Over the past ten years, Cirrus has been acknowledged as the major innovator in general aviation aircraft. Nowhere is this more true than in cockpit and avionics design.
Cirrus has a long list of avionics firsts. Sometimes others talk about it first, but Cirrus is usually first in delivering innovation to our mainstream general aviation customers:
- First use of Garmin GNS 430
- Dual GPS on all aircraft
- Large screen MFD (multi-function display)
- PFD (Primary Flight Display) introduction
- PFD as standard equipment
- Weather in the cockpit (XM)
- Terrain awareness available on all aircraft
- Large 12-inch displays
- “Blue-button” Spatial Disorientation assistance
- Synthetic Vision
- Enhanced (infra-red) Vision
This has not happened by accident. Cirrus does not select “off the shelf” avionics that may merely cater to a trend, or offer some perceived competitive edge. Cirrus people think about how the whole airplane, engine, and avionics work together for the benefit of our customers.
At Cirrus, we have developed our own ideas around avionics and we partner with multiple avionics suppliers to turn those ideas into reality, new ideas that add real value to pilots.
These Cirrus-driven avionics innovations constantly evolve as new technologies emerge. For example, Cirrus rejected the first generation Garmin G1000 cockpit. Garmin, to its credit, listened, acted and worked closely with Cirrus to produce Cirrus Perspective, unequivocally the finest general aviation cockpit available today.
The Cirrus view is often the pilot’s view, “What would you want to happen if ..?”
An example would be the Cirrus thinking about “graceful degradation” of capability.
In our view, virtually no single equipment failure should demand an immediate transition from autopilot and full glass cockpit to hand-flying using backup “steam gauge” instruments.
Common sense? Some manufacturers offer glass cockpits with only one AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System – the electronic equivalent of a gyro) in such a way that just that one AHRS failure will disable the whole glass cockpit and autopilot; all at once