“Affordable” Twins?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by JamesA320, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Pre-Flight

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    Hi,

    In another thread, I asked about single engine six seaters. Someone suggested a twin, with the idea that if you could get in at a low price it would offset the higher mx and fuel costs and insurance.

    What I would like is to be able to carry my family of 4, just for fun trips here and there. Live in Vegas so I need some sort of performance due to high temps and mountains. Prefer comfort, and nothing rare as I need it to be easily serviced.

    I have some experience in Navajos. About 75 hours. Suggestions please!

    Thanks in Advance
     
  2. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Yeah, stay with a single. The OpEx of a twin will eat away the cost savings within a few years.

    Tim
     
  3. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No suggestion, yet, just a question. How big is your piggy bank and does it really matter?
     
  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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  5. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ...or two...;)

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/inexpensive-twin.118541/

    In your area, you'll need the bigger engines in my opinion to get the performance you want. I can overhaul both of my O360's for about the same cost as the IO520 in my previous Bonanza, so that defines affordable to me (gas burn in the TA is a smidge more, but not by much). A B55 or C310 would be nice, but the prices on those are going up pretty quickly compared to just 12 months ago. Finding a gem at a decent price is going to be tough. I looked and there is a lot of junk out there for sure.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  6. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That entirely depends on the type of twin you buy. ;)

    Brian
     
  7. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When you go into a six seat twin, the cost go up significantly. The four seat twins like a travelair or piper Geronimo are fairly reasonable,I enjoyed my Travelair for over eight years.
     
  8. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Pre-Flight

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    Ahhh thanks for the links sorry I created an additional thread. Thanks again for the insight
     
  9. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    No big deal. You are new to this forum - Welcome, by the way - and won't have seen much of the history. And it can be difficult to find past info as sometimes people use thread names that aren't very helpful when using the search function. Hope the links help.
     
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  10. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Pre-Flight

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    Thank you everyone!
     
  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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  12. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    In Las Vegas, I wouldn't care so much about the engine count as whether I can get Air Conditioning in the thing.
     
  13. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What was that commercial ? 'Ask the man who owns one.'
     
  14. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Yes. :D

    Tim
     
  15. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    to be fair, finding a decent travel air at a competitive price is also a tall ask. unicorns do me no better than conti plagued twins, but at least i can find the latter. One can find more b55s, and that matters a lot imo. And i say that as someone who would pick a lyco over a conti mind you. the economy of lycoming engines is noted, but i think in this particular market, finding a travel air is too much squeeze for the juice, compared to just buying a 470 powered baron and eating the opportunity cost of continental. at least theyre not 520s....

    Reality is that unless one is going seneca or seminole, you re going antiquing here and you better bring the extra large wicker basket to this Roadshow lol. If that doesnt upset ones expectations for ownership, then my vote would be Aztec. Oh that cabin, and two NA lycoming parallel valve six bangers: basically the tugboat of the sky. id be perfectly willing to leave baron speed on the table for that lycoming powered efficiency apartment :D
     
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  16. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    You make me want to find a ride in an Aztec. :D
     
  17. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Pre-Flight

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    As for the twins suggested, how are the a/c and heating systems? How about pressurization, if any? What are optimal altitudes? Quirks??

    I used to fly a Navajo 350 between FL and The Bahamas. If we had a/c it didn’t work... if I can afford one I assume it may be cheaper insurance wose as I have some time in it?
     
  18. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Pressurization is going to put you into a Cessna 340 or 414, one of the pressurized Barons or a pressurized Cessna 337 Skymaster. The later two are adaptations of their original non-pressurized hulls.

    The Aztec is not pressurized, but you can get factory turbocharged versions. It's basically a baby-Navajo with 250 hp engines. Mine is NA, doesn't have A/C, but the heater is a blast furnace.

    Have you thought about a Piper Malibu? You are more likely to get the sort of amenities you are asking about, and they will probably work, unlike the A/C systems in most of our near-1/2 century old chariots.
     
  19. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Air conditioner is complimentary above 5k anyways. This reads like an automotive wishlist aka pedestrians are at it again. :D If that's the case, I think you should go SR22 and avoid the back and forth.

    Scoffing at the ability of hurling through the sky at 200mph and arrive somewhere halfway across a Continent a mere 4 hours later, just because the taxi broke someone's sweat for 5 minutes in the back, reminds me of that bit by Louis CK:
     
  20. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That was me that responded about the twin idea.
    Operating cost is about 60% higher than my 4-cylinder Mooney.
    Feel free to PM me and I can fill you in from an actual owner's perspective.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  21. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Oh, I totally agree. I got really lucky in finding my Travel Air. I looked for almost 3 years and it took a friend transferring outside the country for 5 years to finally get one (it might go back to him when he gets back....maybe...;)). I really can't believe how much the Baron's have gone up in price lately. Finding a good Aztec is getting harder as well since most have been ridden hard and put away wet. Hell, I was almost tempted to buy a Twin Commander 500S with just shy of 13,000 TT. Then I thought about reselling on the back end and that stopped that fantasy....there's a reason it's been on the market for 3.5 years....:eek:

    For the OP, if and when you decide on what you want, I'd recommend a buyers agent that is well versed in that specifc aircraft model, especially if you are looking at aircraft north of $150K. They can steer you clear of the junk and help avoid some of the pitfalls that sellers (and especially other brokers) sometimes like to hide or just don't know about. I know of three really good ones for Beechcraft if you want a recommendation (and one is a current Captain for an airline). If you are looking in the sub-$150K range and have time, then you can learn as you go. Just depends if the hunt is part of the excitement for you. Personally, I loved the shopping part of it. ;)

    That's not a fair comparison. Comparing one of the most efficient aircraft out there to a pressurized anything (or non-pressurized twins) will show operating costs much higher than 60%, even on the single side of the house. You have to compare the 6-seaters against the twins to see where you fall.

    Hell, even a simple Travel Air loses to a Mooney's operating costs simply because of fuel burn and the extra O360. However, it does not lose to the Bonanza. ;)

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  22. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    You missed a bunch of them. Aerostar's, Dukes, T-Bones.... I personally loved my Aerostar.
    But you nailed it, I was seriously considering the PA-46 when I bought the Aerostar. If I had gone that route, I likely would have kept the plane. And I for sure would not have spent as much money.

    Tim
     
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  23. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Tim,

    Which Aerostar did you have and what do think would be the maintenance cost difference between the pressurized and unpressurized versions? I'm assuming they both burn about the same fuel. Always wondered what the additional cost for upkeep was on pressurized birds.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  24. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Good point. Certainly legitimate contenders.

    But I've always thought of the Aerostars and Dukes being in a higher cost and higher performance category from the more common twin Cessnas and P-Barons though. The fellow in the office next door to my business owns a pristine all glass panel Duke. I think he has more invested in each of his two engine rebuilds than I have in my entire airplane. :eek:

    I wasn't aware the Twin Bonanza was pressurized.
     
  25. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Tbone isn’t pressurized but does get you Lycoming engines


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  26. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    I used to say that too. Friend of mine in phoenix has an Saratoga with A/C. It's the one thing I covet, particularly when I visit. :D
     
  27. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    I had a 602P upgraded to the 700, triple Aspens, GNS430/530 WAAS, gross weight increase, pressurization increase, aux heating system (heats cabin off the turbos waste)... Every mod/upgrade AAC offers except the winglets. If I kept the plane, I would have added them.
    I never did an analysis on the cost difference between the versions. With A*, you can get everything from a 580HP N/A (290 per side) to 700HP dual turbo capable of running 100% power to the mid/upper twenties. So the modifications on the plane make a huge difference both in terms of performance and OpEx.
    If interested, I suggest hitting up the http://aerostar-forum.com/ I used to be active over there, but they can answer with more current info.

    Tim
     
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  28. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Fare enough. Quick comparison.

    Assumptions:
    Any non-turboed piper product: 156KTAS @ 16GPH
    My N/A 310 (real numbers): 177KTAS @ 22GPH The FI models run at 190 KTAS on 25GPH.
    Engine override: $20/engine
    Fuel cost: $5.00/gal

    250NM trip: Piper = $160, C310 = $211
    500NM trip: Piper = $320, C310 = $417
    800NM trip: Piper = $512, C310 = $677

    Insurance is nominally higher
    Maintenance is a little higher
    Double OH would suck, but so would a single OH
    Having two engines while flying over inhospitable terrain with my family on board is invaluable to me.

    Don't listen to to those that have never owned a twin. There are MANY wives tales going around and there is always the "scary annual" horror story if you dig deep enough. Everyone has a story about a time when.... same holds true when you tell someone you ride motorcycles.

    Just sharing my experience thus far.

    Yes, it's more expensive, but not oppressively so. It will haul whatever I want to put in it and if I want to fly at Piper speeds, I can throttle back to 18GPH and 155 KTAS.

    Food for thought...
     
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  29. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    @mwagg737

    If you always fly a set time; e.g. 3 hours to some location for a day trip. Then cost per hour works.
    If however you are like most people and fly to specific destinations; you are better off looking at it from a price per mile than price per hour.

    Depending on how you fly and where you fly; the twin could lose or gain under this analysis. For example, if most of my flights are 100 miles; with a nice section over water the single will have a lot of time at full rich/full power. This makes the twin a "better" value since it will climb is much faster. If however, you go long distances; e.g. 500+ miles with only a couple of people than the single gets an advantage on the per mile costs since cruise is a greater percentage of the time.

    Tim
     
  30. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I can't haul as much (#1300 useful), but we travel light, so I'm good with what I have. Would have loved a C310, but got tired of looking for a decent copy that wasn't priced like it was made of gold. This one dropped in my lap at a very good price and no surprises so far. Everything works and all the major components are basically under 7 years old (fuel tanks, engine mounts, gear motor, etc). Still, it's a 61 year old bird and something will always need to be fixed.

    I'm with you having two engines is much better for my mental state with the family on board. I travel a lot between Virginia and Ohio, so frequent trips over the Appalachians is normal for me. I was even starting to get a little to worried about night flights over said terrain. :eek:

    Done the overhaul route on the Bonanza once, so the double overhaul won't be much of a surprise to me in a few years. Should be able to pull of a 2-for-1 deal when compared to the cost of that single IO520 I had done last year before buying the Travel Air. The O360's are surprisingly cheap to overhaul. Cheap being a relative term...:rolleyes:

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
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  31. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Pre-Flight

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    Just for fun, I checked the density altitude at KVGT (North Las Vegas). It is 39C/103F. Elevation is 2,205 and the DA is 6,061.
     
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  32. JamesA320

    JamesA320 Pre-Flight

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    I am also liking the idea of a twin. Looking at the classifieds, I find either very expensive twins or twins that need TLC (to put it midly). I think I’ll focus on a single engine and after owning for a while, move up to a twin.

    Thank you for the wonderful insight!
     
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  33. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’d have to recommend a Grumman Cougar. If you can find one is the challenge
     
  34. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    once again, other than the shooting how was the play Mrs. Lincoln....;):D
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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