RCU Review: Great Planes SR22T ARF

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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: September 2013 | Views: 20975 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Great Planes SR22T ARF
    • Painted fiberglass fuselage.
    • Aluminum spinner included.
    • Detailed dash with easily accessible canopy to fit pilot figures.
    • Prehinged flaps and ailerons.
    • Bright landing and navigation lights included
    • Long flight times with the recommended electric power system
    • None found
    The full scale turbocharged SR22T with features such as the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, the built in Oxygen System, 60/40 Flex seating for up to 5 persons and seatbelts with airbags, is one of the most prestigious full scale aircraft that is available to a very lucky few with the financial means to purchase and maintain an aircraft of this caliber. For the rest of us, there is the Great Planes SR22T ARF which successfully replicates the features of its full scale counterpart for a very pleasurable building and flying experience.

    The Great Planes SR22T is marketed as a sport scale ARF which only requires a short few hours of assembly time to get it ready for flight. The SR22T can be powered by your choice of 2 or 4 stroke glow engine or and electric brushless motor. The required components for both, such as the engine/motor mount and gas tank are supplied with the ARF. The elegant fuselage of the SR22T is modeled in fiberglass and arrives from the factory in a black and red paint scheme. The ARF arrives with many money and time saving features such as pre-routed linkage guides, pre-hinged flaps and ailerons. The SR22T also arrives with navigation and landing lights that have been installed at the factory and the leads wired through the wings for the navigation lights. As a bonus, the pictured slick aluminum spinner is also included with the ARF.

    The first thing that will grab your attention as you unbox your new SR22T will no doubt be the beautiful fiberglass fuselage and assembled canopy.

    The canopy is held in place with two screws in the rear and two dowels in the front. There is a gargantuan amount of space in the fuselage for mounting your flight battery, receiver and various other components.

    The canopy features a detailed dashboard sticker along with a convenient cut out in the bottom to allow access for mounting pilot figures.

    Great Planes SR22T ARF

    Price: $349.98 (ARF)

    Key Features

    • Painted fiberglass fuselage 
    • Landing and navigation lights
    • Glow or Electric option
    • Detailed dashboard
    • Easily removable hatch
    • Aluminum spinner included
    • Pre-hinged flaps and ailerons
    • Scale wheel pants


    Cirrus designs some of the most innovative private-ownership aircraft in the world. This Great Planes model strives to duplicate the design features and elegance of the originals in a model that is fun to fly and easy to assemble.

    This model operates with either glow or electric power depending on your personal preference. Pick glow for more realistic sound or electric for ease of installation and maintenance.

    Many assembly steps are already completed to get you into the air more quickly. The fuselage is pre-painted fiberglass, the wings align on a joiner tube and attach with thumb screws and the flaps, ailerons and rudder are pre-hinged.

    Once you pick up your Cirrus, pick out your power system and electronics and put the final touches on assembly there?s only one thing left to do: enjoy every moment of effortless flight.


    Wingspan: 69 in (1753 mm) 
    Wing Area: 493 in2 (31.8 dm2
    Weight: 7.5-8.25 lb  (3.4-3.74 kg)
    Wing Loading: 35-39 oz/ft2 (107-119 g/dm2)
    Length: 47.8 in (1213 mm)
    Requires: 6-ch Radio w/6-7 servos
    2-stroke .46-.55
    4-stroke .70-.72
    .55 Electric & 60A ESC, 22.2V 3350mAh LiPo battery

    The business end of the fuselage features pre-drilled mounting holes for the nose landing gear and either the electric motor box or the glow engine mounts. A control guide has been routed in the fuselage to allow for nose wheel steering. Also note the cut out on the front right hand side of the fuselage to allow for glow muffler spacing when mounted sideways. This will no doubt eliminate an unsightly cut out of the fuselage and cowl. The distinctive looks of the SR22T is captured with the provided aluminum spinner and fiberglass cowl. Notice that the landing light has been pre-installed in a very professional manner. The electric option will require you to open up the left air intake on the cowl but will leave the graceful lines of the airframe intact. The navigation lights on the wingtips have also been pre-installed and the leads routed through the wings. 

    The tail section features air foiled stabilizers and an aluminum joiner tube is provided. Once assembled, the tail is no longer removable as all the components will be glued in place. The wings on the other hand are easily removable with over sized thumb screws and slide easily on the provided carbon fiber wing tube. The flaps and ailerons have been pre-hinged for you saving time and effort to get the SR22T ready for its first flight. A few other bags contain the rest of the small components that are required during the short assembly such as the motor mount, landing gear, glow gas tank and engine mount.

    The assembly process of the SR22T is a relatively painless and quick task given that the provided manual is very detailed and covers each aspect of the build in great detail along with tips to achieve balance and control throws. Preparation of the wings involves the installation of four mini servos on the servo bay covers and making the connections to the control arms via the pre-cut slots in the hatches. The main landing gear can then be installed in the wing and the wheel pants attached. The complete process takes no longer than an hour to complete.

    The completed wings are attached to the fuselage with the provided carbon wing tube and anti rotation pins in the rear. A convenient cut out is provided to route the aileron, flap and navigation light leads in the fuselage. The plastic bolts that hold the wing in place are very easy to manipulate due to their over sized nature.

    The servos for the rudder and elevator are installed in the fuselage and the control linkages routed through pre-installed guide tubes. The vertical stabilizer and rudder are integrated in the fuselage and require no further assembly other than the connection of the control arm to the rudder. The horizontal stabilizer has to be prepared by gluing in the rudder hinges and anti-rotation pins and then the two halves are glued to the fuselage using the provided aluminum joiner. A metal U-connector is provided to join the elevator halves and allows for a single control arm to control both.

    The nose gear takes a bit of trial and error to assemble correctly but overall is a painless process. The nose gear is installed on the provided strut and the fairing attached. A white sticker is provided to cover the side so the overall assembly looks seamless. The gear is attached to the fuselage and the steering control rod is attached to the same servo that controls the rudder. This is a very simple yet effective solution to providing a responsive yet slop free steering control on the SR22T.

    The final bit of assembly involves the mounting of your power plant. For this review, I have been provided with the O.S. 50 brushless motor which is one of the recommended power options listed in the manual for the SR22T. The motor box is provided as a set of laser cut parts and depending on your choice of motor, has to be finalized by choosing the correct firewall. Notice the convenient ear on the side of the motor mount to attach your ESC. A hole has to be cut in the fuselage to route the wiring in the fuselage. Overall, the installation is very easy and quick thanks to the generous amount of area that is available to mount the components. 

    To complete the SR22T, I used a Futaba FS617R receiver and completed the wiring inside the fuselage with room to spare. The cowl and spinner are then attached to the fuselage and a few decals attached to the airframe. I was able to achieve the recommended C.G. with the provided 6S3300mAh LiPo flight battery mounted in its most rear-ward position. 

    With a wingspan of 69", the SR22T is actually very easy to transport. I was pleased to find that I could fit the airframe with the wings attached in the back of my Xterra SUV. If you have to take the wings off for transport, assembly at the field is quick as installing two wing bolts and six servo extensions.  

    On the day of the maiden flight of the SR22T, we had a stiff cross wind at the field but that did not deter us from getting this beautiful airframe in the air for some photo and video opportunities. Installation of the recommended 6S3300mAh LiPo flight battery requires a small screwdriver to remove the two bolts that hold the canopy in place. While this may seem like a chore, it is good to know that the security of the bolts will prevent the canopy from coming loose in flight and it does not take more than a few seconds to strap down the battery and replace the canopy. To achieve the recommended C.G., I installed the battery in its most rearward position and noticed that I was still a tad nose heavy. I made a mental note to move the ESC in the fuselage to help with this and decided to carry on.

    Ground handling with the SR22T is superb thanks to the steerable nose wheel. After taxiing the SR22T to the top of the runway and facing the wind, I advanced the throttle carefully and was pleased that the SR22T was tracking straight for its first lift off. As the airframe picked up speed, it rotated gracefully and started to gain altitude. I did not have to trim the airframe much to achieve level flight. Once in the air, I flew a couple of quick circuits to try and familiarize myself with the flight envelope of the SR22T and immediately noticed that if flown too slow, the SR22T will drop its left wing quite quickly and noticeably especially in tight slow turns. I gained some altitude and repeated the test to see that the SR22T can easily recover from the stall given that you nose down and apply some throttle to get the airframe flying again. At full throttle the SR22T almost behaves like a sport plane. It is fast and precise and the sound it makes as the thin airfoil cuts through the air is very nice.

    The SR22T is capable of performing a set of basic acrobatic maneuvers such as rolls, loops, stall turns and even some very nice snaps. To see a scale airframe with a large wingspan and short fuselage perform a non scale maneuver such as a snap and level out perfectly was a pleasure. The SR22T can perform very nice point rolls and fly knife edge with minimal coupling from the rudder which was very surprising to say the least. Inverted flight requires down elevator to be held which is expected. Even being a tad on the nose heavy side for the first flight, I could not find much that I did not like about the flight characteristics of this airframe.

    When it came time to slow the airframe down and attempt the first landing, I deployed the flaps and noticed that the airframe did not really exhibit any tendency to balloon as it carried on with a wider flight envelope. With the flaps down, you can really slow the SR22T to crawl like speeds. After flying a slow circuit with the flaps deployed, I reduced the throttle on the downwind and made the final turn towards the runway. The SR22T descends in a very controllable manner and it is possible to make scale like touchdowns with the nose pointed up and the mains touching down first. There is very little clearance between the recommended 14" propeller and the ground. On one botched landing, I did notice that the nose gear flexed enough for the prop to make contact with the ground. Overall, landing the SR22T was a very enjoyable process as I watched the great scale outline of the airframe make its approach and glide in for a very smooth landing. 

    I limited my first flight to seven minutes to see how much I would have to place back in the battery and was pleased to see that I had not even reached half of the 3300mAh rating which indicated that 10+ minutes of flight will easily be achievable.

    Great Planes SR22T ARF

    Great Planes has produced another gem with the SR22T ARF. The build quality of the airframe is top notch, everything fits together perfectly and there is not much left for the modeler to perform but a quick assembly of the ARF. The ARF arrives with many nice touches such as the pre-hinged flaps and ailerons, pre-installed navigation and landing lights and even the spinner is included. The SR22T can be powered by glow or electric and there are nice cut outs on the cowl and fuselage to accommodate the glow muffler.

    Once assembled, the SR22T does a great job of replicating the sleek looks of the full size airframe and in the air, it performs flawlessly. Field assembly is quick and the SR22T can even be transported with the wings attached depending on the vehicle you have. The flight envelope of the SR22T resembles that of a sport plane where it is capable of flying fast, performing a basic set of aerobatic maneuvers and slows down very for a very controllable approach for landings. 

    About the only thing I can suggest as an improvement would be to have a quick release canopy to make the life of electric pilots easier when it comes to changing the battery as the current hatch is held in place with two bolts. Overall, I was very pleased with the SR22T and look forward to the next opportunity that I will have to fly it.

    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021

    Comments on RCU Review: Great Planes SR22T ARF

    Posted by: KaP2011 on 11/30/2013
    Very nice review of a great looking airplane. It looked like it came in kind of hot in the video and with the wing loading it is what I would expect. Still a nice plane for an intermediate to advanced pilot. I may need to get me one of these.
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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