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Aircraft Review : SR22 GTSX Turbo HD Series XP11 by Carenado

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CirrusSR22_Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Upgrade Review : SR22 GTSX Turbo HD Series XP11 by Carenado

 

For decades the big three American general aviation manufacturers of Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft have dominated the American light aircraft industry. Their aircraft are very good, but in reality their designs and aircraft construction were born out of the 1950's and early Sixties, and in time they kept to keeping in to what they knew or to what they could sell in high numbers. This blinkered approach made the big three very reluctant to change or even to innovate. Like for Tesla in car manufacturing this then left a huge gap in the GA market for any enterprising designer to try something a little different and even to create a far more modern single-engine four-or-five-seat composite aircraft.

 

This idea has been so highly successful in the fact that since it's first flight in November 2000, the Cirrus SR22 series has been the world's best-selling general aviation (GA) airplane every year since 2003. With 6,149 units delivered from 2001–19 alone, and in combination with the earlier SR20, there is a total of 7,645, SR aircraft produced and quickly making the SR22 among the most-produced aircraft of the 21st century, and is also the single most-produced GA aircraft made from composite materials and accounting for over 30% of the entire piston aircraft market. The big three has suddenly become the big four.

 

Carenado SR22 GTSX Turbo

This is not the first SR22 GTSX Turbo from Carenado. In fact this is an upgraded version of the aircraft that was released four years ago in March 2016, the review is here: Aircraft Review - Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series by Carenado

 

The aircraft itself back in 2016 was very good, but it was lumbered with the internally very poorly Carenado developed Garmin G1000 avionics system. It had many features, but the system was extremely very inefficient that translated into a painfully slow interaction with the avionics, in time Carenado would completely dump the idea when Laminar Research released their built own default Garmin G1000.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_head 1.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_head 3.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_head 4.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_head 2.jpg

 

The original SR22 from Carenado was under the HD (High-Definition) moniker. But this was still back in X-Plane10 and not with the more highly refined current Carenado and X-Plane11 dynamics. Here the SR22 is upgraded and you notice the dynamic differences immediately from the more slightly semi-gloss version back in 2016, detail is far significantly higher as well of what is essentially the same aircraft.

 

It is amazing what faster computers and a more highly refined process can do to the same design, it just also highlights the extraordinary quality of the original modeling and textures.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_head 9.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_head 10.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_head 5.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_head 6.jpg

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But make no mistake it is still exactly the same as the original in every area, It has just all been just better defined.

 

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Lovely wing doors are still well done, and give ample access to the cockpit when open.

 

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It feels far darker and more glossier in the cabin. Carenado cabins are always dark and foreboding anyway and there still isn't much lightness or brightness in here to cheer you up. Again the seating materials are exactly the same, but don't look so much under the newer high-powered gloss treatment.

 

The instruments and panels are all angled and set out around the flying left seat pilot. The right hand seat pilot can fly the aircraft with a yoke and rudder set, but the instrument screen panel and the switchgear would then be all offset to them. Overall the aircraft has minimum switchgear and controls, just provided are the basics you simply require for flying the aircraft and nothing more. That does not mean the aircraft is not well equipped because it is, but unlike the older generations of aircraft then these modern versions have been refined to a higher easier flying level and one of the major attractions to modern pilots.

Yoke or flying handles are unique, in their push/pull and twist actions, but they also clear a lot of space in front of the pilots. Here they are both beautifully rendered.

 

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Biggest change here is obviously the Perspective G1000 (which is now based on default G1000 of X-Plane)...  gone is the slow and clumsy Careando G1000 to be replaced with the usual and now very familiar Laminar version. You also lose a lot of features noted in the earlier review but the speed and efficiency of the new displays more than makes up for that.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Internal 9.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Internal 10.jpg

 

Pop-ups are the standard Laminar G1000 PFD (Primary Flight Display) and MFD (Multi-Functional) display panels in a window format...

 

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...   retained though is the excellent ENG (Engine) mode screen. Note; the engine parameters viewed here is shown to be not running.

Engine parameters covered are "Engine Power%", "Engine RPM", "Man In HG" (Manifold Pressure), "FFlow" (Fuel Flow), "Oil" Pressure and Temp. "Engine Temperatures" are covered in CHT ºF and EGT ºF. Anti-Ice Amount (in GAL) and Oxygen Pressure.

Electrical output section covers both Current (A) and Bus Volts (V). The Fuel section displays "Fuel Qty" (in GAL) for both tanks, and fuel calculation data in "Used" - "Rem" (remaining), "Time Rem" and "Range" on the remaining amount of fuel in both tanks. I found the fuel data really helpful in planning and in flight on managing your range and fuel tank selection. Air data in altitude and OAT (outside Air Temp).

 

Notes include that the COM1 & COM2 are sited on the PFD, but most frequencies are here noted on the MFD, including the same COM1 & COM2 Frequencies, your active GPS/NAV1/NAV2, GS (Ground Speed Knts), DTK (Direction degree), TRK (Track) and ETE (Estimated Time Enroute).

 

Pressing the RED button mid panel will convert both displays to the "Backup" function or "Get Home" situation, in that both displays are exactly the same in showing both PFD tools and MFD Engine parameters.

 

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I have always been a big fan of the design of the centre console. Instead of the MFD knobs being on the actual display they are all set out here for a much more ease of use and access on the centre console.

 

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Three sections cover (top to Bottom) MFD controls, Input keyboard panel and lower the AP (Autopilot) panel. It was always a great setup for creating flightplans with ease...  but on this release the selection knob actually doesn't work, so you can't input anything or even select a saved flightplan? Not very good Carenado...  as it makes the flightplan feature in the MFD totally useless?

 

Lower is first the standard COM Radio and a Bendix/King KR 87 ADF radio, bottom panel is an Oxygen panel and Flap selection in: P - 50% - 100%

 

Directly in front of the pilot are three lower standby dial instruments in "Airspeed", "Artificial Horizon" and "Altitude". All backup dials are very clear and well presented and a clever sited position of clear use.

 

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Main switchgear panel covers the Ice Protection On-Off, MAX or NORM Ice setting, Pitot Heat, Exterior lighting (Nav - Strobe - Land). Three knobs on the far right adjust the panel and interior lighting. First knob adjusts the instrument lighting, then the red cowl lighting and the last right knob covers the overhead spotlights.

 

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Nice big throttle lever dominates the lower console in look and feel. This "Single Lever Throttle Control”  automatically adjusts the propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever on the aircraft. To the right is the red knob "Mixture" lever with "Rich" to "Lean" adjustment.

You can switch to each fuel tank via the switch, but have to press the red "OFF" panels to turn it off. Very nice tank gauges are set out above and are very clear for use. Sets of fuse breakers are on the left inside of the centre console (non-active).

 

Menus

There are three menu tabs on the lower left side of the screen. (A) is the Autopilot panel, but this is a significantly reduced pop-up menu panel from the earlier version, the MFD controls and Input keyboard panel are now missing and in now leaving only the AP part of the panel visible. This is a huge loss because I used this pop-up a lot to programme or input the flightplan (the older extended panel version is shown on the right).

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Menu 1.jpgSR22_Menu XP10.jpg

 

Standard Carenado in the (C) or Views/Volume menu has the standard internal and external views plus three views for the Throttle and Switches and the Avionics, the volume slider is up/down on the side and point of view slider across the top.

Lower tab is the (O) or Options tab that covers Window and instrument reflections, Static elements in mostly just tags and bollards. Pilot, Passenger and left side baggage door of which all doors can be separately opened and closed, both main doors can also be opened by the latches inside. 

 

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Single pilot has again been replaced by the more realistic newer twin pilots, and they will also disappear when you use the static elements.

 

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Flying the SR22

Overall there is the feel that there is not much difference in performance between the earlier and this later X-Plane11 version of the SR22, but Careando have changed the engine dynamics for XP11 and the flight physics have also been updated and optimised for XP11 standards.

The 310 hp (231 kW) Continental IO-550-N piston engine has a lot of power to climb up to the 25,000ft ceiling available. But with a rate of climb of only around 1000fpm (official is 1,250fpm) that is slow for such an altitude, however it is here the Turbo comes into its own and more importantly it is the extra turbo performance boost you need as you go higher. The aircraft's ceiling is 25,000 feet, but it's easy enough to estimate that at an average of close to 1,000 fpm for the entire climb would take between 25 and 30 minutes from sea level to FL 250. So you would never really do that height as you would waste too much performance just getting up there.

 

Top speed in that upper thinner air is impressive at around 215knts but the average speed is usually flown around 12,000ft which is then set around 194knts in the cruise mode. Range is 1,049 nmi (1,207 mi; 1,943 km) with reserves at a setting of 65% power.

 

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Lighting

The SR22's lighting was very nice, it still is to a point with the white overhead lighting,and also still that RED hue that is also available and both are adjustable...  and note the modern feel to the Whiskey Compass.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 6.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 1.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 2.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 7.jpg

 

But the roof rear cabin lights now don't work (they were also + manipulator adjustable), so that earlier lovely light filled cabin feel is now gone and has been replaced with complete darkness?

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 3.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 8.jpg

 

Externally the three LED landing lights have been upgraded and are better, the rest is basic navigation, strobe and rear facing white lighting.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 4.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Lighting 5.jpg

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A few notes on the SR22 XP11 on a flight from the Gold Coast (YBCG) to Brisbane (YBBN). The SR22 has a castor front wheel, so it is not steerable, well sort of. Like we found in the original review in to change direction on the ground you had to have a bit of speed up, or if not then the castoring front wheel will lock. So you are putting on a lot of power to move quickly forward and then quickly reducing the power when pointing in the right direction. It maybe realistic in to trying to match the real world free castor nose, but it is also difficult and not very realistic in the simulator... in the end your turns are more shonky than real. A more halfway approach would have made the turning action a little more realistic.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 6.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 7.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 8.jpg

 

I really like the Cirrus aircraft, it is the right size, the right power to go distances and a very modern aircraft... easy to fly as well. But with this Careando version you are not getting the features and depth it deserves in this upgrade, it is nice, it is easy, but you get the feeling of wanting more and not less which is fact of what you are actually getting for the same money.... dirty as well, notice the amount of carbon coming out of the exhaust.

 

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SR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 11.jpg

 

The bugs keep coming as well...  the pop-up AP menu panel works fine, but the centre console AP panel has areas that don't work, like with the V/S (Vertical Speed) wheel?

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 13.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 12.jpg

 

vFlyteAir's version of the SR20 that X-PlaneReviews reviewed here, is far better in most cases than this SR22 Carenado release, but the SR20 also has not had an update or upgrade since v2.6 and April 2018 but it is X-Plane v11.20 tested and out of it's original X-Plane10 release version.

 

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The famous Cirrus built in safety feature of a parachute called the "Cirrus Airframe Parachute System" in case the engine goes wonky or you forget to switch over the fuel tanks. It is set out on the roof and you can pull off the cover and pull the handle. Unlike the VflyteAir SR20 version were as the parachute does actually physically work...  here you are just sent to the closest airport runway in an instant. The parachute system in real life has been used and deployed 79 times in carrying or saving 163 survivors.

 

Sounds are really quite good and has the highly customised FMOD sound package, consistent and 180º dynamic. But there is an unusual high-pitched noise coming from the centre console (radio?) but in most cases it is hidden via the main engine sounds, but overall I found them all and the range very good.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 16.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 17.jpg

 

Flying into YBBN (Brisbane) RWY14 and you realise the SR22 is a nice general aviation machine to travel around in, simple enough for the budding new pilot, but deep enough for the professional as well. A nice approach speed full flap was around 80 knts with a slow throttle reduction down to 74 knts that allows a slow descent down to the runway...   71 knts is touchdown speed...   stall speed is around 60 kn (69 mph, 110 km/h) flaps down.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 18.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 19.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 20.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Flying 21.jpg

 

You can't run off the speed completely as you need some to keep that front castoring front wheel in vogue, so you tend to leave the runway quite fast, and then even speed down the taxiways and then taking corners as you go. A note the vFlyteAir SR20 is very much the same in the castor, but it will hold a wheel to turn and you can rotate on that to turn the aircraft...  overall it is a requirement for a speedy taxi or moving quickly around on the ground.

 

Librain

The librain rain drop effects are also now active for the SR22, and very good they are too. The plugin is required.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Librain 1.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Librain 2.jpg

 

Liveries

There is one blank and five liveries...  four are exactly the same as the original, but one that was once a flat Grey is the same registration N6693C but is now a lovely chrome metal.

 

SR22_GTSx G1000_Livery_Blank.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Livery_D-ELCD.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Livery_N2452Z.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Livery_N6693C.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Livery_N8872B.jpgSR22_GTSx G1000_Livery_VH-SLR.jpg

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Summary

The Carenado Cirrus SR22 Turbo was released released four years ago in X-Plane10, and this is the upgraded version for X-Plane11. The SR22 is light modern four-seater aircraft that is one of the most popular aircraft in production today, and to a point Cirrus has taken on and even beat the dominating big three general aviation manufacturers of Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft with a far more modern and composite aircraft.

 

In reality this XP11 version of the Carenado SR22 is just a total revision of the earlier aircraft. The basics in the modeling and design are exactly the same, but refined with the newer XP11 dynamics and PBR textures (deeper colours and more gloss) and better sounds. Biggest change is the dumping of the original if highly featured Carenado Garmin G1000 avionics for the Laminar Research default G1000 system, but with the twist of the fully featured ENG (Engine) mode screen. The Carenado Garmin G1000 avionics was in reality a slow, heavy and clumsy package that had more bugs than a beehive, but it was highly featured as noted. The default G1000 by comparison is quite basic, but still light, familiar and easy to use.

 

Release version of Carenado's SR22 is quite buggy and mostly related to the MFD (Multi-Functional Display) interface centre console. A lot of the buttons and switchgear don't work, and the flightplan can't be either accessed or even created?. Worse is with the removal of the same panel of MFD controls and Input keyboard panel are now also missing and in now leaving only the AP part of the panel visible in the menu so there is now no other options of input available. Internal lighting has been ruined as well with now no rear spot lights in the cabin either. The SR22 is also still extremely tricky to turn and taxi on the ground.

 

This new XP11 release feels like a one step forward and two steps backwards from Carenado. Yes the bugs will be fixed up and that will make the aircraft easier to use overall, but a release in this condition with glaringly obvious issues is surprising for this developer, but overall the Cirrus SR22 is a nice aircraft and nice one to fly regularly, and overall this release feels like a version update more than an totally refined upgrade except for the PBR effects.

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Yes! the Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series XP11 by Carenado is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : 

 

SR22 GTSX Turbo HD Series XP11

 

Price is US$34.95

 

Special Features
  • Full interior and exterior PBR.
  • 3D interior and exterior with MANY details.
  • Rain effect support* (dynamic drops movements). *   Requires downloading Librain plugin: Click Here
  • Customized FMOD sounds.
  • Carenado Perspective G1000 (based on default G1000 of X-Plane)
Features
  • Full VR compatible
  • Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11.
  • Flight physics optimized for XP11 standards.
  • Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout.
  • PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries.
  • Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy.

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11 (Fully updated)
Windows, Mac or Linux
4GB VRAM Minimum- 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current and Review version: 1.1 (March 25th 2020)

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Installation and documents: Download is 296.93mg and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 880.30 mg.

Installation key is required on start up and is supplied with the purchased download file.

 

Librain (rain effects) plugin is required, get it here and install in your plugins folder: Click Here

 

Documents supplied are:

  • Carenado Copyright.pdf
  • SR22T Reference.pdf
  • SR22T Performance tables.pdf
  • SR22T Emergency Procedures.pdf
  • SR22T Normal Procedures.pdf
  • Recommended settings XP11.pdf
  • Carenado G1000 SR22T.pdf
  • X-Plane G1000 Manual.pdf

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Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 

30th March 2020

Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews 

  

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)

 

Review System Specifications: 

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 v1.07 : LIbrain rain effects - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

-YBCG - Gold Coast Airport 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free

-YBBN - Brisbane Airport 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free

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