I picked up SR22 N1970 SN #063 on July 23 and just reached the 50 hour mark. I thought it would be appropriate to share my observations, likes, dislikes and squaks with those of you who are still waiting and to see if other SR22 pilots share any of these views.
First my overall observation is that the plane is fantastic. I really love it. It flies beautifully and meets book numbers easily. On two round trips between Chicago and Atlanta the average flight time (runway to runway) for each of the 4 segemnts was 3+07 at an average groundspeed of 168 kts and average fuel consumption of 15 GPH. These trips were all made at altitudues of between 8000-11000 and at about 65-70% power. Winds aloft were generally light. TAS for the flights were in the 175 KIAS range.
Rate of climb from Chicago at 80F and just me in the airplane is over 1800 fpm at 100 KIAS. The fullest I’ve had the plane was 60 lbs under gross and then the rate of climb was about 1500 FPM initially. I can do a cruise climb at 120-130 kts and still get 1000 fpm. The plane is comfortable and the ride in turbulence is pretty good - better than most singles and not as smooth as many twins. Since changing the oil at 31 hours I’ve added one quart after 16 hours. I’m using Exxon Elite.
What do I really like? First the performance as noted above. Secondly the control harmony. It really is a responsive plane. Next the stability. If you get it trimmed (see what I don’t like below) it tracks straight and true. The visibility from the cockpit is excellent. Finally, the panel is superb. I love the Sandel and, yes, I really like the ARNAV. The avionics give the pilot a level of situational awareness that I wouldn’t have believed possible just a few years ago. I also like the stormscope data being superimposed on the ARNAV screen so I can see where the weather is in relation both to my route and aviation fixes along the way. This makes planning deviations much easier. In fact I really prefer the Stormscope/ARNAV/Sandel view to my old weather radar. The avionics are so capable and versatile that I’m still deciding how to configure them for various stages of flight.
What don’t I like. First, in spite of what I just said, the ARNAV. While I think it does what it’s supposed to do very well, I am concerned that it takes up lots of space and doesn’t do nearly as much as other MFDs. Unless ARNAV catches up we may be stuck with a device that can’t easily be upgraded.
The trim is also on my dislike list. It really is very sinsitive in pitch and roll. I’ve finally gotten the hang of it but a slower response would make trimming much easier. Conversely the rudder trim is absolutely lethargic and a speed up would be very welcome.
I think the airplane really should have engine/fuel monitoring as standard. Of course this is something that can be added and mine is on order. I decided to go with the ARNAV for several reasons but again I hope that I don’t end up with equipment that is “orphaned” down the road.
Another dislike is the doors. I find them hard to close once my seat is positioned for flight. My wife simply can’t close hers and I’ve been closing her side from the outside before I get in. I think a pull bar on the inside of the door would be helpful if there is a structural way this could be added.
The sun visors are between awful and worthless. I’m also concerned that in an accident they could injure the pilot/co-pilot’s forehead.
The battery has to be checked monthly and this seems to require removing the upper cowl. This is a major deal and really requires two people. I suspect the reason a sealed battery couldn’t be used as BAT 1 deals with FAA certification for all electric airplanes, but checking the fluid level is really a pain.
Another dislike is the method required to check and inflate the tires. Marty Kent gave me the idea of using a ruler to see check the distance from the ground to the wheel pant and calibrate that against pressure. That’s very helpful. Getting to the inflation plug is a real pain.
Squaks since pickup have included an inoperative autopilot, an inoperative CHT gauge, the overhead lights falling from the headliner, and the “can” with the parachute control coming loose from the headliner. The autopilot was repaired by S-Tec and now perfoms flawlessly. The other squaks are currently being repaired by my Cirrus Service Center.
Support from Cirrus has been superb.
Overall am I pleased with the purchase? You bet I am. In the past I’ve been a partial owner of a Mooney, a Cherokee 6, a Bonanza, a Baron, a Cessna 414 and a Duke. The SR22 is clearly the best “bang for the buck” of the bunch and it allows me both to take long trips efficiently but it’s inexpensive enough to operate so if I just feel like going up for an hour to enjoy the scenery I can do it without feeling guilty about the cost. It’s the best of both the travelling and sport aviation worlds.
If you already own yours you’ll know what I mean, If you’re still waiting you’ve got a real treat on the way.