When visions of glass cockpits dance in our heads, we personal aviation pilots usually think of the Garmin G1000 avionics suite, which for more than 15 years has been the de facto standard avionics package in the vast majority of new production Part 23 light planes. With the introduction of its best-selling SR22 G6 high-performance piston single, Cirrus has raised the bar in the category once again. And the way the company did it is surprising, though at this point maybe it shouldn’t be.
The new model, which Cirrus has dubbed the SR22 G6, isn’t a new airframe. It builds on the impressive incremental progress the company has made over the 15-plus years of production. The airframe is nearly identical to the G5 model introduced two years ago, so it features more carbon fiber than ever, taller gear, better lights, and more interior and exterior options. It has better seats, including the 60/40 Flex Seating that allows for a fifth passenger or split fold-down for hauling larger items. It has flight into known icing capability with a powerful and redundant certified TKS system. It has air conditioning, built-in oxygen and USB ports everywhere you turn. And, yes, it also has the smooth and powerful Continental TSIO-550 factory turbocharged engine for 200-plus-knots true airspeed in cruise, 1,000-plus fpm rate of climb with the simplicity and the user-friendliness of a fixed-gear single.