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ElectriFly Cirrus SR22 Turbo ARF Review

If you're looking for a nice scale rendition of an awesome general aviation aircraft, don't overlook ElectriFly's new SR22. With its sleek looks and smooth handling, it's certain to appeal to a wide variety of pilots.

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Wing span: 50.5in (1285mm)
Length: 36in (915mm)
Weight: 2.5 - 3lbs
Battery: 3s 1500-3350mah
Motor: RimFire Brushless outrunner
ESC: 35A Silver Series
Distributed by: Great Planes Model Distributors

MSRP: $149.99
Continuing to add to their lineup of hot new models this season, ElectriFly brings us the 'elite' Cirrus SR22 Turbo. For years now, the Cirrus SR22 has been widely known amongst the general aviation crowd for being one of the best looking, smoothest operating, and best selling aircraft around. For those of us whom will never have the opportunity to invest $500,000 (U.S.) on an aircraft, the ElectriFly rendition might be just about as close as well ever get to owning one. Targeting those with moderate low-wing experience, ElectriFly has managed to capture the SR22s awesome scale looks and great flight performance right down to the pre-molded wingtips, and fiberglass wheel pants. Let's take a look and see if it performs as good as it looks!

SR22 History

The SR22 is a 4 seat single engine general aviation aircraft. It was first certified in November of 2008 and is essentially a higher powered version of it's predecessor the SR20. The SR22 sports some of the most high tech gadgets available in the general aviation industry including a glass cockpit option, cabin pressurization and the C.A.P System (Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System). The turbo version of the SR22 spins a Hartzell 3-bladed light weight composite prop, pushed by a Tornado Alley turbonormalizing kit allowing for a maximum ceiling of 25,000ft and a maximum cruise speed of 211 knots. Currently, the Cirrus SR-22 is is recognized as the worlds best selling single engine aircraft .... no small feat when you look at the company it's in! More information on the SR-22 can be found here.

 

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Kit Contents

My Cirrus arrived well packaged and damage free. Each of the components was sealed within its own bag and safely taped to the inner box. After unpacking everything, the first thing I had to look at was the one piece fiberglass fuselage. The lines on this plane are just awesome, and having the cowl molded into the fuselage is a nice touch; I hate fiddling with spinner clearances and the like. The wings are built-up balsa, covered with MonoKote, and include a pre-installed plastic wingtip which helps add to the overall scale looks and clean lines. The ailerons are also pre-installed, and the vertical stab is molded into the fiberglass fuselage. Landing gear is of the tricycle variety and includes fiberglass wheel pants for the mains and the nose gear just like its real life counterpart. While the paint is very nicely done (appears to be of the painted in the mold variety), the included decals and cockpit definitely add to the planes "WOW" factor. Also included in the box are a very thorough instruction manual and hardware pack consisting of just about everything you'll need to get your plane in the air.

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Kit includes/features:

  • Fiberglass fuselage
  • Pre-hinged control surfaces
  • Pre-hinged ailerons
  • Decals
  • Smoked windows
  • Magnetic canopy
  • Instruction manual

Kit requirements:

  • ESC
  • 4x servos
  • 4+ channel Receiver
  • Brushless motor
  • 3s 1500-3350mah battery

My SR22 will utilize the recommended Great Planes components including an Electrifly 35A Silver Series ESC, 4x E50 Nano servos, a .10 RimFire brushless outrunner motor and a 3s 2200mah ElectriFly T-rex battery. As usual, with ElectriFly components the motor, ESC, and battery have all their connectors pre-soldered, which makes installation ultra simple and saves the hassle of firing up the soldering iron. I'll be tying the system together with a Futaba R617FS 7 channel 2.4ghz receiver bound to my 7C transmitter.





Assembly

Assembly of the SR22 is very quick. It comes in a very complete state right out of the box. Essentially, I finished up the wings, bolted them on, installed the elevator and servos, slapped on the landing gear and I was just about ready to head to the field and fly. I managed to complete my build in about 4 evenings from start to finish including the time to take pictures for my review. The instruction manual, as with most Electrifly planes I've built, is very thorough and serves as a great guide for the build. No special tools were needed during my build, but I did have to spend a bit of time with my heat gun shrinking up some of the covering near the tips of both wings.

Wing

The individual wings out of the box are pretty much done for you, and all that is required is to mount the servo, control horn and anti-rotation pins. I started by installing an extension on my servo and running it through the wing using the pre-installed guide strings. I mounted the servo in the pre-routed slot and secured it in place with screws. Once the servo was in place, I installed my control horn in the aileron and glued up the anti-rotation pins at the wing root. I opted to use epoxy on the anti-rotation pins as I prefer to use epoxy on any “stressed” member wherever possible. Once completed, the removable wings were secured to the fuselage (from the inside) by a set of wing bolts. Neither wing showed any signs of warpage or flexing, and there was minimal gapping when installed on the fuselage.

 

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Landing Gear

The SR22 utilizes tricycle style landing gear is just like its real life counterpart. In order to assemble the mains, I slipped the axles through the landing gear legs. I slipped the wheel collars into place and marked where the set screws will contact the axle. Using a dremel I ground a flat spot at the location I had just marked. I installed the wheels and made sure there was no binding. I slipped the wheel pant over the wheel and secured on the landing gear legs with the provided screws, then secure them to each wing panel with the provided 3x10mm screws. The nose gear is basically the same as the mains with the exception that it utilizes a plastic sheath to cover the gear wire and present itself in a nice scale fashion. The sheath glues to the wheel pant before attaching it to the fuselage with the provided nylon steering arm and related hardware. The steering mechanism is simple to hook up and shares a servo with the rudder. Both the mains and the nose gear appear to be fairly robust, and their mount points seem to be fairly sturdy, but it’s something that's always worth checking before you assemble.

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Fuselage

The one piece fiberglass fuselage requires very little in the way of assembly. The large removable canopy is held snugly in place by pre-installed magnets, and features faux smoked windows, a very nice touch in my opinion. I can't tell you how many botched tinting jobs I've gone through. In order to complete the canopy, after applying its decals, I slid the canopy tub into place and secured it with low temp hot glue. Installing the rudder and elevator servos is a snap. I simply secured them in place with their screws and routed the control rods through their tubes. The nose steering requires mounting a little laser cut plywood reinforcement inline with its guide tube to help ensure there is no slop in the assembly. Ventilation is provided via the scale cowl ducts and a precut hole on the underside of the fuselage, and the pre-installed battery tray provides plenty of room for a variety of 3s packs.

 

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Tail

The vertical stab s molded into the fuselage, so finishing up the tail was as simple as aligning the horizontal stab, gluing it into place and mounting the control surfaces. I started by installing the wings on the aircraft and setting the horizontal stab and the elevator joiner in place. I verified visually that the wing and horizontal stab were perpendicular to one another and then measured from the tips of the elevator to the tips of the wing. You should have equal distances between the two. Once centered, I used a washable marker to denote my endpoints and secured the stab in place with 5 minute epoxy; it gives a good strong bond and allows for a bit of verification time before everything dries up. After the horizontal stab and elevator joiner were in place, I slid the individual elevator halves over the joiner to verify a nice clean fit. When I was happy with the fit, I coated the elevator joiner with a bit of epoxy and slid the elevator halves into place, making sure my hinges were aligned/seated properly as well. I used rubbing alcohol to clean up any excess epoxy, and thin CA to secure the hinges in place. After the glue had dried, I slipped the rudder into place over its hinges and secured in place using thin CA. The control horns then attached to their rods to assist with locating their new home and screwed into place.

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Power system installation

I used the RimFire .10 sized brushless outrunner motor, paired with a 35A Silver Series ESC and an ElectriFly 3s 2200mah "T-Rex" battery pack to power my plane. The SR22 is of one piece construction. There is no fussing with cowl alignment and/or spacing. I slipped the motor through the open fuselage, and from the backside of the firewall, held the motor in place while securing its position with the provided screws and washers from the front. I applied a thin coat of epoxy on the inside of the fuselage and the center of the battery tray (where the and receiver would be mounted) to increase adhesion properties. Once the glue cured and after the velcro has been laid down on the battery tray, I connected the ESC and motor leads, then mounted the ESC to the fuselage with double sided tape. After verifying the proper rotation of the prop, I couldn't help but hook up my wattmeter. On the freshly charged 3s 2200mah pack I was seeing a burst rating of 351 watts @ 31A on the 10x7 APC prop.

 




Radio Installation

The R617FS receiver fits perfectly on the tray just behind the battery and is held in place with double sided tape. The wires are bundled together using zipties in order to keep things as tidy as possible.

 

Completion

Finishing up the SR22 entails installing your spinner, checking the CG, verifying the control surface throws and their direction and installing the decals. In order to achieve the best results when installing the fairly large decals on this plane, I suggest you utilize the old soap and water technique. I got a container of warm water with a few drops of dish soap in it, wet down the back of the decal and put it in position. I slid the decal around until I was satisfied with it's placement, and then used a paper towel/decal applicator to lightly rub away the excess water. Decals installed, and battery in place, my SR22 tipped the scales at 2.7lbs., right around 125 watts per pound, which is very respectable for a stand off scale general aviation bird. I know, enough already .... let's get to the field and fly!

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Flying

Basics

The SR22 handles very nicely as one would expect of a sporty plane of its nature, and looks awesome in the air. Flight times averaged between 4 - 7 minutes depending the style of flying on a 3s 2200mah pack. Pushing the throttle to the firewall results in a nice smooth increase of speed, topping out at a pretty brisk pace of about 60mph, making the SR22 not so fast where as the park is too small to fly it, but not so slow as to be boring either.

Taking Off and Landing

Takeoff

Takeoffs with the SR22 are really straight forward, and require nothing more then advancing the throttle smoothly and feeding in a little bit of rudder to correct the planes left yaw tendency. Once the plane has sufficient speed behind it, a gentle nudge of the elevator stick is all that is required to get the SR22 airborne in a nice scale fashion. As a rough estimate, I'd say the takeoff roll is somewhere in the 100ft range. I'm fairly confident the plane could get in the air sooner then that, but as I normally fly from a strip with excess real estate, I let the plane roll out longer then I feel is needed.

Landing

Landing the SR22 has taken a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it it's very straightforward. On my first few flights, I came in very hot, and as a result, ended up pogo sticking the plane down the runway, damaging the fiberglass wheel pants. Over the next few flights, I focused on my approaches and landings and tried to keep them as scale as possible. I benefitted most from giving myself plenty of room on the final approach segment of the landing pattern and focusing on using the throttle to make adjustments to my glideslope instead of using the elevator. After becoming a little bit more in-tune with the plane’s characteristics on approach, I find myself becoming much less apprehensive and being able to enjoy just how good it looks coming in over the fence and during its final flare just before touchdown. All in all, the SR22 slows down very nicely and is pretty straightforward to land. Just keep telling yourself to fly it like a real airplane, and you won't have any issues.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Not that I'm an advanced aerobatic pilot by any means, but the SR22 has handled just about everything I've thrown at it so far without issue. Inverted flight requires a small amount of down stick to keep the nose on a level attitude, but overall, it's very neutral feeling when it's rolled over. Loops and aileron rolls on the suggested high rates are a nonevent but I did find myself wanting a bit more snap out of the aileron rolls, so I reduced my expo a bit and increased the deflection another few millimeters.

Is This For a Beginner?

No. The SR22 is marketed towards intermediate and advanced pilots, and as such, I could not recommend it for a novice pilot.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery




 




 




 




 




Downloads

Conclusion

With its awesome scale looks, great handling across a wide flight envelope, fiberglass fuselage and quick build time the SR22 certainly stands out in its class. Every time I have taken it to the field it always draws a crowd, and people are always impressed with both its looks and flight characteristics. Overall, I've been very impressed with the SR22 and have enjoyed learning its subtle nuances.

Likes:

  • Awesome scale looks
  • Great handling
  • Detailed instruction manual

Dislikes:

  • Fiberglass wheel pants damage fairly easily
  • Small plastic bits (air scoops, nose gear pant leg) can crack easily

Last edited by Angela H; Sep 23, 2010 at 10:11 AM..

Discussion

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Old Sep 23, 2010, 10:44 AM
Retired and Lovin' it!
United States, KY, Sturgis
Joined Jul 2007
2,571 Posts
The Cirrus is really a gorgeous airplane. I have one on backorder eagerly awaiting its arrival. One question: are the wings of the open bay type construction or are they fully sheeted. I definitely interested in installing flaps on mine.

Tony
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:01 AM
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pda4you's Avatar
USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,520 Posts
Wow fantastic in-flight pics and video!

What a great looking plane....

Mike
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:12 AM
Suspended Account
Joined Sep 2009
4,831 Posts
Is this the Ultrafly model, rebranded?

I ask as I have one NIB waiting to be built.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:35 AM
Retired and Lovin' it!
United States, KY, Sturgis
Joined Jul 2007
2,571 Posts
Not the same kit. I think the Ultrafly has a separate cowling. I don't know what other differences.

Tony
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:39 AM
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MrN79's Avatar
SoCal/NorCal
Joined Jun 2007
317 Posts
Don,

Nice review. I picked one up at my LHS last month, just waiting to finish a couple other projects before throwing this one together. Electrifly needs to update their Lancair with the same type of construction/components as the SR22...IMHO

Mark
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 12:26 PM
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Chumbucket's Avatar
USA, IA, Estherville
Joined May 2007
68 Posts
Looks pretty scale... I received my instrument rating in a Cirrus SR20 pretty sweet.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 12:42 PM
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The Neterlands, Europe
Joined Apr 2010
132 Posts
Too bad it's still not available here in Europe. Shipping from the US to here is half the price of the entire model...
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 03:04 PM
Lipo abuser ... smoke on!
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Joined Feb 2005
1,920 Posts
Thanks for the comments fellas.

The wing is sheeted fully at the wing root, out about 4 inches. The rest of the wing only has 1/4 of the leading edge sheeted leaving the open bays.

Hope that helps!

Don
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 03:58 PM
Wannabe Flyer
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United States, IL, Decatur
Joined Mar 2010
709 Posts
Nice plane it definantly on my wish list. Did you land on concrete on grass?
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Dan Landis's Avatar
New York
Joined Apr 2005
276 Posts
Hi Mustang,

Dad put one together a few weeks ago and he flies off of grass all the time, including at NEAT last weekend with no problems.

Great Review!!
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 06:28 PM
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United States, IL, Decatur
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cool thanks
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 08:39 PM
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United States, VA, Woodbridge
Joined May 2009
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Man, she's gorgeous
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 08:57 PM
Just having fun
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United States, KY, Hopkinsville
Joined Feb 2008
2,094 Posts
Nice review. Great pics and video. This plane is gorgeous and very scale. Here is a pic I put together showing the scale detail.

Freddy
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:41 PM
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Joined Apr 2008
177 Posts
Nice plane but very small imho.
Had one, got disoriented and now she's in a tree.
The reviewer is correct, it is no beginner plane. She requires speed to keep flying and with its small size, she will disappear from you very quickly.
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