A Cirrus SR22TN Turbonormalized aircraft has better altitude utility than the normally aspirated SR22. The turbocharged Cirrus can access flight levels from 10K to 17.5K almost twice as fast as the normally aspirated Cirrus, and once there, the turbo delivers better performance than the normally aspirated engine.
With piston engines, time in climb affects a pilot’s choice of altitude. Normally aspirated planes breed a lower routine range of cruise altitudes best suited for the engine, and not so much weather considerations.
Reason 9 – Better Altitude Utility (10,000 – 17,500)
- Better Access to Tailwinds
- Better Climb Performance
- Better Headwind Performance
Better Access to Tailwinds
If you want a tailwind advantage, why start at a 25 knot disadvantage with the normally aspirated engine? In a no wind example, the turbo at 17,500 feet with about 75% power is 25 knots faster than the normally aspirated Cirrus.
Ground speeds of more than 200 knots, with 75% power, are not unusual in the turbocharged Cirrus, in flight levels (10K – 17.5).
Quicker access to higher altitudes makes it easier to benefit from tailwinds and faster ground speeds.
Better Climb Performance
The turbo is almost twice as fast in climbs past 10K. For details, see Reasons 4 & 6 – Turbocharged Cirrus.
Better Headwind Performance
With a turbocharged Cirrus you can benefit from better headwind performance. For details, see Reason 8 – Turbocharged Cirrus.
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