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Old April 28th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #1
stapler101 stapler101 is offline
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beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I am looking to move up in speed and capacity from my 140.
Money is definitely an issue.
Two planes have my attention, the 180 and a Beech Sierra.
I am not familiar with the Beech but I like the 2 doors and the roomy look. I have not seen one in person but the pictures look good.
What are some comparisons and opinions on the two?
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Old April 28th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #2
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

It's hard to compare a 200HP retractable with a 180 HP fixed gear plane. One could compare the Sierra with the Piper Arrow, or the 180 Cherokee with the Beech Sundowner. So are you looking for folding gear or not?
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Old April 28th, 2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

What are you trying to achieve in the move-up?
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Old April 28th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #4
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

As an owner of a cherokee 140 I understand the speed and load capacity limitations. But your comment of "money is definitely an issue" makes it hard to get something much faster or with more capacity without spending a large chunk of money

One thing to consider: the maintenance costs of the 180 will likely be lower than the Beech Sierra since the 180 doesn't have retractable gear or a variable pitch prop (does the sierra have a constant speed prop?)
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Old April 28th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Noel View Post
One thing to consider: the maintenance costs of the 180 will likely be lower than the Beech Sierra since the 180 doesn't have retractable gear or a variable pitch prop (does the sierra have a constant speed prop?)
Yes, it does. Insurance costs will also be a lot higher due to the retractable gear.

Still trying to figure out if the OP needs/wants a 180HP fixed gear or a 200HP retractable -- hoping s/he'll elucidate.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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It's hard to compare a 200HP retractable with a 180 HP fixed gear plane. One could compare the Sierra with the Piper Arrow, or the 180 Cherokee with the Beech Sundowner. So are you looking for folding gear or not?

LOL, except in this case Ron.

The Sierra gives you the same speed as a Cherokee 180, but you get the bonus features of retractable gear, and no speed benefit of them folding a way - and all the extra cost associated with them. In my list of planes that I will never fly again, I only have one: The Beech Sierra. A pig with wings.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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The Sierra gives you the same speed as a Cherokee 180, but you get the bonus features of retractable gear, and no speed benefit of them folding a way - and all the extra cost associated with them. In my list of planes that I will never fly again, I only have one: The Beech Sierra. A pig with wings.
Well, I think the Sierra may have a bit better load, and certainly has a larger cabin, but I agree that none of the 200HP retractables outside the Mooney give you any more bang for the buck than you can get with other fixed gear aircraft for less total cost. About the only raison d'etre for the Sierra, Cutlass, and Arrow is to provide a minimum cost complex aircraft for CP and CFI training/certification, and retractable time-building.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 10:58 AM   #8
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Well, I think the Sierra may have a bit better load, and certainly has a larger cabin, but I agree that none of the 200HP retractables outside the Mooney give you any more bang for the buck than you can get with other fixed gear aircraft for less total cost. About the only raison d'etre for the Sierra, Cutlass, and Arrow is to provide a minimum cost complex aircraft for CP and CFI training/certification, and retractable time-building.
Yeah, I can't really see anyone owning one that wasn't on leaseback for CFI/Comm, with only a 10kt (if that) increase in speed between the 200 retract and the 180 non retract version (Arrow-Cherokee; Sierra-Sundowner; Cutlass-Skyhawk)
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Old April 28th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I've flown both a fair amount. The Sierra certainly isn't fast but it isn't as slow as a Cherokee 180. It is a little faster--but not a whole hell of a lot. For the most part though, the Sierra is a total dog. Big cabin though
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Old April 28th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #10
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I agree that, for my money, I'd go with a 180. However, it must be said that, generally speaking, a Beech is better engineered and better built than a Piper. Overall quality of a Beech is higher. But it doesn't come free.

I have owned several Pipers and have been a little disappointed in the quality, mostly of interior appointments, but also in such things as door seals, latching mechanisms, that kind of thing.

Keep in mind that Sierras can also be had that will seat 5, if that is an issue. Some models have a third row jump seat. Not suitable for carrying a family of 5 on trips, but useful if you want to take a 5th for the proverbial pancake breakfast.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #11
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by Ken Ibold View Post
I agree that, for my money, I'd go with a 180. However, it must be said that, generally speaking, a Beech is better engineered and better built than a Piper. Overall quality of a Beech is higher. But it doesn't come free.
The myth of the "Beech Quality" is just that, a myth. It's a marketing ploy pretty much in line with "Cadillac Quality". I've owned 2 Beech's (H18 and A90) and have flown and worked on pretty much everything else they have produced with the exception of the B17 Staggerwing. Beech does some things a bit better but they also have their downsides.

As far as the small Beech's go (Musketeer, Sundowner, Seirra) they are heavy built and slow with lots of room inside. Parts are pricey (once again, the Beech "quality") but acquisition cost are also low versus other makes.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by Rotor&Wing View Post
The myth of the "Beech Quality" is just that, a myth. It's a marketing ploy pretty much in line with "Cadillac Quality".
Interesting.

My experience has been limited to 1980 A36 and 1947 -35. Both are fine airplanes, handle well, are efficient, and I am always happy to fly either.

In some places the '47 V has fairly thin sheet aluminum (The A36 doesn't suffer from this).

The gear in each is stout and is dropped manually with little effort.

When you consider the personal airplane market extant in 1947 it's hard to deny that Beech expanded the state of the art with the Bonanza.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #13
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

If cost is an issue and you want two doors. How about a Sundowner or Musketeer (some had two doors).
It will be cheaper to maintaine then the Seira becuase of the fixed gear. It will be slower than a 180.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #14
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Someone has to say it. You can get better cruise and similar load carrying capability with a Grumman Tiger. Fixed gear, fixed prop, 180 HP. It will cruise at 135 KTAS and carry around 950 lbs usefull load.

If you are stuck on either the Cherokee 180 or the Beech Sierra, I'd go Cherokee due to the simplicity.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #15
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Someone has to say it. You can get better cruise and similar load carrying capability with a Grumman Tiger. Fixed gear, fixed prop, 180 HP. It will cruise at 135 KTAS and carry around 950 lbs usefull load.
True. The Tiger is a good plane for simplicity and speed.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #16
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by dmccormack View Post
Interesting.

My experience has been limited to 1980 A36 and 1947 -35. Both are fine airplanes, handle well, are efficient, and I am always happy to fly either.

In some places the '47 V has fairly thin sheet aluminum (The A36 doesn't suffer from this).

The gear in each is stout and is dropped manually with little effort.

When you consider the personal airplane market extant in 1947 it's hard to deny that Beech expanded the state of the art with the Bonanza.
There's nothing wrong with them just as their is nothing wrong with Cessna/Piper/Mooney/Grumman etc. Just depends upon what you are looking for and we all have personal likes and dislikes.

Beech has always done well with marketing and brand.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #17
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by ron22 View Post
If cost is an issue and you want two doors. How about a Sundowner or Musketeer (some had two doors).
It will be cheaper to maintaine then the Seira becuase of the fixed gear. It will be slower than a 180.
Slower than a Cherokee 180, but not painfully slow...

A lot of Sundowners had really nice avionics packages, but they're pretty old now. Later Musketeers are fine, I don't know about the ones with the IO-346, might not be well supported at this point.

Speed control on landing is more critical with a Musketeer/Sundowner than a Cherokee.


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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:03 PM   #18
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I'm still back where I was on post #2 -- why is s/he looking at these two essentially non-comparable airplanes? Until I figure that out, there ain't much I can tell him/her.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #19
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by stapler101 View Post
I like the 2 doors and the roomy look.
The Grumman Cheetah/Tiger's sliding canopy is the functional equivalent of two doors -- you can get in or out from either side simultaneously.

The cabin is narrower at the elbow than a Cherokee or Musketeer/Sundowner/Sierra, but the expansive windows and low instrument panel provide a feeling of spaciousness that none of the others have.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:51 PM   #20
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Quote:
Originally Posted by stapler101 View Post
I am looking to move up in speed and capacity from my 140.
Money is definitely an issue.
Two planes have my attention, the 180 and a Beech Sierra.
I am not familiar with the Beech but I like the 2 doors and the roomy look. I have not seen one in person but the pictures look good.
What are some comparisons and opinions on the two?
I'd go with the 180. I used to have a Sundowner and while it
was comfortable and roomy .. it was a total dog. I think the
best plane over all that I've owned was the Grumman Tiger. About
the same performance as an Arrow .. with no folding gear or constant
speed prop to maintain.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #21
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by Rotor&Wing View Post
The myth of the "Beech Quality" is just that, a myth. It's a marketing ploy pretty much in line with "Cadillac Quality". I've owned 2 Beech's (H18 and A90) and have flown and worked on pretty much everything else they have produced with the exception of the B17 Staggerwing. Beech does some things a bit better but they also have their downsides.

As far as the small Beech's go (Musketeer, Sundowner, Seirra) they are heavy built and slow with lots of room inside. Parts are pricey (once again, the Beech "quality") but acquisition cost are also low versus other makes.
I wish I were rich and bored, I'd pit a Sierra against an Arrow of similar hours and year, have them each fresh-annualled at their respective type specialist shops, and see which one breaks more over a 200-hour span

(I'm not taking one side over another -- just think it'd be an interesting exercise. I'd bet my money on the Sierra, though, the thing is built like a brick outhouse)

I think the Sierra vs PA28-180 comparison is a silly one. If dollars are scarce, getting a more-complex plane seems a bad road to walk -- lower acquisition costs only last so long when pitted against higher repair/maintenance costs.

The ideas for efficient simple machines like the Grumman seem in the right mindset to me.

$0.02
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Old April 28th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #22
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I did not see the two as incomparable.
Yes, the Beech has retractable gear but it seems that the speed and weight capacities are similar.
As I stated, money is an issued but I found descent prices on both the 180 and the 24r. I simply meat that I was not in the market for higher priced planes than these (such as the 36 series),
The info about the higher cost to maintain and insure the retractable gear was the type of info I was looking for.
My goal is to get a little more weight capacity. The 140 is great but it is certainly not a 4 people plane.
A bit more speed is also desirable but I know I can't get a 4 passenger rocket on a budget so that is why I have considered the 2 planes mentioned.
I am now, and probably always was, leaning toward the 180.
I must confess that I am not at all familiar with the Tiger, but I will start research on it immediately.
thanks for all your replies.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #23
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

The 180 isn't a 4 person plane either, unless everyone going is 5'5" or under. At 6-3ish, it was impossible for anyone to site behind me as the pilot seat basically needed to be pushed back until it hit the rear seat for me to comfortably fly.

If you can find a Challenger 180 they stretched the fuselage 8 or 10 inches and you get a bit more room in the back. But the Cherokee models up through the 180G are 4 seat airplanes like the Ford Mustang is a 4 seat car.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #24
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Quote:
Originally Posted by stapler101 View Post
I did not see the two as incomparable.
Yes, the Beech has retractable gear but it seems that the speed and weight capacities are similar.
As I stated, money is an issued but I found descent prices on both the 180 and the 24r. I simply meat that I was not in the market for higher priced planes than these (such as the 36 series),
The info about the higher cost to maintain and insure the retractable gear was the type of info I was looking for.
My goal is to get a little more weight capacity. The 140 is great but it is certainly not a 4 people plane.
A bit more speed is also desirable but I know I can't get a 4 passenger rocket on a budget so that is why I have considered the 2 planes mentioned.
In that case, forget the Sierra -- the slightly higher maintenance and probably double insurance cost will not give you anything more than the 180 Cherokee (well, maybe an extra 5 knots, or a bit less) other than retractable time in your logbook. Compare the 180 Cherokee to the other 4-seat 180HP fixed gear aircraft in its class -- Grumman Tiger, Cessna 177 Cardinal, and 180HP-STC'd 172, although I doubt you'll find many of those priced as low as a 180 Cherokee in comparable condition with comparable equipment. The Beech Sundowner does have more payload, but is no faster than your 140 Cherokee.
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I must confess that I am not at all familiar with the Tiger, but I will start research on it immediately.
Places to look:
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http://www.grumman.net
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Old April 28th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #25
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerT View Post
.. with no folding gear or constant
speed prop to maintain.
Yea, but there is nothing sexier then retractable gear!

As my wife tells me all the time, Fashion over function
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