Cirrus Perspective ™
Cirrus has always led the way in avionics innovations. In recent months Cirrus has challenged Garmin to work with us and develop an integrated avionics suite worthy of Cirrus owners; one that comes up to Cirrus standards.
The result is Cirrus Perspective (by Garmin). Available for delivery on SR22 GTS models from June, 2008, Perspective uses Garmin technology in new ways and in ways just not possible in off-the-shelf products (G600, G900X, G950, G1000, etc.) Cirrus and Garmin, together, have developed possibly the first integrated cockpit in general aviation.
Garmin’s innovative Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) will become a valuable addition to the avionics in many general aviation airplanes. But the Perspective 12-inch screens changes the whole way you look at it – “Bring the Outside In.”
Looking at Garmin technology in new ways like this is what’s different about Perspective.
In a similar vein, Cirrus led the way to a new autopilot controller that introduces a “LVL” or Level button to help address spatial disorientation.
Everyone gets confused occasionally in the air (those that have and those that will?) and the history of aviation is rife with accidents caused by disorientation. Urban lore suggests a common expression in modern automated airliners is, “What’s it doing now?”
Press the LVL button – doesn’t matter if the autopilot is already on or not – and the plane will roll level and hold altitude. If the world doesn’t get better quickly Cirrus still offers CAPS, the parachute.
Night operations have their own challenges and Cirrus also offers Perspective EVS. Enhanced Vision Systems use infra-red sensors to see in the dark. Perspective EVS goes a step further and uses two sensors – a traditional infra-red sensor and a “near infra-red” sensor that can detect runway and other lights. The combination blended image is superior to either one can be alone.
Available only on Garmin 12-inch screens Perspective EVS is obviously valuable for seeing terrain and runways when approaching an airport. It is also invaluable en-route to avoid penetrating convective clouds or entering icing conditions at night.
There will be detractors. With innovation you inevitably hear comments like, “If you’re good enough you don’t need this stuff” or, “These modern airplanes are dangerous so the FAA makes them ..”
These tired old expressions will no doubt emerge over the LVL button, Synthetic Vision and Perspective EVS. Our expectation, though, is that these will be industry norms in a very short period of time.
Perspective integrates you, the pilot, and the airplane into the avionics equation: Have TKS Ice Protection? Fluid levels are displayed and you are alerted when levels run low; Same with fuel (alerts for fuel levels in each tank); Oxygen flow and level is monitored; you are even advised when outside temperatures suggest the use of pitot heat.
Despite all this innovation Perspective clearly fits in to the Cirrus Cockpit Philosophy and visibly reaches back to the earliest instrument panels in Cirrus airplanes from 1999.
What’s new and different though is also important. Cirrus owners flying with a standard (S-TEC/Garmin/Avidyne) cockpit will notice similarities but will also see:
- 12-inch screens with the MFD available as a backup to the PFD
- Synthetic Vision on 12-inch screens “Brings the Outside In”
- Keyboard controller (keyboard use is optional) for all routine operations
- Familiar FMS/Flight Planning operation – like GNS 430
- New options from XM weather
- Autopilot Controller with:
- IAS (Indicated Airspeed) Hold
- Vertical Navigation features
- Yaw Damper (optional)
- LVL button
- Go-Around button on throttle
- Audio panel with:
- Digital Clearance Recorder
- Automatic squelch
- Cell phone interface (useful for clearances at uncontrolled airports)
- Target fuel flow (SR22 Turbo) for instant leaning
- Environmental system:
- Auto-like controls
- Electronic actuators
- Extra vents in front seats
- Information and Alerts for:
- Fuel (left and right tank)
- TKS fluid level
- Brake Temperature
- Pitot Heat off and/or required
More diagrams, pictures and descriptions of Cirrus Perspective (by Garmin) are on the Cirrus Design Home page. This collaboration between Cirrus and Garmin, both considered leaders in their respective fields is summed up by Cirrus’ “marketing slogan” around Perspective.