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Old April 28th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #26
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Stapler,

Funny you mention the Sierra! Aviation Consumer just did an 8 page article on this aircraft. All in all, favorable reviews of the baby beech. Yes, there are limitations but there are in the 180 or Tiger as well.

And I know you didn't ask for this, but I'll throw it out there anyway:

*Do your homework regardless of what you buy. Know about the AD's and SB's. Clear title? Liens? Logboooks complete?,,,,,,
*Get an AI/AP who really KNOWS about the aircraft you are buying.
*Insist on an Annual inspection, not a pre-buy!
*Buy Aviation Consumers used aircraft guide and learn and understand the pro's and cons of your model. It is an excellent reference to cross-compare models and brands!
*Join a type specfic group for the legacy aircraft you are going to buy.

Good luck in your search!

Last edited by CT Arrow; April 28th, 2009 at 04:12 PM.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #27
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

It is not clear what you mean by Piper 180... You might mean an Arrow 180 or Comanche 180, but for the purposes of this post, I am going to assume you mean the Cherokee 180.

But 1st... the Beech. I got my license at the University of Illinois in the early 90s, and at the time, their primary flight training planes were Beech Sundowners (180hp fixed gear, 4 place Beech) and the 180hp converted Beech Sports. The Sierra is a retract version of the same plane, but with an 200hp engine. Interestingly, even though they had a fleet of about 15 Sundowners, and used Duchesses for multi-training... they did not have any Sierras. Instead, the complex plane was a Piper Arrow.

Sundowners have a large cabin with a lot of headroom (you sit very tall/vertical). The downside of that is frontal area and the resultant drag. According to the Sundowner owners manual, WOT on a Sundowner @ 8000ft gave about 124KTAS @ 11gph. I don't ever remember them going that fast. 115-120KTAS is more realistic. I think will translate to the Sierra as well. Even with the retract wheels and 20 extra HP, I suspect a Sierra will not hit 140KTAS.

The Sierra and Sundowners do have the 2 doors, which is nice especially if frequently flying with passengers in the plane.

I currently own a '71 Piper Cherokee 180F that has a number of speed mods on it. Compared to the Sundowner, it climbs better, lands shorter, and can cruise @ 130ktas once I get up to 8k. The cabin is a bit shorter (although I am 6'3" with a long torso, and I fit fine). The Cherokee 180s got a ~5" backseat legroom extension in 1973. That's almost a must if you are going to carry anything besides a kid back there. Having said that, I flew a ~20 hr X-C with 2 other guys to SNF last year. It was not comfortable, but it can be done.

The Cherokee is basically still in production via the Piper Archer family, so many parts are still easily available. In addition, they are one of the most common planes, so any mechanic should be able to work on them. The Sundowner and even more-so the Sierra are uncommon. At this age (many are approaching 30 yrs old) I wonder if parts are an issue.

From a handling standpoint, The Sundowners did have a small tendency to porpoise on landing due to setting the nose gear down too hard. The rule at the University was that 1 bounce was ok, but to go around if you bounce twice. It would be interesting to know if the Sierras have the same behavior... and if it is a concern given the retract nosegear.

Anyway, I never thought the plane handled badly, and frankly, in comparing 4-seat 180hp planes... they are all about the same. ~1000ft takeoff and landing rolls and 800fpm initial climb.

When I bought my plane back in 2000, I briefly thought about a Sierra and ultimately decided on the PA28-180. Given the choice again, I would do the same.





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?
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #28
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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*Buy Aviation Consumers used aircraft guide and learn and understand the pro's and cons of your model. It is an excellent reference to cross-compare models and brands!
A waste of money. Instead, sign up for the teaser subscription to Aviation Consumer, log on to the web site, download all of the relevant aircraft reports, and then cancel the subscription before they hit you for the $85 a year or whatever it is now.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #29
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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A waste of money. Instead, sign up for the teaser subscription to Aviation Consumer, log on to the web site, download all of the relevant aircraft reports, and then cancel the subscription before they hit you for the $85 a year or whatever it is now.
Ken! Isn't that the magazine you used to edit?

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Old April 29th, 2009, 03:26 AM   #30
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Yea, but there is nothing sexier then retractable gear!
I don't think there's anything "sexy" about a Sierra!
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Old April 29th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #31
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Ken! Isn't that the magazine you used to edit?
Ken edited Aviation Safety, which isn't as good as it was when he was there.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #32
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by Ken Ibold View Post
A waste of money. Instead, sign up for the teaser subscription to Aviation Consumer, log on to the web site, download all of the relevant aircraft reports, and then cancel the subscription before they hit you for the $85 a year or whatever it is now.
What, did Av. Consumer crap in your wheaties or something? I think its a good reference and provides useful info.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 08:32 AM   #33
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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I don't think there's anything "sexy" about a Sierra!
Kent, you know, deep down inside you lust for a Sierra. You know you want one!!!
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Old April 29th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #34
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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What, did Av. Consumer crap in your wheaties or something?
No, but Belvoir Publications (which owns Aviation Consumer as well as several other aviation publications including Aviation Safety, of which Ken was formerly the editor) did.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #35
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Reading the comments before yours Ron, I put that together....
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Old April 30th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #36
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Reading the comments before yours Ron, I put that together....
Ken's credibility here (and everywhere, come to think of it...) is excellent.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #37
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Another possibility is to keep the 140 (if you like it) and upgrade the engine. There appears to be a few STCs to upgrade to a 160 or 180 HP engine. Though I'm sure that path has more than a few problems, a quick search will show you what your other options might be.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #38
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

My first post..........I own a 74 Cherokee 180. I am a low-time Pilot. It has been very stable and reliable and I would highly recommend it. I get about 9.5 gph. It has been a great ride.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #39
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Originally Posted by silver-eagle View Post
Another possibility is to keep the 140 (if you like it) and upgrade the engine. There appears to be a few STCs to upgrade to a 160 or 180 HP engine. Though I'm sure that path has more than a few problems, a quick search will show you what your other options might be.
the big problem that I've heard with the upgraded engines on the 140's is that you don't get a significant gross weight increase, so you're still stuck with the same problem of only being about to fit 2 real people in the airplane.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 10:05 AM   #40
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Quote:
Originally Posted by CT Arrow View Post
What, did Av. Consumer crap in your wheaties or something? I think its a good reference and provides useful info.
I don't mean to air dirty laundry or anything. I edited the 8th edition of the Used Aircraft Guide. It sold for $49.95. All of the content in the Used Aircraft Guide is available on the AvCon website for the teaser subscription of, what is it now, 19.95 for 7 months. There's 30 bucks in your pocket.

As for the merit of an ongoing subscription to AvCon at whatever their current subscription rate is, well, I personally do not see the value in it. Having seen up close and personal how the process works, I do not think the content is as fair and free of bias as they would like you to believe. And virtually all of it is available for free or at a much lower cost from other sources.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #41
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

There are no modifications that increase the max gross weight of the 140*.
So upgrading the engine will only address the need for "speed" and not
useful load. Granted changing my 140 from 150hp to 160hp was nice,
I only was able to do it because I was overhauling the engine anyway.


*ok, I vaguely remember something about changing the max gross
from 1950 lbs to 2150 lbs for certain serial numbers, but that's it.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 08:25 AM   #42
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Bob, does increasing the hp help much with speed? How much did you gain?
I had an engine rebuilder tell me that he could get my 150 hp up to 180 (dyno) hp.
That, I think, would be a great difference in speed and weight capabitlity.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 09:55 AM   #43
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I have a Cherokee 180 G, My 1st plane
I fly off a 3900 ft paved and also a 2600 ft grass with trees.
1 door is a pain. I'm old, 6' ,230 lbs. But doable.
I fly 2 people in the plane but could do three. 2400 max gross,useful 950
8-10 gph, speed it depends which way the wind blows,but normally 113-115 kts until you get up there.The other day 103kts ,another was 127kts.
It's a stable, simple, basic good platform,just a step up from your 140. Well maybe 2 steps,150 -160-180hp

The Sierra 2 door,nice, maybe impress someone because you tell them you have a Beechcraft ( they might think you have a Bone or Baron if you don't elaborate), but your annuals will be higher with the prop and the gear and don't forget your insurance will be higher over a fixed gear.
Also seems like more demand for the Cherokees when you go to resell.
I haven't flown a Sierra ,but I don't think I'd trade my Cherokee for one.
Like Cap'n Ron says What's your mission?
Go fly them both and decide for yourself. You're the PIC.

And Anthony , did you tell him about the lifetime AD on the Grumman wing spar and the glued in motor mounts? ( Ed said I should mention that)
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Old May 1st, 2009, 03:10 PM   #44
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Quote:
Originally Posted by stapler101 View Post
Bob, does increasing the hp help much with speed? How much did you gain?
I had an engine rebuilder tell me that he could get my 150 hp up to 180 (dyno) hp.
That, I think, would be a great difference in speed and weight capabitlity.
Typically you will see an IAS increase that's equal to the cube root of the horsepower increase. In this case that's (16/15)^(1/3) or 2.2% which would amount to about 3 Kt on a Cherokee and come with about a 7% increase in fuel flow. Of course if you're low enough you could accomplish the same thing by opening the throttle further. The most apparent improvement with the bigger engine would normally be in the climb and takeoff performance where the benefit is likely to be much more than the 6.7% power increase would indicate since the improvement is related to the same additional number of horses added to the original minus the power required to fly the airplane in level flight.

You can easily compute the additional climb rate at sea level (where you can actually count on the full extent of the extra power) with the following formula:

Additional FPM = HP increase * propEffiency * 33000 / GrossWeight

If you use .85 for the propEffiency you'll be close enough.

For example a 10 HP increase with a 2200 lb gross weight yields 10*0.85*33000 / 2200 = 127.5 FPM
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Old May 1st, 2009, 05:16 PM   #45
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I repitched the prop at the same time, so my 140 will fly the same speeds as a warrior at the same warrior rpm settings.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #46
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

I once owned a ‘75 Sierra for 3 years and before that rented them from Beech Aero clubs. I’d raced them in the ‘’99’’s air races back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It is the most under rated airplane out there! I could always out run Tigers and the Cessna Cutlass RG with ease. I’d be on par with the Piper Arrow. I have race results that show me winning with an average speed of over 162 mph. I won the Fullerton, CA air race 5 times, 4 in a Sierra and once in a Sundowner. I also have 2 seconds and a third there.

After buying my ’75 Sierra I did a clean up on it and got 7 more mph. I could also take out the 2 middle seats and carry 2 mountain bikes, easy with the big back door. I have also flown a Sierra from MRY to VNY with 40 gals of fuel, 3 adults (2 of them not very thin), 2 teenage boys and 4 suit cases. Yes it had the 5 & 6 seat. I have landed Sierra’s in crosswinds up to 45 kts and has handled them with ease.

I also sent Aviation Consumer, years ago, a letter telling them how wrong they are about the Sierra. You fly it like a Sierra not a Cessna. It’s got a very thin wing not like the Piper or Cessna fat wing. Slow down to maneuvering speed? Not in a Sierra! It handles great I could always out dog flight the others including the Mooney 201. It may not be as fast as a 201 but it will out turn it. I did fly a 201 in an air race. It was fast, but it got hot and didn’t turn as fast as the Sierra. Oh, I got 3rd in that race.

I sold my Sierra and got a Beech Baron 56TC, I will always stand up for the Sierra, Sundowner, Sport and Skipper. I have flown them all and they are all Beechcrafts.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #47
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

Hahahahaha. A 146kt Sierra. Does that come with a Yuma view of the Pacific?
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Old March 15th, 2010, 05:54 PM   #48
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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Hahahahaha. A 146kt Sierra. Does that come with a Yuma view of the Pacific?
162 mph is 140 knots.

The Cessna 172RG I fly will true about 138 knots if everything is right (I file 135 knots and get it no issue). Considering how the Sierra has 20 more hp - it's not that much more amazing.

I've flown both the Sierra and the Cutlass. I personally prefer the Cutlass.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #49
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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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.

Yes, except it was the 200 HP Sierra, Arrow, and Cardinal. All for the GI bill. Every 141 flight school had them.

It was the only reason those three were built. All three manufacturers had better airplanes for transportation rather than training.

The Cutless came later, and missed the GI bill.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 08:20 PM   #50
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Re: beechcraft 24r sierra vs. piper 180

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162 mph is 140 knots.

The Cessna 172RG I fly will true about 138 knots if everything is right (I file 135 knots and get it no issue). Considering how the Sierra has 20 more hp - it's not that much more amazing.

I've flown both the Sierra and the Cutlass. I personally prefer the Cutlass.
The way I read it, he added 7mph (6kts) to the already 140kt Sierra.
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