Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Cirrus SR22 GTS: The Perfect Plane?
Why Cirrus Aircraft’s successful single might be the ultimate cross-country machine
|The Perspective Global Connect system includes an integrated satellite telephone, text messaging and worldwide weather.|
The descent and landing into San Carlos were easy events, with the SR22 trucking down final in a flat approach and flare. A good dose of practice would get me comfortable, though the side stick still felt a bit alien. The capabilities of the Garmin Perspective go without much comment here, other than it can do just about anything, and the Cirrus' FIKI certification and supplemental oxygen combined with the Perspective mean there isn't much the airplane can't handle.
Cirrus feels good to non-aviation passengers. The interior is sumptuous and very un-aviation like, which reduces the shock that non-aviators feel sitting in the back of most GA airplanes. It's yet another thing Cirrus has done right, and another reason these airplanes sell. Between the air conditioning, big cabin, customizable audio feeds, and three-position reclining seats, flying in an SR22 is downright decadent. I tested that myself on the way back home as Ambats took the left seat and I spread out in the rear cabin, reclined with a book and enjoyed the irony of Carly Simon singing her 1977 hit, "Nobody Does it Better."
Ok, so the Cirrus SR22T isn't a perfect airplane—there's no such thing—but my epiphany stands that this is a supernal cross-country machine when you just want to enjoy the ride. It's true that if I want a pure, stick-and-rudder, wind-in-the-hair, don't-screw-up-the-landing, aviating experience, I'll take out the biplane (or drop the window on a Cub or Husky). But if I want to go to a vacation destination and arrive relaxed, or if I want to bring non-flying friends on an enjoyable flight that beats the airlines in almost every way, I'll grab the Cirrus keys every time.
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