Yesterday, I went for a fly in a 2007 Cirrus SR20 (G-CIRI) from Turweston and around Gloucestershire area. The November skies were somewhat quiet with Turweston’s 122.180 being the only frequency with anyone speaking on it. We flew up to around 3400 feet and felt the very strong headwind (varying between 36 kts and 41 kts) before climbing further and at least getting rid of the bumpiness.
After hitting 4500 feet, we were the only aircraft for miles and could continue our battle against the wind, glad we were not in something slower as we would be consigned to a pretty slow speed.
On the way back towards Turweston, we managed to hit 202 kts GS on the descent thanks to the wind, or over 230 mph for those who don’t speak in nautical miles.
Cirr(i ?) are Marmite machines, some love them, some hate them, I would quite definitely shove myself down the end of loving them. The sidesticks, for example, free up so much space in both of the front seats, making them really quite comfortable, although I found myself having to be a bit cautious to not let my right knee stray into the area required by the sidestick when turning to the left. One thing that I really do like about the Cirrus, however, is the parachute. I’d never like to use it, but as a gliding Cirrus will fly about as well as a brick, the parachute is certainly a nice contingency plan if anything did decide to go wrong. I’d say that the parachute system is, however, one of the greatest innovations in General Aviation, and it would be suggested that I’m not the only believer of this as many a manufacturer includes these systems on their aircraft today.
For £50,000 more than a similarly aged Cirrus to G-CIRI, one can buy a Mclaren 720S, one of the fastest supercars on sale at the moment. So, perhaps, if you want a bargain on a 200 mph machine, get down your local Cirrus dealer and buy yourself a set of composite wings and save your money on a vehicle which will only hit 70 mph before the police say anything. And before you want to think about telling me that it is more expensive to keep the plane, remember the plane can seat 4, whereas the car can only seat 2, therefore, save yourself £300,000 or so on the two and buy a Cirrus!
After completing the Cirrusing element of my day, as a family we also went to Mercedes’ Fireworks at Magdalen College School in Brackley which were a lovely occasion and saw quite a few fireworks light up the Northamptonshire sky. The same wind that plagued flying for many also played around with the fireworks, and so, I have some weird smoke patterns on quite a few of my photos as the smoke was moving along at a fair rate of knots!