I know there seems to be much interest in both planes and not many Cirrus owners have had the chance ‘to fly’ the 300. I met with them yesterday morning and thought I would post my reaction to ‘their comparison’. For the record, I’ll ‘know better’ after I fly a 22. Here is Barbara’s email to me and my reply below. This will also give you an idea where Lance feels superior (there is more but she didn’t post) as well:
Thank you so much for the opportunity to demonstrate our Lancair Columbia 300. You did a great job in a fairly complex airplane! ( Better landing than Mark!!) I would love to get your comments when you have a moment.
Here are some items I wanted to jot down for you as you take the time to next demo the SR22:
- The Columbia is controllable ( ailerons included) in all corners of the flight envelope in the stall, including uncoordinated flight. The Cirrus could not meet even normal spin recovery requirements. That is why they must have a current (10) year CAPS on board in order to fly the airplane legally. Which one would you rather be in on a tight turn to final approach?
Our doors are clearly superior easier to operate, we are more stable as an IFR Country Platform in Turbulence. Our Columbia is dual spar which can withstand design limits loads in the utility category.
Columbia has a lower stall speed than the SR22, our flap speed is 25kts higher, 130 vs 104kts for the first notch. Much better manners in the pattern.
Redundancy in that the airplane can be flown/landed using the trim.
The Cirrus nose gear is designed to displace along its column so on a rough field , the gear tends to “stick” and resist the airplane, likely to cause damage. The Columbia, as we mentioned during our demo displaces up vertically when it hits a bump.
As you also found out today The Columbia Power Level is 2700 rpm, our engine is capable of 350HP but we limit to 310.
Our structural integrity, fit and finish of leather and accessories are far superior as you mentioned it is the Mercedes of the high performance category in every way!!
I look forward to hearing your comments good and not so good, they are important to me and to Lancair. I want you to test fly the airplane again after you finish your SR22 demonstration. I will be happy to block off a couple of hours for you!!
Lancair Mid Atlantic/Lancair Southeast LLC
office 757-877-4977 cell 757-344-4597 fax
A couple of negatives to an otherwise terrific plane:
- the seat as ‘upright’ is reclined too far . I have minor arthritis in my back and felt it tightening because I had to sit up unsupported and ‘reach for the stick’. If I had moved my seat closer, my legs would have been too cramped.
- The visibliity was much less than the Cirrus but probably because of more support structure across the top.
- The center beam that holds the reading lights is an unwelcome structure and seems to reduce the size of the interior…when I looked over at Mark, it seems I had to lower my head. I can’t imagine anyone taller than me being comfortable in the pilot seat. It ‘seems’ the front cockpit is smaller than the Cirrus and although beautifully appointed, not nearly as comfortable to me.
- Besides having to ‘reach’ for the stick, the movement seemed heavy to me and I had to ‘work it’. I also felt to be comfortable with the stick you had to hit the trim after every move. Others have complained about this as well on the Lancair pilot’s site. I now know what they mean.
- The absense of BRS it still an issue for me. When I was 4, mom said it was difficult for me to give up my ‘security blanket’. At 43, I still have this problem!
But, the planes features, interior appointments/decor and structure seem superior to the Cirrus and it was incredibly smooth and vibration free. I could tell I was flying what seemed to be a stronger plane than my cirrus sr20. I am wondering if the 22 is going to ‘feel stronger’ than the 20 because of the increased weight. AS far as overall ‘sex appeal’, it is a toss up.
I appreciate your offer to return after I test fly the 22…We’ll book a few hours so I can go over the machine in more detail.