Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Cirrus SR22-G3: Brazil Or Bust!
After our first flight in the newest Cirrus over San Francisco, we couldn’t wait to fly one all the way to Brazil
Wow, now that’s a lot of trees. I’m 9,500 feet over the Amazon rain forest, and the only thing I see from horizon to horizon is a bumpy carpet that’s toned British-racing green. A couple days ago, I set off from the Cirrus plant in Duluth, Minn., for what was then a distant port, pointing the nose of this spanking-new Cirrus SR22-G3 south and saying to myself, as I climbed to my initial cruise altitude, “São Paulo or bust.”
Now, I feel like I’m in the home stretch, even though I’ve still got more than a day’s flying before I alight at Jundiaí airport, on the outskirts of São Paulo. In the meantime, I’m scooting along grooving to “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto.
“She’s tall and tan and young and lovely…and when she passes, each one she passes goes ahh.” This SR22 I’m flying? She’s a Brazilian girl now, and she’s hot.
But it’s not just tan women in skimpy suits on the famous beach at Ipanema in Rio that turn heads—the SR22 has been doing that since its first customer delivery in 2001. Since then, she’s promenaded through two phases of evolutionary development, resulting in the recently introduced G3, which incorporates nearly 700 changes from the previous G2. At Cirrus Design, Darwin seems quite busy.
I first flew this newest evolution of the Cirrus SR22 in the spring of ’07, and I was immediately impressed with the G3’s improved handling characteristics. The plane was already fun to fly, but with the removal of the aileron/rudder interconnect, it’s even more a pilot’s (as opposed to an autopilot’s) airplane.
The comfort I’ve come to expect in the Cirrus was also there, but the fit, finish and cabin accoutrement are further refined from the G2 to a level more commensurate to what one would expect in an aircraft at this price point. It’s funny still, how interiors in aircraft of this class are usually compared to a Lexus or BMW. I sometimes wonder why all the exotic wood veneers, precious metals and bespoke finishing in the luxurious interiors of a Bentley or Maybach don’t trickle across to high-end piston aircraft. After all, they cost about the same.
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