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Return to: Cirrus SR20 pilot report

Aerodynamic shapes with minimal seams are combined with a smooth, low-drag fibreglass surface to allow Cirrus aircraft to reach their higher cruise speeds using a fuel-efficient powerplant, even with fixed gear and one of the widest cabins in its class.

Harpell in the spacious cockpit. TimÕs wife, Barbara, has not been a keen flyer and travels on the airlines as little as possible. However, she feels the CirrusÕs ballistic parachute will provide her considerable peace of mind and the opportunity to gain more experience in the air and hopefully learn to enjoy flying. She notes it is easier for her to fly in a private aircraft than in an airliner.

Two large cockpit doors actuated by gas strut cylinders protect against wind loads and make opening and closing seem effortless. The latching system assures a tight fit, minimizing wind noise and moisture seepage.

Between the front seats is the innovative, single-lever combined throttle/propeller control. The SR20Õs base avionics package (Version 2.0) includes a Garmin stack (GNS 430 IFR GPS/NAV/COM, GNC 250XL GPS/COM back-up VFR GPS, transponder and audio panel) and an S-TEC single-axis autopilot topped off with the big, beautiful Avidyne FlightMax EX3000C multi-function display (moving map, engine monitoring, flight plan and checklist data).

The handsome lines of the Cirrus are obvious in this ramp view. ItÕs no surprise the aircraft is Ōtop of the pops.Ķ

The Harpell family was considering the purchase of a high-performance Lancair ES kit aircraft but decided against it when they realized they had little spare time for construction.

Tim and son Eric flew down to the Cirrus factory and during the demonstration flight the weather unexpectedly closed in on Duluth. Although Tim is a VFR pilot who typically rented a Cessna 172RG, he had no trouble shooting a fully coupled autopilot approach in the Cirrus. He was sold!

The Cirrus wing is a blend of several high performance airfoils that are effective at high-speed cruise, while offering exceptional stall characteristics.

But at high angles of attack, two distinct leading edges create an aerodynamic stall fence that serves as an airflow barrier, preventing the stalled inboard portion of the wing from affecting the outboard portion still producing lift. High wing loading provides a smooth ride in turbulence.

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Return to: Cirrus SR20 pilot report