We flew down to Boca from Richmond, Va. on Wed., attended ‘the show’ all day Thurs. and returned Friday for a family function today. Here are some highlights:
- ‘The Avidyne MFD’ was installed in the 20’s fuselage inside the building. It is now officially an option…the graphics seem to be as vivd as HDTV!
- Cirrus is working on a ‘bench seat’ for the rear of the 22 for us famlilies with 3 small children.
- Couldn’t get any firm answers regarding a/c and de-ice.
- Got the feeling those of us waiting for the 100lb. increase might be waiting alot longer…Cirrus said “this was more difficult then they first envisioned”.
- Even though the new planes are at the 3000 lbs., they are still ‘selling’ the 20 with a usefull load at 950!. Obviously admitting they can’t build the 20 at 1950 as ‘promised and advertised’. (To me, I always believed that this was very deceitful on their part)
- After returning from a plop in the ‘eclipse’ fuselage, Cirrus said, “by the time they really roll out production, we’ll have 'the jet too!”. They are looking at both the ‘turbo prop’ and a ‘single engine turbine’!
- Got a bunch of ‘blank faces’ when I asked, "hey guys , where are you on Vac Pumps and HSI’s? No good answers here accept that Cirrus replaced an entire engine on a plane which had 8 vac failures. I got 4 more to go!
- Met Martin with Century at their booth…I asked him what’s up with their product in the Cirri? Said he didn’t know there was a problem and he ‘manages’ the Cirrus account! He was very apologetic and promised his attention next week. Told him I’d call since I am headed in for my third HSI. Naturally he thought it had to be an install issue…we’ll see.
For this rookie, the show itself was fantastic. the technology available in the near future is greater than anyone could envision.
However, there must have been 20 companies ‘offering weather’. Be very, very careful who you hook up with because most won’t last. ARNAV thought ‘GlobalStar’ would be available in the 1st quarter.
The best comment of all came from my wife, Michelle, after circling the ‘plane parking lot’ a couple of times…Boy Don, when you look at all the other planes in the class with the Cirrus…it isn’t even close! Fortunately, we amiccably agree on most things (which makes for a happy marriage) and I am especially happy with her experience for obvious reasons the best of which is I’ll have more company on future flights for sure.
I also purhchased a transponder ‘radar detedtor’ and for the life of me can not remember the name sitting here this morning…but I was most inpressed with it ‘doing what I expected’ which it to say…beep me when there is traffic… It supposedly goes off with planes within 5 miles and the LED increases as it gets closer…the vertical limits are 1500 above and below. I’ll keep you posted with the future results and get back with the name. However, it ISN’T the TPAS that everyone is returning.
The most frightening part of the trip was the call I didn’t get from ATC with flight following… I exclaimed 'Holy ____" did you see that? While at level 5500 with a 45 degree heading, A plane (which we were looking for from the detector) shot DIRECTLY over top of me with an estimated 270. I called ATC and asked "what was that above me!..he said A Dash8 at 6000 enroute to Charlotte…He said it was no factor! My little radar detecter was burning bright! These guys warn me with traffic 7 miles at 3500! But, on my rooftop wasn’t an issue.