What is a perfect day for a driver in January? Clear skies, calm winds and temperatures just far enough above basement to allow for both a painless ride and stellar engine performance.
We had all of that for the demo flight we did in the new 2022 Cirrus SR G6 this week, so we did what any pilot would clearly do.
We clocked the plane for lunch.
Destination: Hummingbird Café
In my quest to score all worthy airport restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic region, I still hadn’t arrived at the Hummingbird Café at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (KCBE) in western Maryland, even though I landed in the field several times. the last two decades.
With a 3D preview of the aerial view, approach and traffic in the area on ForeFlight, we made a plan to do our test flight on the way and our photo work on the airport’s wide user-friendly ramp. once we were fed enough.
The Hummingbird is tucked away behind the main terminal and the FBO building, but the unicom folks will give you progressives so you can find their ramp. It was nearly full by the time we arrived, with a group of retired airline pilots having flown in their various Mooney and Piper mounts ahead of us.
Our own herd said the Black-and-Blue burger, taco salad, and curried butternut squash soup were worth the trip. We skipped the Crazy Cooter burger – you can find out what it is for yourself. Also: they offer take-out cakes, and the red velvet one perched on the counter cake stand called my name…
Beat the book?
The book won’t show the difference in performance charts, but after our test flight, I can confirm this: you can feel the change in drag reduction offered by Cirrus’ 2022 SR G6 model both within a few knots on the speed band. as well as under your fingertips when flying the new aircraft.
How is it so? Cirrus continued drag reduction with the aim of optimizing the G6 for this year – and the team targeting two main areas: the FIKI panels on the wing leading edges and the horizontal stab to protect these regions during the flight into known icing, and the underside of the wheel pants.
You have to pay attention to your visit to find the changes, but they are affirmative.
The result? No changes to the main text of the POH in the Performance section, but instead look at the aircraft supplements for FIKI installation and other components. You just won’t get the same drag penalty for installing ice protection on the SR22T – and we saw about 2 knots better at real speed during our test flight.— an average of 181 ktas at 8,500 feet msl.
The gasket is a little rough when you run your hand over it, but that translates to something quite smooth.
The wheel pants also don’t look much different at first glance. Indeed, fine tuning involved reducing the spaces under the pants around the tires, thus reducing the volume of air that would be drawn in during flight. You have to place your smartphone on the ground and take a picture to get a real sense of the change or run your hand along the opening.
Our climb into the well below ISA conditions (minus 8C/17F passing through 3,500 feet) recorded 112% power and a rate of climb that hovered between 1,800 and 2,400 fpm. So, there’s a good thing about the cold.
More of that handy preflight
Small things also make a difference in another update. It sounds like a simple thing, but earlier models of the SR22T G6 had a more conventional luggage door with a retaining strap and lock that required the rider to physically turn the key to open it for loading.
Now the door is part of the remote lock/unlock system and remains unlocked when the main cabin doors are unlocked. A gas strut protrudes 90 degrees and holds the door open in the breeze, simplifying that part of the flight before and after the flight.
And yes, there’s a super cool step light that helps you see where you’re stepping in low-light or nighttime operations.
What about this color?
Amid the world’s collective stomach ache over the global supply chain, Cirrus found some bright spots, according to Ivy McIver, SR Series Program Manager, who came to demo the new model for us.
I hope I won’t bother them both by sharing this, but Garmin’s Perspective+ and other avionics components have been released from Cirrus’ manufacturing facilities in Duluth, Minnesota at a steady pace over the past two years, now lines running.
And while some interior pieces – the fabrics, in particular – hit a snag, Sherwin-Williams stuck to the overall exterior paint schedule. In fact, the aircraft skin supplier worked extensively with Cirrus’ design department to come up with a wide palette of colors, which go well beyond the ubiquitous Corsa Red and Cobalt Blue that you see Cirri draped over railings at across the country.
One of these key colors for 2022 is Himalayan salt. Unless you’re a foodie, the name might not resonate – and if you see photos of the plane, you might think it’s just pink.
Well… it may be in some light. But when we looked at it against a snowy background, its depth allowed it to change from salmon to a rich charcoal gray, providing a variable view from multiple angles.
McIver said Cirrus not only expanded paint options, but also opened up mixed choices of exterior and interior colors, fabrics and other details so 2022 models (serial number 8500 and up) reflect their owners. . more specifically individual tastes.
And it makes sense to let these happy owners run free. Overall – and the all-inclusive Arrival package we stole is priced at $1,222,900 – the 2022 models sweeten the deal.