When the engineers at Cirrus Skunk Works branded the company’s Garmin-based, next-generation glass-panel system, Codename Fighter, the moniker was more apropos than they might have thought.
A few years ago, I spent about seven hours at FlightSafety International getting familiar with the Dassault Falcon 900EX tri-jet, its Honeywell Primus-based EASy glass-cockpit flight deck and its Rockwell Collins Head-up Guidance System (HGS). At the time, I had maybe a hundred or so hours flying the Avidyne Entegra integrated flight deck, which was then still relatively new to the SR22, and it was a revelation for its intuitive and straightforward operation. Similarly, the EASy system in the Falcon ushered in a renaissance in what was becoming possible in glass-panel systems, and I became a full-fledged, Kool-Aid-drinking believer. Indeed, what Apple’s Macintosh did for personal computing, Dassault’s EASy system did for electronic flight instrument systems (EFIS) in large business jets—it changed the game. And now, the game has changed again—this time for pilots of the Cirrus SR22-GTS and, ultimately, for pilots of smaller, piston-powered, technically advanced GA aircraft.