The cover of Flying magazine seems to always have a catchy photograph. I’m sure the editors spend lots of valuable time selecting just the right photo with the perfect lighting and soothing colors to entice you and me to pick their magazine off the shelf and not the one with the sailboat or the sexy GT hot rod.
Should you be one of those browsers in the magazine section of a book store last April, you would have been greeted with a slick photo of the latest Cirrus SR22 climbing out in South Florida. The large headline reads
Most Sophisticated Single . . . Ever
The Cirrus SR22 is a thoroughly modern plane, and has been the bestselling model in the single-engine segment for the last five years, surpassing the long time number one place holder Cessna 172. It's not the fastest, the most expensive, or even the sexiest plane out there, but it is partly responsible for resurgence in private flying. A lot of that has to do with good timing, a forwarding thinking management and sales team, and a good basic design for a family airplane.
It also helps that it looks like it was patterned after the Mercedes Gull Wing speedster and gives the appearance of doing 200 knots while sitting on the ramp without the engine running.
But it is indeed faster, more expensive, and sexier than the Cessna 172 Skyhawk for sure. Other than having fixed landing gear and rubber tires it does not have much else in common with the Skyhawk.
It turns out that even with the full airframe emergency parachute system the pilots and owners still make age old dumb mistakes, like running out of fuel on a 3 mile final approach or pulling the red handle and deploying the chute over a heavily wooded area when they could have glided to a nice open and flat landing area if they would have only looked over their shoulder.
This particular Flying magazine article was authored by none other than the Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Robert Goyer. This eight page spread has nine photographs, the first one takes up almost two full pages and is beautiful view of a silver and white turbo model climbing out with the Saint Petersburg bridge in the background. The second oversized photo is sitting on the ramp with several high rise condos for a backdrop. Five of the remaining seven photographs illustrate how to use the new 60/40 split back seat. I find this puzzling as my wife’s 2006 Acura MDX has a 60/40 split rear seat and the grandkids don’t seem the think it is anything special at all.
Sandwiched between the five photos of the new 60/40 split rear seat is a gorgeous full shot of the interior showing the Garmin Perspective G1000 panel that also shows the two side stick controls and the well designed and implemented lower center console area that houses the keypad controller, autopilot, comm unit, Oxygen and Flap controls.
Different folks pick up on different trends but what I gather from reading this article is Mr. Goyer is completely enamored with the new 60/40 split seat and everything else is so so. It also appears he may have been given a demonstrator to fly as much as he wishes in order to write the favorable article. Nice.
After reading several more articles in the Flying archives I find that Mr. Goyer has lots of flying time in the two Cirrus models. It appears that he may have designated himself as the one and only to fly and write about the latest release or latest paint job coming out of Duluth. A little more digging and I find that Mr. Goyer owns a fractional share interest in a Cirrus SR22 and is IFR current.
Toward the end of the magazine article there are a few paragraphs that describe the SR22T from a pilots view point. He sums it up with “The airplane is beautiful to look at but it is also a pleasure to fly, and not just for the excellent true airspeeds, fine climbing ability, great visibility, and comfortable seats.”
At first glance, this 2012 model appears to be identical to the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo model introduced for FSX and P3D just last week. A casual observer might not see any changes to the panel or cockpit in this 2012 model compared to the 4 year old 2008 model that Carenado used for our flight simulator model. Carenado’s is on the right.
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On the surface, the Garmin panels look like practically all the other recent G1000 general aviation 12 inch twin panels with the PFD on the left and the MFD on the right. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is not what the panels look like, it is what data they are capable of displaying for the pilot and passengers. A closer look reveals the Synthetic vision in the PDF that is a new addition to the panel. What can’t be seen is the 2012 turbo model has the Cirrus factory installed twin turbos while our 2008 model has the earlier aftermarket bolt on Tornado Alley turbo.
But, for the sake of appearance, the Carenado model is strikingly similar, meaning just as gorgeous and a nearly a carbon copy. What is nice is that the Carenado model does indeed have the G700 integral autopilot with the keypad controller box, with the blue ‘Level me Now’ button and the other standard items including the built-in oxygen supply controls. What is not so nice, but not totally unexpected is that our Carenado model is not a Garmin Perspective at all but does replicate the 2008 model quite well.
Up front, one needs to fully understand that it is totally unrealistic to expect to find many of the real world features of a $750,000 airplane coded and designed into a $34.95 add on for a $50.00 desktop flight simulator. Heck, just the difference between the base price of the SR22T and the ‘price as tested’ in the referenced magazine article is more than $200,000. Ouch.
Cirrus Aviation is one of the modern success stories and it would be even better with the bright future of the Cirrus Vision Jet just around the corner if I hadn’t read that it was wholly owned by the Chinese Government. I suppose that is a better than being in bankruptcy and not being able to continue SR22 production and build the new private single engine jet for those SR22 owners with the deep pockets to have something to step up to the next level.
When Cessna and friends convinced Bill Clinton to sign the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 so we could have small general aviation airplanes built in America again, I don’t think they were actually thinking about a couple of brothers in Duluth, MN.
Times have been relatively good for the VK-30 kit aircraft company that was started in 1984 by Alan and Dale Klapmeier. Cirrus’ first product was the very successful SR20 totally built in Duluth, MN then expanded to Grand Forks, ND when the market supported a big brother version – the SR22.
They look nearly identical with the engine size and the performance numbers being the big difference. Plans to enter the light-sport aircraft, LSA market sector was shelved due to bad economic times when employee layoffs and shortened work weeks failed to overcome the slump in sales.
With the infusion of new money from the Chinese buyout in 2011, Cirrus is financially in a much better position and is moving forward with the SF-50 Vision jet. If the single-engine jet is not your cup of tea, you can buy the latest decked out SR22 Turbo painted in the Vision color scheme. The additional cost for the special blue and silver paint, full warranty and a few unique touches in the cockpit is probably an additional $100,000 or so. Cirrus is really big on special paint jobs and personalized touches.
Cirrus Models, all both of them
Cirrus SR (Single Reciprocating) aircraft are designed around composite technologies with glass panel digital flight displays and modern avionics as standard equipment. The aircraft are all electric - no vacuum systems are used. Redundancy is provided by dual batteries and alternators. The SR22 is also available with TKS anti-icing equipment which enables flight into known icing conditions. This is very uncommon in this single engine sector of the market.
The aircraft incorporate other unusual design elements. All (both) Cirrus aircraft use a mechanical side yoke instead of the traditional yoke or stick for flight controls. The aircraft also use a single power lever that adjusts both throttle and propeller RPM via a mechanical cam-actuated throttle and propeller control system. Construction is dominated by the use of composite materials including the main wing spar, although traditional aluminum is used for flight control surfaces.
The SR22 has an option for a factory installed engine turbo system in lieu of the previously available bolt-on Tornado Alley turbo-normalized engine. Either model allows the engine to maintain maximum power at higher altitudes while increasing the maximum operating altitude to 25,000 feet. A built-in oxygen delivery system for masks is provided with the turbo option.
Each year additional tweaks or innovative options are implemented usually adding more basic airplane weight but overcome with a slight increase in higher cruise speeds. Less than a month ago, the Generation 5 model was announced with the show stopper being a 200 pounds increase in Gross Takeoff Weight. This is very significant for this model because they have packed so much stuff into the cockpit they were running out of available payload weight for the passengers.
Chute Happens, be ready
All Cirrus SR aircraft are equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), a ballistic parachute deployed from the back of the aircraft. In catastrophic emergencies, the system allows the entire aircraft to descend safely by parachute and has been credited with saving more than 30 lives.
The parachute system was accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration as an equivalent level of safety in lieu of complete spin testing. Cirrus is the only aircraft company in history that has avoided complete FAA spin testing on their airframes.
The Cirrus pilot's operating handbook states that the parachute system "is designed to bring the aircraft and its occupants to the ground in the event of a life-threatening emergency. The system is intended to save the lives of the occupants but will most likely destroy the aircraft and may, in adverse circumstances, cause serious injury or death to the occupants".
Carenado Parachute simulation and FSX
Because this is one of the attractions or at least one of the major differences in Cirrus aircraft and all those Cessnas, Pipers and Beeches, I was looking forward to the ‘Catastrophic total loss simulation’.
This is also one of the major differences in the real world Cirrus version and the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo HD Series for FSX.
Carenado designed and implemented the cabin portion of the CAPS parachute system right up to the point of confirming the emergency, reading the warning, and pushing the red handle to fire the rocket and deploy the chute. I was so looking forward to this simulation. But alas, it was not to be.
Instead of hearing the sounds of the rocket powered ejection system sucking all the money out of your wallet along with the stowed airframe parachute, and you envisioning the destruction of your prized Cirrus, you hear nothing, nothing at all. What you are greeted with is a popup warning message that states - System reset. I tested it and it is true to the word. Zap, reset. (followed by major personal disappointment)
The bottom line is Carenado chose to replace the coded parachute sequence in the simulation with the quite common Windows keystroke sequence of CTRL, ALT, DEL.
I fired off my “I’m so very disappointed” email to Carenado the very day I received the add-on for review. For the missing parachute simulation I asked one question with 4 parts.
Q. Was simulating the safety parachute deployment discussed by the design team?
a. Reasons for not implementing in FSX?
b. Any hope at all of revisiting this decision at some later date?
c. Would you consider adding it in a future SPx?
d. Would you consider adding it as an optional purchase, like the Super Cargomaster Expansion Pack for the C208?
The answer was Yes, the parachute system simulation was discussed and No, it was not simulated in the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo for FSX model ‘Because we feel it is not important for the flying experience we want to bring to people and FSX is very limited for this kind of effects resulting in a bad representation.”
The b, c, and d answers were all “I don’t think so”. That pretty much closes the door on simulating the CAPS deployment in FSX for the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo add-on.
Specific Model History – a Chronology of sorts (for the real world Cirrus)
|1999||SR20 is certified by FAA. Came with SRec 20/30 autopilot, Arnav MFD and a Century HIS.|
|2001||SR22 is certified by FAA. Same avionics as above but with STec 55X AP, Altitude preselects w/remote display.|
|2002||Avidyne MFD offered. TKS anti icing system available but not approved for flight into known icing. Skywatch active traffic info system and EMAX engine monitoring system introduced. 2003 - The Avidyne primary flight display is added, making the SR22 the first all glass 4 place general aviation aircraft. Cirrus adds new 6 point engine mounts greatly reducing vibration. Many owners of earlier Cirrus aircraft upgrade their engine mounts.|
|2004||The Generation 2 (G2) Cirrus is introduced with major airframe improvements, lowering the empty weight. Slam door lock is added and other interior improvements. The firewall is beveled at the bottom for improved crashworthiness. Air Conditioning is available as a service center installed STC. Teledyne Continental introduces a smoother running engine. CMAX chart displays on the MFD are added along with TWAS terrain awareness and XM satellite weather.|
|2005||The XM satellite radio entertainment system is offered. Seatbelt airbags are added and a flight director added to the primary flight display.|
|2006||Factory installed air conditioning is offered vs. the aftermarket ac. The Sterling paint scheme was an option and ended the white only schemes. 406Mhz transponders were installed and the Tornado Alley turbo normalized option was offered. All turbo aircraft were delivered with a 3-bladed composite propeller. The composite prop option is available on normally aspirated aircraft.|
|2007||The generation three (G3) aircraft was unveiled and brought with it several major airframe improvements and cosmetic interior improvements. An all-new wing with more dihedral and a stronger and lighter, carbon fiber spar was used. Fuel capacity was increased to 92 gallons on the SR22. With the G3 design, now the SR20's and SR22's shared the exact same airframe. The increased dihedral allowed removal of the rudder / aileron interconnect. The design for the wheel pants was improved. Landing gear are now a little closer together. Wingtip recognition lights were added and Cirrus now offered the X-edition two tone paint schemes in several color choices. WAAS capable GPS units was included in all units. Factory installed oxygen systems were offered.|
|2008||Garmin Perspective avionics system with a digital autopilot and yaw damper, dual 12 inch display screens with synthetic vision, keypad data entry and dual AHARS units. Night vision EVS cameras offered as an option.|
|2009||First aircraft certified to fly into known icing conditions are delivered. The option to add a second air data computer was also offered. An X-Edition option that adds significant interior upgrades and more elaborate graphic schemes on the exterior.|
|2010||The X-Edition option is taken to the extreme with the Xi (the i for individualized). Xi aircraft are custom, one off versions with the interior and paint scheme designed by the owner – a true expression of vanity. A new turbo charged engine, the IO-550-K by Teledyne Continental is available and the SR22T is born. This engine is more powerful, smoother and quieter. The nose wheel assembly gets an oleo strut hidden in the cowling. The cowl is redesigned on SR22T's with improved air induction and filtering. Garmin Electronic Stability & Protection (ESP), a stability augmentation system that assists in maintaining the aircraft in stable condition, thereby helping to prevent the onset of stall/spins should the pilot become distracted, disoriented or incapacitated during flight was added.|
|2011||The almost Ultimate Limited Edition Vanity Commemorative edition is announced. Only 10 available. Like the one pictured here.|
|2012||Generation Four is skipped, but a 60/40 flex back seat is introduced. Over the shoulder seat belts for a 5th passenger are introduced (like in my 2006 Acura MDX). Useful load is increased by 10 pounds. Global Connect is offered integrating onscreen world weather graphics and Iridium satellite phone service in cabin headsets, and text messaging on the MFD. A Carbon appearance package is offered if the classic luxury Platinum pack doesn’t do it for you.|
|2013||(Jan/Feb only) Generation Five (G5) is announced. A host of quality-of-life improvements and one show stopper – a 200 pound increase in Gross Weight. Generation changed by beefing up the one-piece carbon fiber spar and adding more layers for strength. New bigger chute, more powerful rocket with failsafe electronic ignition. The chute had to be bigger to handle the increased weight of the new airplane.|
Flight into Known Icing, FIKI, and Air conditioning are now standard on all non-Turbo SR22s. Both SR22 and SR22T models have a full fuel payload of 788 and 708 pounds respectively allowing loading 4x 170 pounds occupants, some bags and one carbon fiber toothbrush.
The 60/40 flex back seat is now standard on all models meaning they are all 5-seaters (provided you only count seatbelts).
The new SR22 option, the 2013 Vision Inspired SR22T, which may inspire SR22 buyers to put a deposit on a Cirrus Vision jet. This model features some unnamed options, and a three-year “spinner to tail” warranty for $829,000. This is a premium of $104,000 over the already “over the top” list price of $724,900 for a decked out SR22T GTS. Hmm, I only missed the additional paint and vanity items estimate by a mere $4,000. Not $100,000 Ray, $104,000 additional.
The Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo HS Series for FSX and P3D
I have concluded we have a 2008 Generation 3 aircraft with all the GTS bells and whistles and the bolt on Tornado Alley Turbo normalized system. Part of the Turbo modification was the addition of the built-in oxygen system so that explains the O2 gauge and system.
he specific model used by the design team was built by Cirrus with Certification Issued on 10/01/2008 with an N number destined for Texas. It was later deregistered and ferried to Chile and now carries a private CC- registration.
This real world aircraft probably has the Garmin Perspective avionics system with the digital autopilot and yaw damper, dual 12 inch display screens with synthetic vision, keypad data entry and dual AHARS units.
The Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo for FSX and P3D model does not have the Perspective avionics system with the synthetic vision but it does indeed have the G-700 autopilot with the keypad controller unit for data entry. It also has as Cirrus would say, a host of improvements over the G1000 previously introduced by Carenado with some specifically requested improvements. It now has the Direct To function when flying a standard flight plan and the necessary changes to the engine monitoring and speed ranges that are different between the Cessna 182T and the Cirrus SR22T.
Here is a direct quote from Carenado when asked if any improvements have been made to the G1000 system.
“Yes, the EIS (engine indication system) which not only was changed for the SR22 but also added a completely new engine information page. We also added minor things like having selected the VOR1/VOR2/GPS if you have the NAV button pressed in the autopilot (no need of the NAV/GPS button). Add a Direct To option in the middle of a Flight Plan, we added visible and audible warning signals…..among others.”
OK Fine. What do we get with the download?
One 84 MB executable installation file and two small text files with installation instructions and cautions. My installation was non eventful and took about two minutes total time. You will need to have your email address used for the purchase and download and the serial number that you received from Carenado Support. I have found it is a good idea to copy this information to a notepad text file and save in case you need to reinstall the add on at a later date. You can use it today to copy and paste the installation information thereby avoiding any typing errors.
The recently released SP1 is a 34 MB exe file that corrects some of the minor glitches and updates the interior sound file.
I only have FSX so the balance of the review is only referring to my FSX setup. The auto installer does a good job of finding the FSX folder and places a new subfolder, provided this is not your first Carenado add on, under the FSX/Carenado folder entitled SR22_GTSX_Turbo. This airplane specific folder will have the standard Carenado documentation PDF files.
The first pdf file is the 25 page Perspective G1000 (sic) reference document. Although it is filled with nice graphics and easy to read text for general orientation and button or knob locations it does not have any ‘how to’ paragraphs. Not one.
Some of the pages are a good candidate for color printing. This should apply to all users. This one is different enough to require some reading and studying. It is different from the previous Carenado G1000 and it is different from the real world Garmin Perspective units in real Cirrus airplanes so that makes it unique and will require some attention to learn the details.
Should you already be familiar with any G1000 display units, you should be able to find your way around this one quite easily. There are a few missing pages when compared to some other developers units and also when compared to the real world units. These are mostly to do with building flight plans, modifying flight plans, using airways, SDs, STARS, etc.
Two significant improvements over previous Carenado models are the Controller Unit which most pilots refer to as the keypad and the other part of the Control Unit that we normally refer to as the Autopilot but the documentation refers to it as the ‘GFC-700 Controls’. This is not double talk, let me show you.
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The balance of the pdf file, it has no name such as Manual or Instructions just a file name, is filled with nice color screenshots and drill down hierarchy pages. There is not a single ‘How To’ to be found in the twenty-five pages.
You will need to be well versed and comfortable with using the Large Outer Knobs and the Small Inner Knobs to navigate the Garmin Maze. These knobs have specific functions and do specific things except when they don’t. This is what I call the ‘designed by Committee logic’ used by most Garmin units. A few pilots and sim pilots have actually grasped the logic, if it could be called that, and are able to move quickly around the selections with a lot less frustration that I exhibit.
The Chapter and Pages context of teaching or learning the system holds together fairly well, until you get to the ‘press the center mouse scroll wheel’ and it loses a little of the luster. The other part it the ‘it always does this function except in those cases when it doesn’t’.
In any event, intelligent practice will improve your navigational and input skills for sure. I still take notes when I stumble across an elusive ‘Ah ha” feature. Just getting it to do the same thing twice seems to be the goal for me.
I personally think the Controller Keypad should be a requirement or necessity in any airplane, real or simulated.
The last page shows the Click Spots for turning off the power on the individual display screens. I guess this is for those folks flying with underpowered CPUs. When the weather gets rotten and the FPS start to drop, just turn off all your avionics and instrumentation units to bring the FPS back up.
It must get awfully dark and quiet in the cockpit, I mean just before you hit the mountain side. Makes you wish the Parachute system was installed?
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The next two pdfs are the standard Carenado issue for all add-ons. Both the Copyrights and Recommended settings are important so make sure you read these two.
The remaining four are SR22T specific so in the absence of a POH or Airplane Flight Manual for reference that is all you have.
I searched and found a high quality pdf download for a 486 page Flight Manual for a SR22T that was approved by the FAA on January 6, 2010. This one uses the K model engine but I’m guessing it is close enough to use for flight simming.
I also found a 120 page Cirrus Perspective Cockpit Reference Guide for the SR20 and SR22 for Rev 0764.02 or later. This is a spiffy full color guide with lots of gauge illustrations. This may not be very useful with the Carenado edition as it is for the whole nine yards with all the real world features.
There are more than 5,000 Cirrus airplanes out there in the non-simulator world so eventually we will find a good link to just what we are seeking.
I guess it is safe to assume all G3 SR22T airframes are the same and they didn’t upgrade or change the engine in anyway until the 2010 model year so any SR22 Turbo model in the 2008 or 2009 range should be spot on. All Turbos prior to the K engine model would have to have been an STC approved aftermarket add on with 99% of them done by Tornado Alley.
You can download a full color brochure 12-page for the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin but it is mostly just depressing to read about all the things it will do that we will not ever see in FSX. One neat thing is this screenshot of the panel. It makes a great wallpaper.
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How about that Cirrus Vision Jet?
That would be the on again, off again, on again SF50 V-tailed single-engine personal jet. With the new Chinese ownership comes the promise of the necessary funding to see the completion of the SF50. (Single Fanjet – 50 Series, this leaves Cirrus some wiggle room for a few additional models – like anything between 23 and 49)
As an old Cessna pilot with nary a logged hour in a Cirrus, I do not get nearly as excited as the Editor of Flying Magazine over the addition of a 60/40 split seat and an additional seatbelt, but, I stand up and pay attention to the possibility of a new personal jet actually making it to the general aviation market.
Many have tried and all have failed to sustain even limited production. The only two remaining in the race are the Eclipse 550 and this Cirrus SF50 as the Diamond D-Jet bit the dust just yesterday and the Epic Victory Jet guy is in China looking for financial backing. The latest word from Duluth is they have 525 firm orders in the book.
I have some official flight time in the original Bede 5, the prop version, but one of my Cessna partners actually owned a real live flying BD-5J. After the 3rd flameout that he barely walked away from, ‘damned French engine’ he was quoted as saying, the wreckage was sold to an unnamed buyer. It reappeared as a total rebuild sporting the colors of the Coors Silver Bullet. Yep, one in the same. It is really tough to get to ride in a one-seater, and it was a very small seat.
I would give my Left Magneto or both of yours to have a SF50 Vision Jet to zoom around FL280 @ 300 Kts. We actually have an FSX version of the SF50 Vision that is fun to fly. This one was introduced for FSX back in late 2009 by Flight Sim Developers, FSD Intl., and although it comes with the most basic of G1000 panels, it does fly and looks amazingly close to the latest photos. I did a quick repaint to bring the FSD edition up to date with the Cirrus website photos.
The FSD Cirrus SF50 Vision comes with several repaints but the Red one looks like most of the older photos from the last wave of publicity by Cirrus. FSD also includes a comprehensive G1000 manual, checklists and a 6 page pilot’s guide. Some very well respected FSX designers had a hand in this one. First names on the design team list are Colin Pearson from Milviz, our very own Chuck Jodry of X-15 and Lear Jets fame, and Tim Dickens from FSD. Find it here.
This FSD Cirrus SF50 Vision fits the fun to fly category, but don’t expect much more than that. The backup instruments consist of an additional miniature PFD and the autopilot is a partially hidden default AP with a window so small even a real pilot would not be able to read the digits. The engine controls are two buttons - Start and Stop. Flaps have up and down buttons with the indicator in the engine status on the MFD. I can’t read any of the other button labels when flying because they are so tiny, not small, tiny.
It all works though, line it up, set trim and takeoff flaps, full throttle and fly when ready. Let the gear and flaps up and go zipping around the countryside – way high and way fast. It really is enjoyable and highly recommended. I replaced my MFD with a similar sized Reality XP 530 GNS and use the original MFD as a popup to check engine status and settings. All done with a couple of simple changes in the panel.cfg file. This made a huge improvement in the fun factor for me.
The flight dynamics and animations can not be compared to the real one, because it hasn’t been built yet, but the FSD version looks, feels, and flies fine for me. Get on the FSD newsletter email list and get some preferred pricing on any given holiday or weekend.
A close look alike, perfect except for the T-tail, is the Lionheart Epic Victory. I also painted it up to fool the crowds at the Cirrus airshows. Sneaky me.
One last future enhancement for the Cirrus SR22 . . . Active Winglets? Yep, check this out.
Tamarack Aerospace Introduces Active Winglets™ on Cirrus SR22
The press release reads: “Dubbed ATLAS for Active Technology Load Alleviation System, the patented technology has been applied to the leader in world GA sales, the Cirrus SR-22.
The benefits of the system to owners are significant. ATLAS owners will enjoy increased range, improved time-to-climb, better “High-Hot” performance, enhanced short-field performance and improved “ride” in turbulence. The improved aesthetics are also quite dramatic.
Tamarack’s Active Winglets™ for the Cirrus SR22 G1 and G2 will be sold as an STC kit and can be installed in about 80 hours. The kit will be available in the first quarter of 2013 and deposits are being taken.”
OK, enough of the real Cirrus stuff and future Jets, let’s talk Carenado and FSX
The Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo HD Series is modeled and presented in five stunning repaints and one white one with some of the difficult tail markings prepainted for you. (This is the upside down and backwards stuff)
I don’t have enough adjectives to properly describe just how gorgeous this model really is. I can’t capture screenshots any better than Carenado already has available of downloading at their site. You can get them all with a couple of clicks and set up your own slide show or just compare two or three at a time.
I spent many hours just looking at all the great photos available with a simple search. Cirrus knows how to promote their product and the Owners keep it up. I have a bunch of great wallpapers that I change out every couple of days. Interestingly the screenshots of the Carenado models look just like the real photos, sometime better. I started a few repaints but gave up as it was way over my head as a rookie airplane painter. I hope some of the exclusive vanity paint jobs end up approved by Carenado for official downloads.
I did come back and complete a bronze and white repaint with the Circle T on the tail and uploaded it to the Avsim Library.
So, let’s sum up the description of the exterior model. I went through a few of the forum posts and picked out some of the comments posted by a few of the early adopters. Almost all agree it is ‘knock your socks off gorgeous’. Stunning is used rather often. I think generally everyone is pleased with the looks. I know I certainly am.
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This is both interior and exterior. These images look like it could be used by the Cirrus Marketing Department for promotions. One drawback of having these excellent HD textures is that they come with a price. A price in the sense that an older CPU might choke when it sees the 2048 x 2048 dds files. My take is this is the price of progress and I am all for it.
A single texture folder weighs in at 35 MB with most texture files having an additional spec file for brilliance.
How are the Frames or FPS?
I have an up-to-date fast PC so I don’t see much impact at all. I would expect a functioning G1000 system installed with an HD textured model to start draining resources as soon as some traffic and weather is introduced. A marginal system is probably not going to handle this one very well.
A few models ago Carenado was including some LITE texture versions but they have stopped doing that. This might be the perfect model to rethink that decision. In the absence of official LITE textures, I suppose an individual could make their own with not much effort. A visit to the proper forum with a plea for help would be a good start for those that think they could use a non-HD edition.
I have searched the few posts to date and it seems to be mixed reviews on FPS hits. They range from not noticeable, like mine, to terrible performance on a couple of evidently low end setups. Only one or two said they were going to have to wait for a more FPS friendly version or until they could upgrade their FSX hardware.
If the Carenado C182T runs on your setup I would expect the SR22 GTSx Turbo to run about the same. Just start with the notion that any G1000 will take more resources to run in FSX than the older round gauges. Add the HD textures that also will require more resources and all you have left are the sliders in FSX. This is all VC, no 2D panels as such, although you can popup and enlarge or move or to a 2nd monitor either or both panels. The FSX Autogen and Water are big resource users along with Traffic and Weather.
My personal opinion is the recommendation by Carenado Support Knowledgebase to turn off your MFD to help improve the FPS is rather lame. To turn off both the PFD and MFD is dumber than dumb. But, that is just my opinion.
The PhotoReal scenery packages are getting a lot of press recently and it should be obvious to most that if you can turn the Autogen all the way down to zero, to far left, you should get an instant boost in performance on rigs that are already strained for performance. The MegaScenery Earth v2.0 website has a detailed preferred setup using their photoreal scenery and they flat state the performance is better using than default scenery yet you have a full state of 50 cm sourced scenery in most cases. This might be worth a test on those legacy systems.
How is the Systems Depth?
The simple answer is not real deep. But, it is relative. How deep are systems in a fixed gear, family airplane? I’m not even sure what the systems are. It has working brakes but not a steerable nose wheel, just like the real one. It has fuel tanks, valves and indicators. Is Oxygen a system? Flight control surfaces?
I do know the animations are fantastic. Try the gull wing doors for a start. All the things you would normally expect to move or operate in a FSX general aviation add on seems to work just fine and looks good doing it.
We don’t have to argue and complain about the 3D knobs and Reality XP integration and such with the G1000 panels. We can instead discuss not being able to build a basic flight plan using the G1000 system. I think that is a travesty but as long as you know the capabilities and limitations prior to purchase then it is your call on whether to purchase or pass.
I don’t understand the logic of not being able to input at least a basic flight plan while sitting on the ramp but I also understand that not everyone uses a flight plan either. We are talking about FSX here, not real world.
What features are included in the G1000? What features are not included?
This is a tough one for me. No where can I find a description of the features of the Carenado G1000 implementation. Or even a basic tutorial and even more basic, How To do something, anything. It is just not there. There are some nice screenshots in one of the pdf files but nothing about what is included or how it works or what it does. Just simply, here it is.
This leaves us with using prior knowledge and other competing G1000 or similar systems for comparison. Rather than repeat what I wrote about the Carenado G1000 system in the C182T review last month, I will give you a link to read the relevant portion if you are interested in the details. We already know the Direct To function has been added, so has the auto link to eliminate the Nav/GPS switch. A full new engine monitoring page has been added. http://www.fsfiles.org/forum/threads/carenado-ct182t-cessna-turbo-skylane-w-g1000-g.2246/
The big addition is the G-700 autopilot with the alpha/numeric Keypad Controller and the Garmin Perspective Autopilot functions. There are also some Comm/Nav functions that are different from the basic G1000 OEM versions. It would be nice to actually be told or shown which of the frequencies are the active and which are the standby.
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How about sharpness, VC textures, and such?
They are sharp, really sharp. The PFD and MFD are very clear as VC gauges and can be popped up and expanded to the ‘Super Sharp or Ultrasharp’ level. The good news is there are some undocumented hot spots or click spots for windowing these panels. This is true for the Keypad Controller unit also. I think this is my most favorite item in this new add on. I really do need an alpha/numeric keypad to operate these panels. Anything less and I will probably pass on that particular add on.
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How about the Airfile (flight dynamics)? How does it handle?
I am an old, high time, real pilot with lots of Cessna, Mooney, and Twin Aero Commander logged time but not a single hour of Cirrus time. I am most comfortable with the speeds, attitudes for takeoffs and landings and such. After a while they all seem to blend together, and that might be more of a failing memory than anything else. I can tell you that I would bet the real Cirrus flies and handles just right or we would be reading a lot more negative articles in the press and magazine reviews. Those 5,000+ Cirrus owners must know something about making the right choice for purchase.
Now how does the Carenado airfile compare to a real Cirrus SR22 GTSx Turbo? The website states they based this model on a real aircraft based nearby. They further state they had real Cirrus SR pilots fly and test and make input or critique the flight model.
Here lies the difficulty in answering the question. Very few, no extremely few, FSX simulator pilots have any real time in real aircraft of the same make, model and condition of the simulated version. And the same is true for the real world pilots that also fly FSX from time to time. Most of the real pilots that I talk to are still using Win XP on a laptop and are flying FS2002 or FS9.
Our best bet, is to find a few, even one or two Cirrus SR22T pilots that are level headed and can use FSX well enough to give us a considered opinion of the Carenado flight model.
Pilot Report from a fellow sim pilot flying a real world SR22T
I contacted Ryan Bauer, a real world Cirrus SR22T pilot and also a FSX enthusiast who was already planning on flying both this coming weekend. I asked if he would make a few comments for the review. Ryan works as a commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor so he knows what to look for in comparing our Carenado SR22T and the one he was flying yesterday.
I spent 1.6 hours in a real SR22T this afternoon, and an hour or so with Carenado's version this evening. Here's what I see:
I'll preface this by saying the real SR22T is one slick machine, easily in the top 5 favorite airframes I've flown. As such I have developed a particular fondness and possibly slight bias to it. It is a faster piston single, because of that you get a firmer feel on the controls when hand flying than you would in say a Warrior/C172. It is nicely balanced in both pitch and roll through all ranges of speed, something that Carenado got close to but not 100% (I'd give them about an 80%).
What they hit pretty much right on is the ballooning that the airplane wants to do when flaps are deployed. At 119 KIAS you have to be ready with some pitch trim and maybe a bit of a power reduction when you drop 50% flaps, and once again at 109 KIAS when/if you choose to drop the rest of the flaps. Cirrus calls for an approach speed of 80 KIAS with full flaps, 85 KIAS with half flaps, and 90 KIAS no flaps and I noticed Carenado's version handles those speeds pretty well.
The real airplane's pitch sensitivity only really shows in the round-out/flare, if you're slightly fast on the numbers going into the round-out she'll tell you right away by trying to climb skyward again which usually results in a bit of porpoising down the runway.
One last note on landing the airplane; when you reduce the power below about 20% or so, that big 'ole prop flattens pitch and turns into a huge speed brake (similar to how a turboprop flattens prop pitch through the beta range), which doesn't appear evident in Carenado's model.
As for the Carenado G1000, I think Jim Rhodes put it best in his post over at Flight1.com forum: there's only so much you can put into an entertainment product while keeping the price point. The only two things I'll mention are the IAS and LVL feature on the GFC700. As I mentioned in our forum, the IAS is a pitch hold mode in the real airplane, not an auto throttle as it is in Carenado's model. Following the recommendation of another user I edited the aircraft.cfg file to read auto throttle = 0, which deactivates the feature all together.
As far as the blue LVL button, it just seems to activate the FD pitch/roll cue instead of activating the autopilot to right the airplane. These aren't make or break items for me because I don't use FSX as a procedures trainer for the actual airplane, it's merely for my enjoyment.
The last thing I'll touch on is performance. I routinely cruise the actual airplane between 8,000 and 12,000 feet as that is usually the most practical for my given flight. The only time we look at the flight levels on this airplane is when the flight is going to be close to the max range of the fuel load or if the winds aloft are especially beneficial to the flight. Otherwise, the time/fuel burn for the climb usually don't justify the higher flight levels.
My typical flight is from Chicago to St. Louis, and I usually go down at 10,000 and return at 11,000. At those altitudes and 30 inches manifold pressure, I usually see 85% power, 180-190 KTAS, and 17.5-18.6 GPH. On this afternoon's instrument currency flight we were at 3,500 feet with an OAT around 0 C , we saw 30 inches MP yield 85% power, 155-160 KIAS, and we burned about 18 GPH. Replicating those conditions in FSX I set 30 inches MP and got 75% power, 14.2 GPH, and 160 KIAS. Mixture for both the real flight and the FSX flight was kept full rich to altitude, then leaned to the target presented on the G1000.
- Ryan Bauer, Commercial Pilot, CFI
My personal considered opinion is it is certainly as good as anything else we can easily compare it with. If one is to get hung up on the ‘feel’ of the elevator, then add a little trim and move on with your flying. This is not rocket science here, this is a $34.95 add on for FSX.
Have we talked about the Looks?
I thought we agreed it was drop dead gorgeous. Well, yes maybe so. But, how about the basic shape, design, colors, and all that kind of stuff? The Carenado models look as good as the Cirrus models appear in their many photos online.
OK, how about performance?
I’m ready to talk about aircraft speeds and such. You know, like cruise tables, altitude and speed tradeoffs, density altitude, oxygen masks - that kind of performance.
For starters, any airplane that can actually carry four people of any size and weight in comfort with fixed gear that will cruise anywhere close to 200 Knots is a high performance airplane in my way of thinking. In my early flying days, the target was 200 MPH, not 200 Knots. When Roy LoPresti smoothed out the spinner and cowl, cleaned up the gear doors and raked the windshield and a few other small tweaks and the Mooney 201 became a reality was a big day. That 201 was for the TAS, not a marketing ploy. But it was MPH not Knots. Of course that was red-lined at full power at sea level, something you would only do with a rental, not you own Mooney.
OK, depending on exactly which year model Cirrus SR22T you pick you will see performance charts that vary fairly widely. Let’s take a look at the one in our hangar today.
Wow, are we getting down to absolute basics or what? Performance tables are two whole pages now. Reference speeds – one page, and that is using the Reader’s Digest Large Print. These are pdfs guys, give us more, please.
It is good thing we have the Turbo model, or the Cruise Tables would only be one Page. Come ‘on Carenado.
Does this one have STP? Yep, no change here.
The Same Two Pilots, STP, that Carenado uses with every model released since these two signed on with them. I keep asking for just some simple updates, like sunglasses, different color shirts, hats, anything to give them a slight change in appearance. No Joy, it keeps falling on deaf ears.
I am using a couple of family members as my SR22T pilots and it works well for me.
Let talk about Cruise Performance
We have a Turbo, we have built in oxygen, we have a virtual credit card for AvGas and we have no monthly or quarterly payments for the airplane and we can assume we have full replacement insurance and a gazillion dollar blanket liability policy. No reason not to cruise at 85% power at altitude. After all we are in that sector and are ‘candidates’ to step up to a Vision Jet.
Engine overhaul is not even in our vocabulary. We would just get another one with the latest paint job if for some reason the engine wasn’t up to par. I suspect this is going to be near full power at any of the upper altitudes.
Let’s pick a random altitude. Say FL250. Seeing as how we don’t have charts for 10 degree temperature changes, let assume the temperature is either standard, or +30 degrees, never the other way. But, just for grins, let’s use FSX default weather and see what shows up on the PFD for performance numbers.
OK, we take her to FL250 and give it full power and see where we can find our % of Power. A hint might to look for big, bold % Power in the upper left of the PFD. We should also check of our fuel flow and our TAS calculation. Remember, we are high rollers and could care less the price of AvGas. $7.83 a gallon, you are kidding, aren’t you. Ouch.
This smart engine control system has the computer chips controlling our RPM. Is that a mixture control lever I see with the red knob? Now we know what they did with all those surplus 386 chips. We need to pay attention to the suggested leaning process.
The technique for the long climb to FL250 with the Turbo conversion is to go full forward with both throttle and mixture and leave them there until you level off. This is very different than climbing with the normally aspirated engine. Once level at your selected altitude, reduce the throttle while watching the fuel flow gauge and adjust for 17.4 – 18.3 for FL250.
I wouldn’t expect anything better than this in a fixed gear 4-place general aviation airplane. It will be the Outside Air Temperature, OAT and Fuel Flow that you will be monitoring to tweak your cruise settings at high altitudes.
All the close to the ground speeds appear to also be what one should expect. Close scrutiny of the included Normal Operations pdf should tell us to use ½ flaps for normal takeoffs, ease the nose up at 70 – 73 knots, use full power for climbs @ 120 Knots. Keep an eye on the fuel flow, using the mixture to keep it in the green arc.
The short field technique is the same, except to initiate a smooth positive rotation at 70 knots and be at 78 knots when clearing the imaginary 50 foot obstacle. Don’t forget to retract the flaps, otherwise it is hard to get to cruise speeds.
I think the 20 knots airspeed in the full power climb table on page 7 may be a typo. I would try 120 knots until the correction is made.
Approaches for normal landings are full flaps at 80 – 85 knots. This must be important as it is printed at the top and repeated at the bottom of page 9. Short field technique is the same as the normal landing except use 77 knots airspeed.
For a balked landing or go around, immediately reduce flaps to 50% and maintain 75 – 80 knots. These speeds will give you a perfect attitude in reference to the horizon with good visibility except for the 45 degree angle view that is blocked by the large pillar. Just lean forward and backwards slightly to watch for traffic prior to your turns.
The checklists are fairly brief, but there is nothing complicated about flying the SR22T. You will of course notice the absence of the blue Propeller lever. Remember, you have 310 horses pulling for you but don’t try to load up all 4 ½ seats and full fuel. You would need an actual approved airplane flight manual to know for sure, but typically, the useful load with full fuel is around 380 – 420 pounds. That works out to be really skinny passengers. Let’s see, I weigh in at 210 pounds, and we have 40 pounds of baggage so that leaves a total of 130 –150 pounds for all 3 or 3 ½ passengers. This is sometimes referred to as cabin payload.
I bet that new additional 200 pound increase in approved gross weight will be welcomed by those choosing the SR22T. Even so, a quick check of the marketing data at Cirrus.com reveals you still have to choose between full fuel and full seats. You can’t have both at the same time.
Where do I find the true Specs of this airplane?
I guess you have to look in several places and dig quite deep. I am yet to find the fuel capacity listed anywhere on the Cirrusaircraft.com site. All the marketing is using economy cruise with really skinny passengers or short hops. Looking at the most likely specs for our 2008 SR22 GTSx Turbo I would be surprised if we could load it up with full fuel, 20 pounds of baggage (one small overnight case), myself at 210 pounds and one standard weight passenger and be within legal weight limits.
Let’s see some calculations. Gross Weight – 3,400 lbs (w/Turbo and A/C)
Useful load – 960 lbs
92 gals fuel – 552 lbs
Pilot - 210 lbs + Front seat passenger 170 lbs
Baggage - 20 lbs
Pilot’s flight case with maps/charts 10 lbs
SORRY: You are now over your legal gross weight by 2 pounds with all rear passenger seats empty.
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How to fly our Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo
The most likely method of having a 2008 SR22 GTSx turbo model is that the turbo was installed according to the STC in Ada, OK by Tornado Alley. They have performed this mod more than a thousand times on SR22 aircraft. The weight penalty is 87 pounds including an Oxygen System and a new composite 3-bladed Hartzell propeller.
There are only advantages for doing these mods as long as you can live with the reduced useful load. If I had a real SR22 and a virtual credit card I would order mine today. The new prop is supposed to be much smoother and works well with the new turbo system. You have to have the O2 if you fly high.
I have a link for an excellent 4 page report on a 2007 SR22 model going through the Turbo upgrade with lot of photos. www.taturbo.com/CirrusPilot1_09.pdf
From a Flying Magazine archived article.
When Cirrus introduced the Turbo it made the unusual decision to go with the same naturally aspirated engine, the IO-550-N, that it had been using in the SR22 since the inception but to have it modified by aftermarket turbo specialist Tornado Alley under an STC. The airplane, the SR22 G3 Turbo, was a big hit, and the Tornado Alley mod seemed a great fit for the '22, providing excellent lean-of-peak fuel flows and remarkable ease of use for pilots. The system is dirt simple to operate. In most instances, you simply push the mixture and power levers full forward on takeoff and leave them there until you level off at your final altitude.
The Tornado Alley engine burns about 35 gallons per hour in the climb, though it climbs very strongly, so the total amount of time spent in climb is relatively low. Once you're at altitude, you simply do what Cirrus owners refer to as "the big pull," reducing the fuel flow to around 17.5 gph, which is the setting at which you cruise, and cruise plenty fast too, at better than 200 knots in the mid-teens and quite a bit faster in the 20s (where I very seldom fly). Engine management in the Tornado Alley engine is that simple.
The engine compression for the 2008 model is 8.5:1 with the Tornado Alley mods. The late model -K engine has slightly lower compression of 7.5:1.
Because we do not have the CAPS or WAPS (Whole Aircraft Parachute System) simulated does not mean that we have to totally avoid simulated emergencies. How about for the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo HD Series we assume the rocket propelled parachute ejection system failed and we have to return to earth using the old but highly effective conventional glide to a landing method.
The glide ratio is a very respectable 9.6:1 at 88 knots. This is for all aircraft weights which is a little different from the Cessnas. You have some engine out flap speeds to remember for your emergency landing. I recommend you trim the aircraft for hands-off at 88 knots very early on. You will be busy selecting your emergency landing spot in a few minutes so try to keep your best glide speed at all times. Altitude is your friend here. You should be able to glide 30 miles from FL250.
There are multiple emergencies for you to entertain yourself and practice. Electrical, Fuel, Propeller, Turbocharger, all kinds of engine temperature and pressure type situations. Smoke and fire drills are always fun.
I once had the spinner fly off while alone in a Cessna 150. The pointy end bent the two braces as it went through the prop with a sickening thud. The vibration was unreal and I shut down the engine immediately and glided to a smooth landing on an Interstate highway. The mechanic removed the remains of the spinner and braces and filed the prop well enough to take off and fly home.
A little detective work revealed the fuel truck left some tell-tale paint marks on the prop when his flapping door smacked into the spinner. It would have been nice if he had just told me that he had an accident rather than me finding out at 3,000 feet in the air. When the FBI threatened a nice long prison term for the fuel boy, the FBO quickly agreed to provide a new prop, spinner and apology.
What do we know about our SR22 GTSx Turbo HD Series add on for FSX?
We know the model is based on a real world Cirrus based in Chile. We know it was originally ordered for a Texas delivery and had an N number registration. We know it had the Tornado Alley mods for the Turbo and most likely the Oxygen system and possibly the composite propeller. We know it is a G3 design with a serial number in the 32xx range so it should have the N model engine and 92 gallons of fuel capacity and not the 81 gallons capacity of the 2007 model.
What we do not know about our SR22 GTSx . . .
We do not know if it has air conditioning. We do not have any Weight and Balance information. Using some assumptions based on what we can see is installed on or in the airplane and what we know or can guess from the previous section we can come up with a fictitious Weight and Balance. Same for the following:
Takeoff and Landing Distance charts.
Details of Cruise Climb and Cruise Leaning.
How to operate the Carenado Perspective G1000.
Late update for supplemental documentation – a grand find
While performing one last Google search for weight and balance information I stumbled across a real gem. This is a 50 page pdf file entitled ‘Pilot’s Checklist – SR22 GTS Turbo – w/ Cirrus Perspective Avionics. This is an excellent quality copy of the Quick Reference Checklist for SR22 Serials 2979 and Subsequent with Perspective Avionics and Turbonormalizing System. You couldn’t describe our FSX add-on any more precisely.
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What about the sound file?
It seems the engine sound file has a repeating click or looping sound. This is irritating but easily fixed and I would expect a new sound pack to be included in the first SP or maybe even a patch. One of our talented fellow flight simmers spend last weekend reworking the faulty original sound file to correct the stutter and looping error and posted a link for downloading. I tried it and works fine and I will use his new sounds until I can test the official replacement. Good job
Let’s wrap this up and go flying
My opinion is this is fine addition to our general aviation hangar that houses the newer breeds of popular aircraft. Sure, the documentation is skimpy at best, but there is literally all you could ever use out there for downloading with some specialized searches. And yes, the Garmin Perspective simulation falls way short of the real one, but, most of that stuff can’t be coded in the present day FSX anyway.
I do think the G1000 should be updated to a level that a basic FSX flight plan could be added during preflight and simple updates could be made while in flight. Until this is accomplished, it will remain limited and considered by most to be an introductory or LITE version.
For those who aren’t concerned about adding flight plans, updating them as you fly, and maybe changing the route or destination during your simulated flight then this is your dream panel.
The big improvement for me is the addition of the G-700 Autopilot with the Controller Keypad unit and integrated Controls. This will be well received by any user that appreciates the speed and accuracy of using a keypad in lieu of twisting, turning, and pushing two knobs to achieve that result.
I think the exterior model, cockpit, panel, animations, displays, and such are outstanding. They are all in High Definition and will therefore require the necessary oomph from your computer’s CPU to move them. Another recommendation is for Carenado to revisit the decision not to include a few LITE textures with the resource hungry all glass models.
I think the paint schemes are outstanding and up to date with what one would see at their local airport. Some additions are already in the Avsim library and others are on the way, including some specialized interior updates.
The sound package is advertised as 3D sound. I’m not sure I know what 3D sound is for sure. It didn’t jump out at me as being that different from previous Carenado sounds but, those with better or more selective hearing should listen for something new.
My biggest disappointment is not having a simulated airframe parachute system simulation included but, I have already beat that dead horse enough. My last parting shot is that Cirrus has never produced a single airplane that did not have the CAPS installed. Not one. They just go together like ham and eggs, burgers and fries, fish and chips.
I did not check each and every switch or knob or verify that the left was on the left and the right on the right and things of that nature. I did spend some time enjoying some VFR flying, some low, some high, some at night. I thoroughly enjoyed all the time in the aircraft. I was looking for what is right and not what may not be right, so I may have totally ignored something you were wanting to know more about. Sorry.
I read a couple of posts where the users were talking about how many FPS they gained by turning off the MFD. I think that is a silly way to fly in FSX. If your PC won’t turn the propeller, I suggest you explore gliders or maybe FS9.
Is this the perfect add-on? No, it’s not - but it is really good. Does it have a few non-perfect items? Yes, and most these will likely be corrected over time, either in a SP2, a patch, or by one of our fellow flight sim pilots.
Last Minute Update
Carenado has issued a small SP1 update, but it is limited to some really minor issues. I installed it but could not see any immediate improvements. I reinstalled the engine sound files mentioned above.
I think some of the real world pilots and some others might want to upgrade their Carenado G3 model to the latest version coming out of Duluth. This would be the G5 with the increase in MTOW from 3400 pounds to 3600 pounds and a spiffy new paint job.
Maybe some of our creative repainters will upload these texture files and someone will suggest the few changes to the aircraft.cfg file to give up an instant upgrade and no additional cost. This would change the MTOW to 3,600 pounds and you could use the first notch of flaps at 150 kts. All the other changes would not be noticed in FSX.
I just read where a couple of users had turned off the topo=1 by replacing that line with topo=0. Some have also disabled the auto throttle to better reflect the real world use of the blue level-me-now button. You never know what little tweak will make your day when flying on the edge. I suggest you check in from time to time with the support forum to read the latest suggestion.
Do I Recommend the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo HD Series for FSX?
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Absolutely, I do. Go get it and enjoy our latest simulation.
You can find it here http://www.carenado.com/CarSite/Portal/index.php
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| Test System |
• Intel i7 2700 OC to 4.5 GHz
• 8GB RAM
• nVidia GTX580 1.5 GB
• Crucial M4 256 GB SSD
• Intel 330 180 GB SSD
• Seagate 3TB HDD
• WD Black 1TB HDD
• WD My Passport 750 GB Ext. USB3
• Windows 7 x64
• FSX Acceleration
Reviewed By: Ray Marshall
www.taturbo.com/CirrusPilot1_09.pdf Excellent story with photos of the Turbo conversion similar to ours.
Full Article in Flying Magazine Apr2012 - http://gregwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/FlyingMagazineCirrusCover.pdf
http://www.flyplatinum.com/aircraft-sales/cirrus-history.php for web posted brief history.
www.aeroresourcesinc.com/store_/images/classifieds/226-1.pdf Mooney 201 speeds
http://www.flyingmag.com/aircrafts/pistons/cirrus-sr22t-tried-true-turbo Flying Mag archive for G3 Turbo data
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDsQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.safety.airshareselite.com%2Fimages%2FSR22_G3_Turbo_Perspective_13728-006.pdf&ei=3M0KUaaIBIiy9gTV34HwCw&usg=AFQjCNEWl42SNZ7MzWo1ziatyhQ7J2GzRQ for the excellent 50 page Pilot’s Checklist for SR22 GTS Turbo.
Thanks to Ryan Bauer for his contribution.
Thanks to Trevor Bair for is black spinner, red and white repaint. Screenshot taken from Avsim forums.
Thanks to Carenado for the SR22 GTSx Turbo HD for FSX add on and for answering my questions.
Coors Silver Bullet photo by George Trussell. Copyright, All rights reserved. Approved for use in this review.
Thanks to Cirrus Aircraft marketing and sales department for use of downloads from their site and answering other questions by phone. Thanks to Jonathan Sweatman, Regional Sales Manager in particular.
Thanks to Flying Magazine for allowing the reprint of the 5 pages of the April 2012 issue and use of the cover image and article image.
Thanks to FSD International for the SF50 Cirrus Vision Jet for FSX. Thanks Tom.
Thanks to Garmin for use of screenshots and descriptions of the Garmin Cirrus Perspective Avionics.
Thanks to Tamarack Aerospace Group for use of photo of SR22 with their Active Winglets.
Thanks to Madcatz/Saitek for providing the external cockpit hardware.
Reviewer’s post script - A sundown orientation flight in a new SR22T at my hometown airport.
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Photos: : L – R, Jonathan Sweatman, Cirrus Pilot, pre-flighting for a night flight back to GA
N925CS at Millionaire FBO in Gulfport MS after our flight
Under the category of “It doesn’t get any better than this”, I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time, writing the right review for the right product. Well, almost.
While verifying some of the facts and figures used in comparing the Carenado flight simulator model to the real world Cirrus SR222T I became acquainted with Jonathan Sweatman, Cirrus Regional Sales Director in Atlanta, Georgia. As luck would have it, I was placed on the list for an upcoming demo flight at my local airport. Do you know how hard it is to watch a movie while waiting for a phone call to be at the airport in 30 minutes for a ride in a new Cirrus SR22T? Quite hard, actually.
The day started in Georgia for Jonathan, with four stops in North Mississippi and a race with daylight to get cleared to land at KGPT Gulfport, and then back to Peachtree before midnight. It was so late in the day the Cirrus lit up the sky on final. I was eagerly waiting at the Millionaire FBO, near the fresh fruit and cookies for about 10 anxious minutes.
When Jonathan taxied up with an empty left seat, I knew the good times were about to roll. And indeed they did. After the briefest of introductions, Hello, I’m Jonathan, Hello, I’m Ray, the emergency checklist started with “the fire extinguisher is located in the console here, you open your door with two fingers like this and as a last resort here is how to deploy the parachute.” Ready to taxi, OK, Ray, you have the plane. Thanks, I have the plane. In a matter a seconds I hear, 5CS you are cleared for intersection takeoff on runway 14, stay within 5 miles under 2,000 feet, VFR. OK, I can do that.
This was the first time I ever touched a Cirrus aircraft. I select Takeoff flaps, make a big sweeping turn onto the large runway aligning that big 3-bladed prop with the centerline I feel the acceleration as I am pressed to my seat and then almost instantly I am easing the nose up as the airspeed tape rolled past 70 knots. I hear Jonathan on the noise-cancelling headphones saying “this is a good climb speed for the turbo” as I settle down at 125 knots. Before, I knew it, I am climbing at 1,300 FPM and about to bust our 2,000 feet clearance, “flaps up” I hear from Jonathan as I start a left turn, boy, what a nice roll rate, feels like a Sports car.
After a couple of clearing turns, we are comfortably zipping up and down the beach between Bay St. Louis and Biloxi making steep turns, talking about how quiet the cabin is, turning on and off the air conditioner and genuinely having fun. I glance at the airspeed tape - almost 170. I could tell this airplane was designed to go; go fast and to go in style.
The Cirrus Perspective SVT, synthetic vision is such a natural evolution and enhances pilot awareness of the terrain immensely. To glance over at the MFD and see the constant video camera readout is something to behold. I felt like I had stepped into the future.
I was able to witness the Perspective ESP in operation. This is the background system that will return the aircraft to level flight should the pilot become incapacitated or do something like overbanking or enter some unusual attitude while hand flying with the autopilot turned off. It is not a gentle nudge as I expected, it is more like a serious slap on the wrist or bump of the stick that says “hey, quit that, we are returning to level flight” as I attempted to roll past a 60 degree bank. I can see where this would make the spouses sleep better when we are out flying in bad weather. This level of safety and flight stability augmentation is rarely found in non-military or non-Airbus type airplanes. Kudos to Cirrus and Garmin.
Whew. Backing up a bit, N925CS has the duty of factory demos and is loaded with all the GTS accessories and the Turbo charged 315 hp engine. With a dark red top with somewhere between a white pearl and silver bottom, it is most impressive with smooth lines and colors. Entry is almost a non-event with the large-opening out-of-the-way, DeLorean back-to-the-future type doors. A conveniently placed small step and a grab handle assist you in getting onto the wing.
My first impression of the interior is that it is snug and comfortable, kind of like a Porsche. The padded double shoulder straps give the impression of seriously safe business. I was amazed at how close to your face the panel and console seems to be – just the way it should be. Those big Garmin Perspective panels are much bigger and brighter than we see in the flight simulator and they also have better resolution. Sharp, sharp.
The console mounted audio panel, autopilot and keypad are even more convenient. I grew up in small Cessnas, so I totally missed the close console and smart design. Heck the C150 tachometer was on the opposite side of the panel for years. The SR22 interior reminds me of the Lexus type design – when you reach for it, it’s there. None of that accidentally changing the temperature when you are trying to change the radio or CD volume.
To say that I was totally impressed is the understatement of the year. How does it compare to the Carenado flight simulator model? Well, it doesn’t compare well at all. One is real and the other is a desktop simulation.
Carenado has most definitely captured the look and layout as they appear to be carbon copies. They both are most enjoyable to fly. The use of the flight stick mounted electric elevator trim button is required for proper handling of the real Cirrus and greatly improves the ‘reality factor’ of flying the simulated model. In the Cirrus I was constantly adding a little more or a touch less trim as we were frequently turning and changing the power settings. I have this same button on my simulator yoke mapped as the hat switch for changing my views. That was not a problem in the Cirrus version, great visibility, except for the ‘A’ pillar.
Can I make any direct comparisons of the flight characteristics of the Carenado and Cirrus airplanes? Not really. I do know that I can now fly the Carenado model in the simulator and instantly recall the sounds, feels, smells and pleasure of my first Cirrus flight. Is this the proper use of the word visceral? Very visceral, very nice.
Thanks Cirrus, thanks Jonathan, thanks Carenado.
Post Script - The Author is a real world pilot with a Commercial Pilot’s license, Airplane Single Engine Land and Sea, Multi-Engine Land, Instrument, and DC-3 type ratings and lives in Biloxi, MS, flies the Microsoft Flight Simulator and writes flight related articles and reviews for online forums.
Photos by Ray Marshall.