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Review: Carenado - SR22 GTSx Turbo

SR22 GTSx Turbo

Publisher: Carenado

Review Author:
Robin Tannahill

Suggested Price:


This is a review of the Carenado SR22 GTSx for X-Plane 11. Theversion, as reviewed, is v1.1 (and later v1.2).


The following is a direct quote from Wikipedia, giving somebackground to the real life aircraft:

The Cirrus SR22 is a single-engine four or five seat compositeaircraft 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 generalaviation (GA) airplane every year since 2003. With 6,149 unitsdelivered from 2001-19, and in combination with the SR20, a total of7,645, it is among the most-produced aircraft of the 21st century, andis 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 emergencyrecovery parachute system: the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System(CAPS). This has contributed to its market success and has given itthe name "the plane with the parachute".

Cirrus introduced the SR22 Turbo in 2006, with a Tornado Alleyturbonormalizing upgrade kit that is factory installed under aSupplemental Type Certificate. It included twin turbonormalizers andtwin intercoolers. The conversion includes built-in oxygen and aHartzell three-blade (later four-blade as optional) lightweightcomposite propeller. The weight of the conversion reduces the SR22'suseful load. Air conditioning is available with the SR22 Turbo, butthis further reduces the useful load. The turbo version has acertified ceiling of 25,000 feet (7,600 m), a maximum cruise speed of211 knots (391 km/h), and a top speed of 219 knots (406 km/h).

On 22 May 2008, Cirrus revealed the "Cirrus Perspective" glasscockpit (by Garmin). Both cockpits were available for a while (theAvidyne cockpit was initially standard equipment) and after 2008 theSR22 was sold with only the Perspective panel.

Cost And Installation

At the time of writing this review, the Carenado SR22 GTSx forX-Plane 11 was priced at $34.95 at the FlightSim.Com Store.

Installation is simple. The aircraft is downloaded from the storein the form of a zip file, sized at 289 MB. Once unzipped, theaircraft with its default liveries is sized at 347 MB.

When you select the aircraft for the first time you will be askedfor an activation key. You will receive this key in an email from thestore, and you can manage your keys from "My Account" at theFlightSim.Com Store. You will also be prompted to generate an ID codefrom inside the same Activation Panel. Once done, you will receive asuccessful activation message and you'll be asked to reload theaircraft.


As is usual with Carenado products, there is a multitude ofdocumentation. A quick list follows:

  • A (Carenado) description of the Perspective G1000 Instrumentation
  • A document describing how to set up your Graphics in XP11
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Normal Procedures, i.e. a checklist from cold and dark, through a flight and hence to shutdown (there is a checklist out there for the SR22 designed to work with the "must have" plugin "Xchecklist" by Sparker)
  • Performance Tables
  • Reference Document (V speeds etc. for the SR22T)
  • The X-Plane G1000 Manual

But, it would be nice if Carenado produced, for once, a tutorialdocument!


The aircraft comes with a default "White" livery and fiveadditional custom liveries. Again, as is the custom with Carenado,there is no layered paint kit, the default "white livery" is used as abase layer for your favorite paint program and your additional layersare "multiplied", or "burned" onto that. A nice YouTube video showingthe technique can be found


This video is by a favorite on FlightSim.Com, the one and onlyBill Womack!


A Bit About The Author

I am probably better known for myrepainting skills(?!) and as this is my first aircraft review, I'd like to paraphrase afamous saying "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like" to"I don't know much about X-Plane aircraft, but I know what I like".

My setup is really basic considering what some simmers have. One22" monitor, one joystick with a throttle lever, and a keyboard! MyPC is "middle of the road", and as such, I can only say "thank thepowers above for Vulkan!" So in a way, I probably represent the vastmajority of flightsimmers?

My top benchmark would be an old VFR trainer that I have, where youcan really believe you are sitting in an aircraft with its slightlycracked leather fascia, an instrument covered with an "inop" stickerand scores on the prop blades. It needs your attention as you turn upthe power and tends to swerve on takeoff. Similarly, you'd betterwatch out if you don't land it properly, as it'll have you off therunway and into the grass before you can say "Jack Robinson"!

My bottom benchmark is one I bought recently, not far off the priceof the SR22 GT, which although has some nice features, has afeatureless "flat" fascia, almost reminiscent of some X-Plane 9aircraft. Also, the sounds are fine until you get into cruise, wherethe loop is so short is sounds like a French police car racing throughParis. Needless to say, it will not get much "air" time.

So, having set the standards, let's roll out the Carenado SR22GTSx!

External View

Straight away, the impression is of a sleek, streamlined performer,and she looks like new, fresh from the paint shop. The externaldetail is excellent, with rivets, hatches, antennas etc. all modelledto the standard we have come to expect from Carenado. The pilot canbe clearly seen and is animated as he scans his controls and theoutside world.


Also seen in the above screen shot is the standard Carenado"Sidebar" where various options (plus sound levels) can beaccessed.


I like the attention to detail as per per the flap extensionmechanism in the above image and also the trim tabs in thestabilisers.


As you can see above, the navigation, strobe and landing lights areall finely modelled as well.

Lastly, when you cut off the engine, the propeller slows and stopsin a most realistic manner.

Internal Views

I was really blown away when I first entered the 3D cockpit view!I don't think I have ever been in an X-Plane aircraft that gave abetter impression of 3D on a flat screen! Doesn't it have a familiarlook? Of course, the default Laminar Cirrus SF-50.


A few jagged shadows, but that is more the result of my modest PCthan a problem with the model. As you can see, it's a dark colorscheme, and as is sometimes the case with X-Plane 11, when the cockpitis in total shadow, it can seem VERY dark. There is however, verygood lighting for these situations and for night time flying.


Now, I could write ten pages on the G1000 (but I won't), butsuffice to say that if you have flown the Laminar default Cirrus SF-50or the G1000 version of the default C172, (along with the help of theexcellent Carenado manual on the "Perspective"), you'll soon find yourway about.

Again the detail here is excellent. This really hits my benchmarkcriteria about making you feel you are actually "in" a real cockpit.All you need now is that "new car" smell. I mean, check out thetemperature controls - look familiar?


Just look at the shine and dimples on the facade leather and theventilation grill beyond:


I can safely say that the internal modelling is as good as anyX-Plane aircraft I have come across, and is a credit to thedesigners.


OK, so she looks really good, but, CAN SHE FLY?

Flight Performance

First a confession. Apart from my favorite unnamed VFR trainer, Iam a bit of a "Heavy Metal" type of guy. ILS and approach proceduresand transitions are fine, but when you start talking "left and righthand overhead joins", "traffic patterns", and "visual reportingpoints", then I am into a world of mystery (if not pain).

However, it so happens I am doing a VFR tour of the UK right now,and this little beauty will be my aircraft of choice for the next legof my tour. This will be from the capital of Wales, Cardiff (EGFF),to the town of Pembrey ((EGFP), following the coast of the beautifulGower Peninsula past The Mumbles, Worm Head and the amazing RhossiliBeach. A fitting short test flight for this review.

  • This is not a C172 or a P28A, so don't be tempted to rotate before70 knots. If you do, the aircraft will be unstable. Similarly if youtry and land at a speed below 70 knots, the aircraft will quicklystall and "fall out of the sky". Also watch your taxi speed; too fastand the aircraft will spin if you make a sharp turn.
  • Apart from the cautionary notes above, the aircraft is a realpleasure to fly. She is responsive to control inputs, but not overlyso. Once the trim had been set, she flew straight and level with"hands off", and as well as any other aircraft I have "flown". Mindyou, the weather was perfect!
  • I programmed in a Standard Instrument Departure (SID) to test outthe autopilot, and that was followed perfectly, but once I hadconfirmed that, I disabled the autopilot and flew hands on and visualfor the rest of the short flight.
  • Following on from my first flight, I did another to test the highaltitude capability. I set the altitude to the certified ceiling of25,000 feet, and activated the autopilot on a fixed heading and withthe IAS set to 113 knots. She climbed smoothly to 25,000 feet and at apoint in the climb, I was advised that oxygen was required. Theoxygen switch is situated on the central pedestal and there is a"Refill Oxygen Bottle" on the "Options" tab of the sidebar (I wonderif the bottle will slowly go empty if not refilled between flights?).Once at FL250, she settled at an IAS of 144 knots and a ground speed inexcess of 230 kts.


General Notes

  • The PFD and MFD screens are not "pop-ups" as they are on thedefault Laminar aircraft. I set a quick view to show the PFD indetail, another to show the MFD in detail and one more to show the MFDscreen and its associated controls on the centre pedestal as shownbelow.

  • A nice feature that is NOT on the Laminar default G1000 equippedaircraft is a comprehensive "Engine" page, sourced from the MFD screenand shown below:

  • The engine sounds, both internal and external are really agreeable,"a low rumble" would be a good way to describe them. With earphoneson, they were quite acceptable. However, one aspect of the sounds Idid not like, was the unpleasant obtrusive whine which started as soonas the "Battery 1" switch was switched on, and remained verynoticeable throughout the flight. Now I'm not sure whether this issuelies with how the default sounds included in the sim are being used,or with the Carenado model, but I found it extremely unpleasant. Thesame whine can be observed in the default Laminar C172 for instance,but not to such a high level.


    It has been reported elsewhere that the real SR22 does not havethis whine (and if I'd paid $750,000 for a real SR22, I'd certainly becomplaining about the whine), however, in my opinion, it really spoilsthe flying experience. There are ways in X-Plane to separate theaircraft sounds from the sounds in the headphones, one method beingsomething called "Voicemeter" I believe, but the fact remains thatmost users won't have this capability, and I honestly found the whinethe biggest downside to this otherwise very enjoyable aircraft.


I really like this aeroplane. Since version 1.1, there has been anupdate to v1.2 which addressed some of the issues that myself andothers noted. Gone are the spurious alarms, and you can now use thecursor button on the Perspective G1000 control panel on the centerpedestal to select a flight plan. Some folks say the aircraft is notas responsive to the controls as a real SR22 is, but personally I likethe way it responds.

However, one issue has not yet been resolved, and that is thereally obtrusive whine from the electrics. A real life SR22 ownernoted that this is NOT present in the real aircraft (nor should it beat that price!). Flying a long flight with headphones on is not apleasant experience with the whine present and I truly hope thatCarenado gets rid of the whine in a future update.


Robin Tannahill


Purchase Carenado - SR22 GTSx Turbo For X-Plane 11

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