The press release was pretty hard to resist: “the first interior exhibit on the Strip of the Cirrus Aircraft SR22T.” Set among some of the “best names in fashion, dining and nightlife,” the craft will “spread its wings” and invite Crystals’ guests to climb into its “intimate setting.”
It was only a matter of time. Critics had been saying Crystals looked much like an airplane hangar, so why not bring in a small plane for a couple days and let visitors have a look-see at the four-seater, painted red and gray and set up at the bottom of the grand staircase? Just outside Paul Smith and Versace boutiques and priced just under $500,000, it drew more onlookers than the bottled water tornadoes nearby, and rounded off their Friday-night shopping sprees. Representatives leaned on its wings and swapped airplane specs. One woman shared her thoughts on its “exquisite aerodynamics” and the goose bumps she got while reading about the schematics. In the cockpit, a man played with controls while his friend asked, “How about holding patterns? Will it pick up missed approaches?”
Visitors took photos. One felt up the propeller, and another asked about storage. A pilot from Portland who happened upon the plane in the mall heralded its top-of-the-line technology: “It even has its own parachute.” I didn’t bother to ask why it was there. I just marveled at its 150-hour de-icing capability.