The iconic Cirrus SR22 G3 GTSx
This time not the word “Introduction” of another X-Plane 11 add-on. No, this time it’s time for a new challenge. This time a comprehensive review if the Carenado SR22 GTSx G3 GA aircraft. Carenado isn’t the only developer who modeled or released the Cirrus SR20/SR22 aircraft. A while ago vFlyteAir released the SR20 which is as far as I can check on the vFlyteAir website updated to work with 11.10+, but not sure if the model works till and including 11.41 and if the model is ready for 11.50. What I do know is that the model is at version 2.6.
Carenado had back in 2016 already the SR22 GTSx but this was a X-Plane 10 only model. Then, and honestly I’ve got no idea when it will be released and how it looks like, you have the TorqueSim under development SR22 GTS and SR22TN G3 GTS. Before I forget it, the current Carenado SR22 GTSx model which is dedicated modeled for X-Plane 11 is at version 1.2.
Ok, so far what’s on the market.
It’s time to check out this Carenado model and see how it flies, but first some background of the Cirrus SR22 GA aircraft.
Cirrus SR22 Models
The world’s first choice of general aviation aircraft
Lets first start with some real Cirrus SR22 background information. Found at the dedicated Wikipedia webpage; “The Cirrus SR22 is a single-engine four- or five-seat composite aircraft built from 2001 by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota.”
“It is a development of the Cirrus SR20, with a larger wing, higher fuel capacity, and a more powerful, 310-horsepower (231 kW) engine. The 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, and in combination with the SR20, a total of 7,645, it is among the most-produced ;aircraft of the 21st century, and is the single most-produced GA aircraft made from composite material, accounting for over 30% of the entire piston aircraft market. The Cirrus SR22 is equipped with a whole-plane emergency recovery parachute system: the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). This has contributed to its market success and has given it the name “the plane with the parachute”. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Checked at the official Cirrus Aircraft website “The GTS is truly the SR22 flagship. Combine all the packages for even greater value: Cirrus Executive, Cirrus Awareness, Cirrus Advantage, Certified Flight into Known Ice, Carbon/Platinum/Rhodium Appearance and authentic GTS badging. GTS is the luxury, technology and performance standard by which all other aircraft are measured.” What these other Cirrus option packs mean, please check that out at the dedicated SR22 web page.
At the Plane&Pilot website I found the following information if the Cirrus SR22 GTS is the Perfect Plane?
According to Plane&Pilot “Some aircraft change the game. Looking back, designs like the Cessna 172, the Beechcraft Bonanza, Piper Cub, Mooney M20 and a handful of others have changed the way aviators—and outsiders—perceive general aviation. These aircraft led GA in a new direction the minute they were introduced. Since 1994, when a nascent company named “Cirrus Design” unveiled a revolutionary airplane called the SR20, that list has grown to include the SR22 and SR22T. These aircraft have turned GA on its side.”
“That’s not to say everybody has embraced the Cirrus design aesthetic. Any fair review of an aircraft like the newest SR22T has to include both sides of the like/dislike argument. What’s interesting is that this Cirrus has sparked so passionate a reaction. The company’s dogged pursuit of innovation in safety is equal only to its revolutionary advances in design, construction and performance, and it’s these advances that have fueled the passionate arguments.”
When you want to read the whole article, check it out at their dedicated web page.
All Other Stuff
But first … manuals and liveries
On this introduction flight I take you on a cross country flight somewhere in Florida. Actually it didn’t or doesn’t make much difference where I fly. The idea is to get a good idea how the Carenado GTSx flies, how it feels and how it is modeled. One thing you and I need to know are the included manuals. The SR22 GTSx folder comes with a sub folder named DOCUMENTATION. Besides a couple of standard Acrobat files, it offers a file that explains the recommended X-Plane rendering settings however, it’s a bit up to your own PC or Mac what the right settings are. That said, it depends on your hardware what’s possible and what’s not.
The SR22 GTSx comes with the default X-Plane G1000 equipment and therefore, some limited information about these DU (Display Units) can be found in the Carenado G1000 SR22 manual, but more in-depth can be read in the X-Plane G1000 Manual. This manual is the official Laminar Research document.
The GTSx X-Plane model comes with five liveries and in the aircraft Objects folder you can find a white livery. It’s not the official paint-kit, but I may assume you can use this white livery to paint your own liveries.
A couple of words about the included liveries.
It looks like that in the current SR22 GTSx package the liveries are the same as the ones from the X-Plane 10 model, perhaps modified to work with X-Plane 11, and their naming is different and it also looks like that the colours are slightly adjusted. I’m not sure about this, but I can imagine that when you have an old X-Plane 10 livery and rename it to what is is now in X-Plane 11, you can use this livery too. Just to be sure; I checked with Carenado and they confirmed that old liveries from the X-Plane 10 model can be used with this X-Plane 11 aircraft.
Last but not least, you can download via the link at the GTSx web page the Librian plugin for the rin drops effect. Since I’m on an iMac and thus using macOS we and others know that we can’t test this option. Reason is that on macOS the FPS either drop way too much or the sim holds and crashes. It’s already several times said to the developer, but still no luck so that will not be included in this review.
Garmin G1000 and Flight Planning
Real PFD/MFD versus Laminar Research G1000
Even before starting with the review, I checked at the Internet for some real flight videos that tells me how to handle the SR22 with the PFD/MFD installed. I’m not directly aware of others, but there are some differences in DU presentation and possibilities. The following is not related to Carenado, let me make that clear, since they use the Laminar Research G1000 equipment and are in that way stuck to what Laminar Research modeled.
I haven’t checked every tiny difference, but a couple can be easily found for instance; the PFD in the real SR22 GTSx G3 Turbo could be equipped with a vision system. This needs to have a separate camera down under the fuselage. It projects behind the PFD the actual external forward view. This isn’t implemented yet, perhaps it will be at a later time and not all SR22 GTSx have it. The real MFD offers an interactive checklist. I think it’s interactive when I see the YouTube videos. You do and check something and click a button to “tick” the checklist item and continue. Further on, the Laminar Research MAP isn’t so detailed as in the real SR22. Never thought about this or never noticed, please check out the following SR22 GTSx G3 video.
In respect to the interactive checklist and the EVS (real vision imaginary presented behind the PFD) which are part of the real SR22 GTSx; since Carenado uses the default installed Laminar Research G1000, these features aren’t implemented.
Creating / loading a Flight Plan?
None of the provided G1000 or X1000 manuals offer a tutorial how to create a flight plan with the onboard PFD/MFD nor that it doesn’t explain how to load an external and saved fms flight plan in the G1000/X1000 equipment. That there isn’t a tutorial doesn’t mean that there’s nothing about loading a FMS plan. It’s in the Laminar Research manual, but you need to seek and move forward and aft to find all the steps you need.
So, actually you’ve got everything in your cockpit to practice, however, you could also decide to create a flight plan with a separate program and load that into your G1000 or X1000. Perhaps that’s an idea?
Yeah, that’s a good idea. Let’s go for it and see what the possibilities are. For example, lets fly from KEYW (Key West International Airport) to KDAB (Daytona Beach International Airport). To create your flight plan you can seek for many options. I’ll discuss those that are offline available so you need to install a program on your PC or Mac and online flight plan programs.
A good offline program is Goodway 5, but that’s not freeware. Another good offline freeware program is Little NavMap and that’s freeware. I can tell you that when I don’t use online website program SkyVector, I use Little NavMap.
Anyway, besides the already highlighted SkyVector you can also use Online Flight Planner and not to forget SimBrief.Com. But what do you need or what else is needed to create the necessary fms file which is needed to work with the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo G3?
For offline programs like Little NavMap you don’t need anything else except the installer to install the program on your PC or Mac. You can create a flight plan and save it in fms X-Plane 11 format. When it comes to online programs, it’s not all that easy. Using SimBrief.Com you need to create first a free account, but the good part is that the online website offers direct savings to fms X-Plane format. Online Flight Planner does the same, so you can save it directly to the fms format, but this isn’t the case with SkyVector.
SkyVector is a great online website, first you need to create a free account, but it can’t save your flight plan in fms format. Not really a problem but for that you need to save the created flight plan and load it into X-PlaneTools.Com. With this program you’re able to save your SkyVector flight plan into fms format.
The following screenshots show you some steps needed to save my flight plan (KEYW-KDAB) in SkyVector, load it into X-PlaneTools.Com and save the fms file like KEYW-KDAB.fms into the X-Plane Output/FMS Plans.
I would like to add the following to the above and that’s adding a SID or TRANSITION/STAR to your flight plan. You can do this via the onboard Laminar Research G1000, but you can also decide to go for Little NavMap and add a SID and TRANSITION and STAR with this offline program, right? On the other hand, I can imagine that in real you don’t have ready-to-go flight plans available. In other words, you can also decide to enter manually a complete flight plan in the onboard G1000. Why not .. as real as it gets, right?
The Actual Flight
I’ve loaded the previous discussed flight plan from KEYW to KDAB. After I’ve done all the necessary preparations it’s time to taxi, but hold on, first this. Since this Carenado model doesn’t come with an interactive checklist as is with the real SR22 GTSx G3 the case, I have an suggestion. I found a clist.txt specifically made for the Carenado SR22 GTSx file which can be used in combination with the freeware add-on Xchecklist. It’s the clist which was made for the GTSx X-Plane 10 model, but I’m quite sure it can be used with the X-Plane 11 model too.
In case you find this also handy, download the Xchecklist add-on plugin via this link. And here’s the link to the clist.txt file which has to be placed in the Carenado SR22 GTSx root folder. Copy and paste the Xchecklist package in the Resources/plugins folder and you’re done. This doesn’t mean that Carenado hasn’t included a kind of checklist. In the Documentation folder you find the Normal Procedures Acrobat file. Only difference with the clist file described above is that the provided Carenado file is a static file and the clist is also an interactive one.
Back to the parking position I have – gate 4 – and the stuff I have to do. With plugin Xchecklist and the dedicated clist file it’s a lot easier to do the necessary steps and above all, you learn how to handle the aircraft and you don’t forget anything. After I’m ready with all the steps, it’s time to taxi.
It’s also difficult to say if the modeled SR22 taxi behavior is close to the real aircraft. I have checked several YouTube movies and compare them with how this model taxies, but then it’s still difficult to judge. The SR22 feels very sensitive on the nose wheel so small corrections must be made to prevent over steering to the left or right.
Further on, it also feels that the nose gear strut is very sensitive. I’ve got the idea that when you keep your taxi speed low, everything goes normal, but when the taxi speed becomes too high, hold on ….. what is too high? The SR22 starts producing a wobbling effect during the taxi, it feels like becoming seasick. Just to be sure, I tested its taxi behavior with different X-Plane configurations (a clean XP install and one with lots of add-ons and plugins). There’s nothing wrong with this although I don’t know if it’s a real SR22 behavior, but just that you are aware of it.
The environmental conditions I’m at are “real weather” and because of this, I need to takeoff from runway 27 (see the Key West airport ground map below). Due to this, I first climb out following a runway heading and once stabilised at 2000 feet, I make a right-hand turn and connect the AP. That said, lining up with 27, preparing for takeoff, but before that I need to perform some final checks and then, off I go.
It’s not difficult to keep the SR22 on the middle line although the P-factor effect is clearly noticeable. Once in the air, it’s an easy aircraft to fly. As a side note; the Cirrus SR22 has found its place found as a easy to fly and great PPL (Private Pilot License) and IR (Instrument Rating) training aircraft. Anyway, how real these flight characteristics are versus the real Cirrus SR22 GTSx G3, I’ve got no idea. The SR22 may come with an advanced AP (Auto Pilot), but flying the aircraft by hand isn’t difficult either.
Trimming goes well, a little too sensitive in my humble opinion, and since you have every necessary information directly in front of you, it’s not difficult to control the aircraft during the climb to 2000 feet. And as we all know, the sensitivity can be adjusted within X-Plane, but there’s no additional manual that tells you what the best sensitivities are. I also want to check in flight the different options on the PFD and MFD and thus I need to connect the AP. Even without reading this manual section, no no, you should/must read the Carenado G1000 SR22T manual before you start with the flight. The AP Control Panel or actually is called GFC 700 and officially it is know as Garmin GFC 700 Automatic Flight Control System, is an easy to use device. On the GFC 700 (select it via the “A” icon on your screen) you select the Y/D (Yaw Damper) and FD (Flight Director) pushbuttons first.
Next, but that’s just my opinion, you click once the HDG knob. This aligns the HDG bug with the current heading you’re flying. By the way, you can do this also before you start with the takeoff run. Anyway, whenever I clicked the HDG knob to align it with the current heading, I select the HDG button on the GFC 700, followed by the AP button.
Which AP modes are active, that is something that can be seen on top mid section of the PFD. It’s clearly written in green what is active. Next we need to select the pitch channel. Clicking the ALT knob isn’t a good idea during climb since this action will lead to an immediately LEVEL OFF of the pitch. A better option is to select the V/S button on the GFC 700 and with the thumbwheel I select a vertical speed I want.
This selected V/S can be seen in cyan at the top of the ALT vertical tape. On my iMac with an Apple Magic Mouse I find it almost impossible to control or to set a certain V/S on the floating GFC 700 while doing the same on the build in GFC 700 in the mid console, I’ve got no problem with this but I wanted to highlight this. Not sure if this is an Apple Magic Mouse issue or applicable to all X-Plane versions (macOS, Windows and Linux).
Suppose you prefer to navigate by using VOR or VORTAC beacons/frequencies, you enter that VOR or VORTAC frequency via the MFD left-hand upper part. I noticed another issue here, but again I’m not sure if this is typical an “Apple Magic Mouse” issue or a general issue. When I want to enter a NAV1 frequency, you can do this via the MFD popup or via the build in MFD, but what when you want to add already a NAV2 frequency. Then it was for me not possible to do it with the popup MFD. Below the NAV button is written “PUSH 1-2” which is intended for switching between NAV1 and NAV2, logical isn’t it?
But on the popup MFD on my iMac I couldn’t push the NAV button however, I can push the NAV button on the build in MFD. Since the G1000 is created by Laminar Research I’m yet not sure if this is a Carenado problem or a Laminar Research issue. For now, as long as you know!
Just in case you lost track … when you decide to do it via the GFC 700, you first click the NAV button on the upper section of the control unit before using the FMS/XPDR COM/NAV knob/button. In other words, this knob in the top middle section can be used for 4 different systems; COM, NAV, XPDR or FMS. Remember that when you have the NAV mode active, the PFD will show in green at the annunciator section of the PFD GPS.
As you hopefully understand, this is indeed different then when changing a frequency on the MFD since this NAV knob/button is only for NAV frequencies and nothing else. Ok, when done, don’t forget to select on the PFD the CDI (Course Deviation Indicator) to VOR1 or VOR2. When you want to see the DME too, click on the PFD the PFD soft key, followed by the BRG1 (VOR1) or BRG2 (VOR2) soft key.
Suppose you don’t want to use any VOR or VORTAC beacon at all, but just using the FMS, then the CDI soft key on the PFD must be in the GPS mode and of course on the GFC 700 you need to select the NAV button. You can imagine how many options are possible and then I haven’t even discussed the ADF (Automatic Direction Finder) mode.
Since and I are using a flight plan, I can also enter, when you want to try things out, a new waypoint or fix. I can also decide to use the DIRECT TO option to a waypoint, but when you to this, remember that every waypoint before the selected DIRECT TO waypoint is deleted. The MFD may look complex and fancy, basically you can handle it as the old fashioned Garmin GNS430/530, but then, even I, must admit that the modeled G1000 offers much more then the other Garmin navigation units. I call it always G1000 but actually, the modeled Laminar Research G1000 or known as X1000 since, I suppose, G1000 is a trade mark name from Garmin.
While approaching my intended flight level of FL080, I click the ALT button on the GFC 700 and the aircraft levels off nicely at the altitude at the moment you pressed the ALT button. Although not mentioned yet, I find the modeled AP doing its work very well, perhaps I should write, almost as in reality or what you may expect from Garmin. Being leveled off at FL080 I reduce the throttle a little bit or decide to click the IAS button on the AP control unit. In case you’ve got your doubts about the ALT leveling off. Of course you can also preselect your first assigned altitude, then set a certain V/S and when approaching the selected ALT, the SR22 will level off at that altitude. The selected ALT can be set on the pedestal mounted Control Unit.
Since the aircraft is now following the flight plan, and my virtual companion, who that may be, is monitoring everything inside and outside, I have some more time to play around with the soft keys on the PFD, MFD and the pedestal mounted Control Unit. Just a small reminder to you and it sounds so logic, but several times I got this wrong, and it felt I was mislead; when you click on the PFD the soft-key CDI, don’t think you can click with your mouse on the “text” CDI. No, you need to click on the button below this text. Yes, I know, it sounds so logic, but a mistake is easily made.
Anyway, with a connected AP and no worries with beacons or whatsoever, you’ll quickly understand how to see all the pages on the PFD and MFD although I have also a comment …. I still find it necessary that Carenado offers a tutorial of a typical flight, and then in particular how the enter a complete flight plan and how to normally use the G1000. The Laminar Research G1000 handbook is OK, but it’s not a tutorial handbook although I have to admit that it has a tutorial flight in it. This starts at page 98, but according to what I read “This tutorial covers an automated VNAV descent via a STAR, with an RNAV(GPS) approach.” This means it’s not a flight tutorial starting with cockpit preparations, the flight phases and so on.
After I’ve checked, as far as possible, all the possibilities on the PFD and MFD, I think it’s time to disconnect the AP and fly the SR22 by hand while trying to follow the flight plan. Following the flight plan is not looking to the MFD FP red line, but looking and following the FD (Flight Director) V-bar. It’s so much easier to follow the FD and see if PITCH or ROLL input is needed then thinking that you could follow the FP line on the MFD. That said, trimming the aircraft and following the movements of the FD is easy and before you know it, you’re a skilled manual flying pilot.
While the AP is doing a great job, I’ve got some time to study a bit on my approach at Daytona Beach International Airport. Although the airport carries an International name, it does have two departures namely LAMMA SEVEN and ROYES SEVEN, but I couldn’t find any STARs or TRANSITIONS. That’s for me not really a problem, but I’m a bit surprised about this. Anyway, I can if I want tune for KDAB ATIS 132.875 (Air Traffic Information System) or I can just say … I go for runway 28R or 07L. Since I want to see something during my approach from the Floridian landscape, I decide to go for 07L.
Runway 07L does have an ILS (I-DAB 109.70) and approach altitude is 1600 feet from waypoint TIGAE on a course of 070. Find below the ILS chart plus the airport diagram and a screenshot from Little Navmap. In other words, our flight plan ends somewhere where I don’t want it. Either I append additional waypoints to my flight plan or I switch to the HDG mode. Normally you and I would be able to add via the G1000 STARs but as previously mentioned, I couldn’t find any STARs at SkyVector.
OK, what to do and how to make a succesfull ILS landing. It’s not difficult at all. As previously mentioned, a VOR, TACAN or ILS frequency is set on the MFD. Depending on the frequency value, the PFD rose knows if this is a VOR or ILS frequency. Assume you set 109.70 which is the ILS frequency for KDAB runway 07L, the rose needle show LOC1 (2) while when you set a VOR/TCAN frequency, it will show accordingly VOR 1(2). You can set on the MFD either for NAV 1 or NAV 2 the ILS frequency. But when you decide to enter KDAB 07L ILS in NAV2, please don’t forget to set the CDI to LOC2 else when you had selected APPR (approach mode) which is LOC and GS, nothing will happen. Just to remind one other thing; during the flight we used the flight plan to navigate and therefore the PFD CDI was set to FMS, but I’m sure you’re aware of that. If not, no problem but don’t forget this.
Ok, back a couple of steps. To have a successful ILS 07L landing, you need to enter the ILS frequency as previously described, and select on the PFD CDI to LOC2 when you have tuned NAV2 for the ILS else NAV1 versus CDI set to LOC1. Next, when the SR22 is in a position of being able to intercept the LOC beam, you press on the GFC 700 the APR button.
On the PFD you should see now an armed white LOC and G/S. It turns green when the ILS is intercepted or actually I should write that LOC turns green and a bit later the G/S signal becomes active. The aircraft will start to descent and the G/S becomes green too.
In case you think what the heck is Angelique van Campen doing during the first three screenshots. Your personal reporter Angelique is doing a couple of tests, beginning with several steep turns. A steep turn is a turn that involves a bank of more than 30 degrees. This means the angle created by the axis running along both wings and the horizon is more than 30 degrees. and while doing this practice, it also needed to try to keep at the same altitude. I can tell you out of real experience – not with the Cirrus but with a C152 and C172 – that this is very difficult. Therefore the three first screenshots above.
Then Angelique did a couple of slow flight tests with and without flaps. She didn’t make any screenshots but the tests where succesful. A slow flight is fun to do, but you need to high alert. According to Wikipedia “Slow flight is a portion of an airplane’s& performance envelope above the speed at which the plane will stall, but below the aircraft’s endurance speed. This part of the performance chart is also known as “the back side of the power curve” because when flying in this area, more power is required to fly at a speed lower than the minimum drag speed and still maintain straight and level flight. A large angle of attack is required in order to maintain the altitude of the aircraft.”
“At such low speeds, aircraft flight control surfaces begin to lose their effectiveness.& Ailerons, in particular, are susceptible. The rudder remains the most efficient flight surface and the adverse effect of yaw which alters bank angle is useful for altering the direction of the aircraft without the need for aileron inputs. If the ailerons are used excessively it is probable that one wing will stall (due to the increased angle of attack of the wing with the downward aileron) and send the aircraft into a spin. In modern aircraft, flight envelope protection in the aircraft flight control system prevents a pilot from controlling their aircraft into doing this.”
Anyway, that was the theoretical part, but how about the practical Cirrus SR22 part? I was happy how the aircraft replied and it was indeed as I can remember from my PPL days. The aircraft responds less on aileron and rudder with high angle of attacks and slow speeds.
Did I see and tested everything or did I perhaps forgotten something? Oh, for sure that I’ve forgotten things since there’s so much to see and to explore. Although the following doesn’t has to do much with my flight experience, it is worth to tell you. While flying out from Key West, I selected the PFD and MFD popup GDU’s and enlarged them a bit and together with the macOS “SideCar” option (macOS Catalina) and my iPad Pro, I was even able to move the PFD or ND to the iPad after I undocked it. If know, it hasn’t much to do with the SR22, but worth to highlight for those who own an iMac too.
The Key West – Daytona Beach IFR flight was fun. It did a lot of tests, found a couple of perhaps Apple Magic Mouse related issues, but overall I was happy. Together with the Orbx TrueEarth Florida scenery, it makes such a flight complete! One last item unless I’m wrong in this. Just before landing at KDAB I took over manual control of the aircraft, but didn’t touch the AP panel nor the AP disconnect button. I was surprised that even though I manually flew the Cirrus, the AP didn’t disconnect. I had thought that the AP would disconnect when you control via the joystick the aircraft yourself.
3D Modeled SR22 GTSx Turbo G3
How’s the 3D model?
No doubt about the exact replica of the original aircraft. When zoomed in on specific aircraft parts, I’m impressed with certain decals like the stainless steel ID place underneath the left hand fixed stabilizer. Also, the propeller manufacture decal is nicely readable and more of these tiny details, but it’s also fair to say that some decals or just text on the wing or fuselage, aren’t sharp at all, irrespective of how you check them out.
Let me give you a small example of what I mean …. at the fuselage nose section, you’ll find on both sides “SR22 and Cirrus Aircraft” which are both not really sharp. I know from other GA aircraft developers that this could be better. This is also applicable for the red text on each pilot/passenger door, just underneath the glass pane and for the button with the text PUSH TO OPEN. Very difficult to read!
But it’s also fair to highlight that other decals on the aircraft are razor like for example the OPEN FUEL CAP identification or a NO STEP plate just in front of the wing leading edges. Besides these good and less sharp decals I’m happy so far with the overall 3D SR22 modeling.
You can open/close several animated doors via the “C”, “O” and “A” icons on the left hand side of the X-Plane screen. Although I’ve mentioned and highlighted this before, when you’re new to Carenado and Alabeo aircraft, I think it’s a good idea to quickly highlight these C, O and A once more. And before I forget it; using your middle mouse wheel you can dim the icons to get them out of view.
The “C”, “O” and “A” icons
This paragraph won’t be difficult so here we go. The “A” is from Auto Pilot, the “C” from Cameras and volume and finally, the “O” from Options. The original 3D Auto Pilot control panel can be found at the pedestal. Nothing wrong with that, but having a 2D AP popup window is great since it’s easy to control the aircraft while in 3D cockpit view. A small note to this is that when using the 2D AP panel popup, I faced on my iMac with my Magic Mouse issues that it’s hard to control the V/S with the wheel while when I do the same on the build in AP panel, I have no problems.
The “C” from Cameras and volume popup window allows you to change the FOV (Field Of View), the sound volume and several internal and external previews.
The “O” for the Options popup window allows users with less powerful computers to remove the window- and instrument reflections which do cost frame rates. As said before, the SR22 Turbo is modeled with several animated doors and yes, The model comes with the following animated doors:
- L baggage door
– Pilot door
– Passenger doors
Further on, the can change on the fly the livery and if needed, refill the oxygen bottle.
In addition to these popup screens I would like to highlight that you’re not able to, which was in the past possible, to resize the popup screens. It’s also important to highlight that you can close a popup screen by clicking the “A”, “C”, or “O” icon, or, only applicable for the “C” popup screen, the “X” in the RH upper corner. The Options screen doesn’t have this “X” possibility neither the 2D AP panel popup. One last item regarding the O, C and A icons. When scrolling your mouse-wheel in “a” direction it will let the icons disappear, and scrolling the other way, they appear again. A note for macOS users; I find it almost impossible to get the icons back when they are gone. I can do what I want with my Magic Mouse, but the icons come up and disappear immediately.
Ok, back to the 3D modeling.
With the passenger and pilot doors opened, I have a nice look into the 3D modeled cockpit and I must admit that this gives me a “Wow” effect. The black/grey leather seats are gorgeous although I don’t smell the leather … just joking! The mid console (pedestal) construction goes smoothly over into the forward pedestal which is perfectly integrated with the main instrument panel.
One small issue, ok more a personal issue; I find the panel and console a bit too glossy. If the real panel and console are covered with leather is something I don’t know, but if so, then the panels I just highlighted are too glossy.
The used panel structure is realistic as well as the included panels in the mid console. The text, wherever applicable on the pedestal (aft. mid and forward) is sharp and easy to read. I’m pleased to see how the sidewall and covers on each door is modeled. The textures at these locations is absolutely without doubt realistic. I haven’t put any electrical power on the aircraft yet, but that will change in a minute. One more time a thorough look to the Cirrus Perspective Garmin cockpit and then of course the DU’s.
Some words about the Cirrus sound. I can look into the dedicated Carenado Sound folder to see if default or real recorded sound is used, but that won’t help me. Therefore I contacted Carenado to double check if the modelled SR22 is having real recorded Cirrus SR22 sound files. On behalf of Carenado, Fernando confirmed that the Cirrus SR22 package comes with real recorded Cirrus SR22 GTSx sound.
The Carenado Perspective Garmin Cockpit
This time not the Cirrus Perspective cockpit, but the one created/modeled by Carenado. When you switch on BAT 1 (and not BAT 2), only the PFD is powered. The MFD is powered the moment you switch ON the AVIONICS switch. Although the PFD is completely powered up, the MFD has to be activated by selecting the ENT button on the MFD, the lower right-hand button on the MFD frame. By the way, when you look closely to the MFD image before you click the ENT button, you’ll notice that the checklist file is identified as CT182T. According to Carenado this is just an PNG file, I may assume that the actual checklist in use is updated for the Cirrus SR22T. We’ll see that later.
By the way, I advise you to read the provided Laminar Research G1000 manual or even better, print it. Since there’s no other instrument left in the Cirrus Perspective cockpit besides the ordinary analog IAS, altimeter and horizon, you must understand and know how to operate and understand the DU’s or better to read the GDU (Graphical Display Unit).
Each DU can produce a popup window by clicking on the upper frame section of the DU where Garmin is printed. Before I forget it, the popup DU is functional in both the 2D and 3D cockpit. When you’ve chosen a PFD or MFD popup window, and you find it difficult to read because it’s all too small, you can resize these DUs from every corner of the G1000 DUs.
In case you’re looking for this, you won’t find any DU brightness control although the popup DUs are significantly brighter then the in-situ DUs. According to Carenado I was informed that “the G1000 displays have not been programmed with dimmers”. The “A” icon which I discussed before was or is intended for the Auto Pilot control panel although in this case it must be said that it’s for the Garmin GFC 700 control which is the AP panel and for the control unit which allows you to control the different pages on the MFD.
The GFC 700 is an easy to handle AP control panel, but when you want to read more about it, you can always check out this Garmin link that covers the GFC 700 AFM for the Cessna NAV III. The panel may look different, but the operation and control are basically the same.
Back to the MFD control unit.
As I already stated in the previous paragraph besides the MFD softkeys, the control unit is used to select different pages on the MFD in the sections MAP, WPT, AUX, FPL and NRST (nearest). Personally I had hoped that Carenado had included a small tutorial on how to interact with the control unit and the MFD pages. It took me some additional time to figure how to go through the pages and how to get them via the control unit. I had hoped that the MFD was equipped with, as is applicable in the real SR22, a interactive checklist, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it.
Once you get the idea how to handle the PFD and MFD buttons, knobs and so on, it’s easy to use and impressive too although it’s modeled by Laminar Research and not modeled by Carenado. Besides impressive, the overall quality of the PFD and MFD are of an extreme high texturing. I briefly explained it before, but want to go a little deeper into this issue. The Carenado G1000 manual and then in particular the section related to the MFD, isn’t always showing you what is presented at the G1000 MFD. This means that some MFD pages or the way a page looks like, could be slightly different then the one you find in the aircraft.
And what about FPS?
Although this review is more or less finished, how about the FPS (Frames Per Second) and yes, I also know that it depends on additional add-ons that have been installed too unless I check the aircraft without anything install so no plugins, no airports, no nothing.
And, as of this writing mid April 2020, I could also test the Carenado SR22 with X-Plane 11.50b6 and see what happens with the frame rates. I can tell you that I tested the Carenado SR22 GTSx Turbo with X-Plane 11.41r1 and X-Plane 11.50b6 on macOS Catalina and the frame rates increase with 11.50b4 was impressive, of course, with Metal ticked in the Rendering settings. Besides that, I had installed in X-plane 11.50b6 the following add-on packages:
– Orbx Key West International Airport (KEYW)
– Orbx TrueEarth US Florida HD
– NAPS Naval Air Station Boca Chica Field (KNQX)
– Libraries needed for NAPS KNQX
– Orbx Library needed for KEYW
– Alpilot.net Mesh installed
Sliders in the X-Plane window “Rendering Settings” set as follows and that brought me to almost a doubling of my FPS versus X-Plane 11.41r1. I didn’t believe this in first instance, so I did several tests and yes, the FPS are with X-plane 11.50b6 almost twice as with 11.41r1.
So I can say to you … no problem, high frame rates, ranging from 30 to 50, but this isn’t the case with 11.41r1. With the same Rendering Settings I didn’t make 25 FPS which was logic to me keeping in mind the high settings. The only problem is, as usual, what is acceptable and what isn’t. Some are already happy with 30 FPS, others with 25 and some say that their frame rates must be 40 else they notice stutters. Anyway, tested both with 11.41r1 and 11.50b6 and in particular with 11.50b6 the FPS where very promising.
The screenshots below are taken with X-Plane 11.50b6 (during one of my flight with the following conditions and rendering options and aircraft and situations.
– 50.0 SM visibility, Cirrus and Few Clouds default X-Plane Clouds 11.50b6
– X-Plane running full screen mode 2560×1440 pixels
– macOS Catalina 10.15.4
With such a long and hopefully in-depth review, I must conclude that the SR22 Turbo was a nice model. Wha is a pity is that a flight tutorial is missing, but this is not from now, this is already for a while an issue. Good informative manuals are half the product, at least, that’s my personal opinino! Although the Laminar Research G1000 manual offers all the insides of what can be done with the PFD and MFD since they developed the G1000. Did I cover every corner of this modeled Cirrus aircraft or …? I’m quite sure that I’ve forgotten things. One thing I know that this review is most likely baed on the latest updated version namely 1.2.
The overall quality, as you may expect from Carenado, of the 3D SR22 Turbo modeling of the aircraft body itself and the 3D cockpit/cabin are of a high level. The same can be said of the G1000 PFD and MFD as well as the belonging AP and control unit for the MFD. Even the popup displays look very nice. The only thing I couldn’t find and can confirm that it isn’t modeled are the rheostats to adjust the fixed mounted PFD/MFD. Just to make this clear; the modeled G1000 DUs are modeled by Laminar Research and not by Carenado.
And then, at the end of this impression I suddenly think … oh my goodness, the life saving Cirrus SR Series parachute I’ve completely forgotten to explain this feature and to give it a try and to see finally the result.
Ok (better late then never), I follow the instruction on the ceiling plate of which one of them is placing the engine mixer in CUTOFF, pull the cover that reveals the red handle. But then a separate WARNING popup window comes in view and tells you and me the following “The red emergency handle activates the aircraft ballistic deployment emergency parachute. If you pull it, the flight simulator experience will be terminated and will reset.” The last sentence means that you’ll never see the parachute and after a couple of seconds you’re back on the ground and thus the simulator flight experience you had before in flight has been terminated.
The following 3 screenshots shows you the steps to activate the parachute and, once the handle is pulled, the automatic return to the ground and thus the termination of the flight.
I reviewed and tested the Carenado SR22 GTSx G3 Turbo for X-Plane 11 version package 1.2 with X-Plane 11.41r1 and X-Plane 11.50b6 and yes, I’m aware that testing an aircraft or scenery with a beta version of X-Plane isn’t a good idea, but it must be said that the aircraft works without any issues. Most important item of course is when you test it with 11.50 even though it’s still in beta, and Metal or Vulkan can be selected, that frame rates could be/will be higher. How much higher depends on your hardware I assume.
Angelique van Campen
|Add-on:||Payware Carenado Cirrus SR22 GTx G3|
|Publisher | Developer:||X-Plane.Org | Carenado|
|Description:||Realistic rendition of the Cirrus SR22 GTx G3|
|Software Source / Size:||Download / Approximately 397MB (unzipped)|
|Reviewed by:||Angelique van Campen|
|Published:||May 1st 2020|
|Hardware specifications:||- iMac Pro|
|- Intel 3GHz Intel Xeon W / 4.5Ghz|
|- Radeon Pro Vega 64 16368 MB|
|- 64 GB 2666 MHz DDR4|
|- 1 internal 1TB SSD (Catalina 10.15.x)|
|- Saitek Pro Flight System X-52 Pro and X-56 Rhino|
|Software specifications:||- Catalina (10.15.x)|
|- X-Plane 11.41r1|
|- X-Plane 11.50b6|