What improvements went into the Generation 5 SR22? The big highlight is an increase in useful load. “Cirrus found a way to increase the gross weight of the airplane by 200 pounds, to 3,600 pounds.”
Load up: “The standard equipped non turbo, non-FIKI, non-A/C is the best case example, as its the lightest SR22 that Cirrus offers. With that model, you get a useful load of 1,340 pounds and full-fuel payload of 788 pounds, which means you can take four 190-pound occupants, 25 pounds of bags and full fuel – 92 gallons” off the runway and go.
“For the more commonly ordered SR22s, with turbocharging, A/C and approved de-ice package, its still a big win. You can fly three 180-pound occupants and full fuel, or load enough 100LL for a three-hour flight with reserves and fly with four 180-pounders. There are no other four-seaters in production that we know of that come close to these numbers.”
Weighty Matters: Smart engineering delivered another wing up on the competition. They beefed up the spar. The landing gear had already been strengthened to handle higher weight. A larger all new parachute with dual redundant electronic ignition was added. Chute diameter increased to 65 feet up from the original 55 feet. The extraction rocket had to be bigger because the parachute was heavier. All of these items added weight. So, engineers countered with other changes.
They improved manufacturing processes to eliminate an unspecified amount of weight and used new interior materials to cut some weight. The structure of the rear seats changed to eliminate 10 pounds. They also dropped eight pounds of tail ballast which had been added on a previous model to retain more tolerant CG scenarios with front-seat only loading. They took off some weight with the oleo strut.
A stronger spar structure and flap hinge attachments changed two critical airspeeds. Max flap extension for the first-notch improved from 119 to 150 knots. And, second-notch of flaps increased from 104 to 110 knots but also gained an added 3.5 degrees of extension to retain low landing speeds.
In 2014, Cirrus introduced a new performance braking system by Beringer Aero which became the G5 standard. And, the system is now available for all Cirrus Aircraft. The new braking system is up to 5+ pounds lighter in weight, features tubeless tires and sealed wheel bearings for greater reliability and new wheel fairings with easy access doors.
The Garmin GFC 700 autopilot became standard. An ADS-B transponder is standard. Remarkably accurate integrated fuel sender units couple with Crew Alert System (CAS) messages anticipating any coming fuel imbalances. At 8 gallons you get an alert; 10 gallons a caution; 12 gallons and beyond it’s a master warning. The fifth seat which Cirrus calls 60/40 flex seating is also standard.
The seats are more comfortable. “The soundproofing and fit and finish are better than ever too.” Robert Goyer says, “Even though the SR22 feels very familiar to me – I fly an SR22 G3 model regularly – there was something about the G5 that was more solid than any SR22 I’d previously flown. The G5 is by far the best-landing SR22 ever. And it is the best-flying SR22 by a long shot.”
Robert Goyer, Generation 5 Cirrus SR22, Why the latest SR22 is the best yet, Flying Magazine, May 2013, p42.
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