"The things I have heard of (and would appreciate some feedback on) are:
- Possible flutter.
- Training occurs in your own plane during the engine break in period and may cause premature engine wear, oil consumption, etc.
- Flap clutches that need replacement or adjustment.
- Ice protection cuts speed and may cause corrosion.
- Cheap tow bar that slips and damages nose wheel fairing.
- Torque on some part of the nose wheel needs constant adjustment.
- Airframe life limited to 4350 hours, Cirrus plans extension, what happens if their plans fall through.
- Avidyne Datalink Weather was supposed to be available in September, now delayed until Q1 2003, why and how much will it cost to retrofit?"
I have about 185 hours on SR22 serial number 144.
Here is my experience regarding your list:
(1) I have not experienced what I would consider a vibration problem. The noise level in flight is substantial and I use Bose Aviation X headsets with great results. I have no feeling of vibration.
(2) I have not experienced flutter. I have read the posts regarding flutter and have not seen anything like that in my aircraft.
(3) This is largely a matter of speculation. It has been observed that the aircraft that are most likely to make it to TBO are those of flight schools. There is also the indication in the Continental Motors Tips On Engine Care along the line of “Don’t baby your engine”. Finally, there is no doubt that training is necessary in this aircraft. I suppose if you could arrange another aircraft to train in that training could be done in that aircraft. I don’t see Cirrus providing you another aircraft to train in.
(4) I have had no problem with flap clutches. As far as I can tell, they are not an unusually frequent maintenance item. They certainly have in some instances required maintenance. Flap relays are another matter. Be sure you get spare flap relays and detailed instructions and an invoice documenting that that relays came from Cirrus should you have a failure away from a Cirrus Service Center.
(5) Ice protection: I don’t think there are many of us out there that would turn down ice protection on our aircraft. You are fortunate to have that option. The speed loss, if any, is minimal. Corrosion, I don’t know, except that most of the wing is composite which should not corrode.
(6) Cheap tow bar: I have never had any problem with the supplied tow bar. You can only pull. You can’t push with the tow bar. Use both hands in attaching to the nosewheel pins. You can get adaptors to extend the pins if you desire.
If you want a better tow bar, contact AeroTow. They make tugs which each have a nosewheel adaptor. They also make a handle that fits the nosewheel adaptor. These two items will serve as a more secure tow bar and also provide the hardware that you will need should you decide to get the tug. The most commonly used tug with the SR22 is the E-200, a 24 volt model that now includes a 3 amp. built in charger. I previously posted photographs of an addition of a ground power socket and ground power cable that can plug into the E-200. I have attached one of those photographs to this post. When I bought my E-200 it was supplied with a commercial 10 amp. 24 volt automatic charger. This is really the minimum size for powering the SR22 on the ground. It is possible you can order it that way from AeroTow. The standard E-200 now has only a 3 amp. built in charger that has no meter. Both the meter and the 10 amp. size are needed for powering the aircraft on the ground.
(7) Torque on some part of the nosewheel: Some have reported nosewheel shimmey. I think many of these may be the result of a too high touchdown speed on the nosewheel. When you start training in the SR22 work very carefully in proper approach speed, leveling barely above the runway, touching the mains at the lowest speed possible and holding off the nose until no more elevator authority is left. I have required no adjustment in 185 hours.
(8) Airframe life: This is largely a regulatory issue. I am not sure what might cause “plans to fall through”. See prior posts for more detail on this.
(9) Avidyne Datalink: I have a deposit for installation of this in my aircraft. I just got an email from the Avionics Manager at the Service Center doing the work that it appears that Cirrus is working on the antenna. I also have a client that is employed at the vendor that makes the antenna for Cirrus and they are working on this new unit. The existing com antenna will be replaced with a new com antenna that also will receive the satellite signal. None of this should concern you provided you are not taking delivery before first quarter 2003. Some others with more information about the factory situation will know more of when they will be in production aircraft. The retrofit cost is going to be very similar to the new installed price. There may also be issues relative to Avidyne, its data carrier, the Avidyne weather computer center, etc. I don’t think with a system as complex as this is that the delay is unreasonable or unexplained. I also believe the September date is an Avidyne date not a Cirrus date. There is always conflict between the marketing folks and the actual hardware, systems, etc. folks that make it work.
I don’t know of any other issues. I just got the settings put in to make the Garmins dim automatically at night. This will eliminate the manual setting on each night flight. I plan to get the resistor installed in the lamp line of the Davtron to bring it’s brightness in line with the other panel instruments. A reasonably priced 2 3/4" backkup horizon would be nice.
In summary, of the 9 points you mention, only 1, the date on the Avidyne Datalink really concerns me. By the time yours comes down the line at DLH I am sure it will have the Avidyne Datalink, and probably the glass primary instruments, assuming you have ordered that. FADEC is another story.