but two GNS units; kept the steam gauges for about 40 hours until the HSI failed, and the backup was drifting and switched the sic pack to an Aspen 2500.

    So what do you want to know?

    Tim
     
  20. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not as much depreciation as many think. Each generation of Cirrus increased in price. A new Cirrus SR22 G1 went for almost 400K fully loaded. The latest is now approaching 900K.

    Tim
     
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  21. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    I've actually never been in a low wing that had a "both" selector for the fuel. The "both" thing on Cessna's always bothered me a little because the burn is almost never even, and when fueling the plane you can get some cross feed.. plus, as one who gets paranoid about fuel contamination I like the idea of having two independent isolated tanks. Granted, yes vigilance is important, but most low wings have either a timer, or in the case of the later Cirri you get a fuel imbalance alert

    The 172 seems to command an unrealistically high price though in general. Just like Mooney's command an unrealistically low price. But that says as much about perceptions and name recognition than anything else

    All of the planes below are $150K or higher. You could get a serious Mooney for that price, you *start* to get into Cirrus territory, and a whole host of other complex and larger and faster planes become options..

    $200K 1978: https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/26044487/1978-cessna-172n-skyhawk
    $180K 1975: https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/24859731/1975-cessna-172m-skyhawk
    $150K 1967: https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/22666511/1967-cessna-172-skyhawk
     
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  22. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Arguably one of the coolest piston GA planes ever made. There is (was?) one at Ramona.. surprised how "small" the actual plane is.. but damn, it is FAST and definitely turns heads on the ramp. Sadly we lost an uncle in Augusta ME, he loved that airplane https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=39096

    Epic drool factor here: more picture here
    upload_2018-6-14_14-44-7.png
     
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  23. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    I know the owners. Great guys, the plane is absolutely awesome looking. I miss mine, but I do not miss the fuel costs. After 300 hours in two years I was still not used to the fuel burn. I knew then I would have to sell it.

    Tim
     
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  24. DanWilkins

    DanWilkins Pre-takeoff checklist

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    He is already in the world of elite aviators. He flys a Stearman.
     
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  25. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    I have flown well over 100 different types of airplanes, and so far I haven’t found the perfect all-around one. Obviously, what it’s required to do - fly fast cross country, train new pilots, perform aerobatic maneuvers, land in a tennis court strewn with rocks, has everything to do with how it’s designed. That said, there is commonality shared by almost all airplanes - a glance in the cockpit by any experienced pilot will provide few surprises,...pitch,roll,yaw control, power and trim and appropriate instrumentation to monitor and navigate. The Cirrus is a complete departure from that commonality. The ‘out of the box’ designers evidently didn’t consider it important to shape the flap switch like a flap, like in everything 150 to a 747. It taxis like a Grumman Tiger. The controls in flight are heavier than a 737s. It’s got a panel like a G-650, and it takes as long to preflight, but goes no faster than a 210, V35, M20, etc,. Got fixed landing gear and no prop control, the Cirrus is a paradox. Like it was conceived and designed by a bunch of millennial engineers - none of them pilots. On a 1-10 scale, 10 highest, best I’d rate PERFORMANCE:7 CONTROL HARMONY:3 COMFORT, FRONT SEATS:5 BACK SEATS:8 UTILITY:7. For the mission of traveling with pilot + 3 safely, swiftly and comfortably, I’d probably chose a TN A-36, or better a late model Baron 58 (could have two low-time well equipped 1990s Barons for the cost of one new SR22).
     
  26. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    A Rockwell Commander 112A is the only low wing I've flown with a "both" setting on the fuel selector. There's probably others, but that's the only one I've seen.
     
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  27. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    @j1b3h0

    On a fair amount we will disagree. The flap switch in a Cirrus is like the profile view of a flap. :D In addition, how many accidents have been caused by pilots confusing flap with other switches?
    Cirrus actually took human factors into play with the design; the flap switch is just one example. Something basically no one else has done.
    A self centering stick makes flying easier, a side yoke gives more room to the pilot, and pilots are taught to fly one handed in critical situations. May as well fly single handed all the time. Pilots tend to over control center yokes, required because of large muscle movements generally required. The side yoke uses smaller muscles in the forearm which gives more precise control...
    Sometimes tradition is good, other times it is just repeating the mistakes of a previous generation. In this case, not only based on sales and market, I think Cirrus challenged tradition and won over the majority.

    Tim
     
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  28. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My Comanche has two fuel selection levers - one for each side. OFF - L Tip - L Main | R Main - R Tip - OFF

    So it's possible to have it on "both" by selecting R Tip and L Tip (which I usually do in cruise) or R Main and L Main
    There's 9 combinations - 8 that will keep the engine alive.
     
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  29. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    Until this discussion I never really thought about the flap control being so different in the Cirrus. :oops: Not a big deal, but it is different.

    I rate the front seats much higher than j1b3h0, but that's more about the overall cabin space in the front than the seats themselves. Passengers love not having the yoke in front of them. I swear some of them think if they so much as brush the yoke the plane could fall out of the sky. :rolleyes: I fly Angel Flight missions, so a wide variety of passengers. With the side sticks the cabin feels much more open.

    I've only flown G1 models, so maybe later ones have changed on the checklist, but I've gone through the checklist pretty much as quick as I would with a paper checklist for other planes.

    I've been regularly surprised at landing in crosswinds in the SR22. It often feels like there is hardly any crosswind.
     
  30. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Check out the early Baron gear collapse record, and you will see that there were LOTS of people who thought they were raising flaps on rollout, only to find they had commanded the gear to raise instead.
     
  31. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    That was largely attributed to the flap switch being on the left and the gear on the right unlike the rest of the ga fleet.


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  32. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Weird. I have maybe 700 or so Cirrus hours, but when you said “knob” it threw me. I was picturing a push-pull knob.

    But of course, you’re right - though rotary switch might be a better descriptor (than knob).
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  33. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    From a business prospective, Cirrus has hit a home run with its intended buyers, hell, I’d buy stock in the company if it were public. But my favorite airplanes are ones that have silky, responsive flight controls that can be flown most of the time with the tips of your fingers. By comparison the Cirrus I flew was a tank. I jumped in my Bonanza to fly home and thought Beech really got it right (and has been refining it for 50 years!). Sure, it’s got some quirks, like that control column thing that looks like it belongs in a dentist’s office, and it wags in turbulence, but it flys beautifully and despite being 50 yrs older, and non-FIKI, my steam-gaged will carry 4 fat guys and fuel for Denver and deliver 163KTAS on 12.3gph - or 172KTAS @ 15.5gph, faster on less fuel than the Cirrus.
     
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  34. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    That usually inflates the price of the used fleet. Many of us here will recall how rapidly the nominal price of an early to mid-70s piston GA airplane increased throughout the 1980s and 1990s as the price of new versions of the same model inflated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  35. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    It's because a large swath of the 172 fleet generates revenue in the training function; a positive ROCE. Try that with your average SR-22. ;)
    That's the difference between an asset and a liability. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  36. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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  37. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Such a polarizing plane. Rarely can we go more than one page without an insinuation that they're not flown (or designed) by real pilots, or just flat out calling it "stupid"

    The Klapmeier brothers aren't millenials, born at the end of the 1950s they're squarely in the baby boomer generation and did a ton of research into their product. I am pretty sure I read that these guys were flying planes before they were driving cars. What they did was take all the small things "wrong" with existing aircraft design and try to resolve and tweak them to create something comfortable and fast. While Cirrus is not the fastest, I am pretty sure that every faster plane is narrower and generally smaller.. so they've got a good compromise there. Not many planes will let you cruise well north of 170 knots true in a 49 inch wide cabin; that's a full 7 inches more elbow room than Bonanza, Baron, and still 6 inches more than a Stationair.. even 1 inch beyond the Saratoga

    very well said, and much more eloquent than I would have (and did) put it!
     
  38. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    That probably means there is a small difference in asking price between one that is close to re-pack and one of the same vintage that has just had it done. It is not going to depreciate the airplane all that much. And that seems a hard time limit, so unlikely any owner of an SR-22 will forego it since it grounds the plane.
     
  39. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Sez the man who borrows a plane in order to fly it. :D

    (but then, those are ALWAYS the best airplanes to fly!)
     
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  40. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I flew a Cirrus, 2016 SR20 this morning, and it is probably the best flying airplane I have flown, although I have not flown too many. Should I buy an airplane, it will probably be an SR 22 or 22T
     
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