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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by FlyingBob, Jun 26, 2014.
The bonanza is a Cadillac, the Cessna is a ford. Always has been.
An experienced Bonanza pilot shared two tips with me when I bought mine to prevent a gear up due to pilot error.
1. Never use approach flaps unless the gear is down.
2. Never go below 15" MP if the gear is up in order to descend.
If both of these little rules are adhered to religiously there is no way to descend to the runway and be slow enough to possibly land with the gear up. Knock on wood, I have heeded his advice and so far so good.
So I own an F-150L?
Once you go BO you don't go back. Ok, it didn't rhyme.... I'm on my second Bonanza. I have had it since 1994. It's a 1951 C35. It lives on a 2200' grass strip and I've piled more stuff in it than you can imagine and it still gets off and flys like she's empty (almost). I've flown C120's, C140,C150, C172, C172XP and C182. All of them are nice planes in their own right but they ain't no Beechcraft Bonanza! Year after year my wife and I talk about selling it as we don't do as many trips (except for OSH) and then we go for another ride. Needless to say - we still own it. It's the best plane out there in regards to style, handling, speed, comfort and economy - hands down. It's also one sexy machine. And yes, I have flown many of the pipers too. From J3's to the piper Arrow. Just my 2 cents.
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It's all about marketing an image. Beech has always marketed their products as a "quality" machine much the same way Cadillac markets their cars. Neither one (Cadillac or Beech) is truly "quality", just marketing hype.
Always has been.
Improper maintenance. If you also improperly maintain the landing gear on your Bonanza you will meet a similar result (gear failing to retract, partial retraction, no extension, etc, etc)
And yes, it does happen.
Didja ever fly a Bo? Is flying only about the performance numbers to you?
If you have any sense of the "feel" of flying, you wouldn't be asking the question.
It is like Ford vs. Caddilac as far as the "feel" of the ride.
if 20 kts slower is considered "relatively close"
I consider 10 kts relatively close because that's the speed the Bo owner I know said his plane flies at.
I think I prefer not having to look down at my wing all the time.
It is remarkable how many pilots manage to crash in front of NTSB and FAA investigators.
Using that logic I know a 182 owner that says his plane flies at 135 knots.
So are they low quality? Average quality? What mfrs are high quality?
Define "quality" in aircraft manufacturing.
Beech is no different than Mooney, Cessna, Piper, etc. The "quality" monicker is all hype.
The gear was trouble-free over the five years I owned my K35 Bonana. ... Except for that evening when I put the switch down and nothing happened. So I cranked the gear down with the little knuckle-busting handle behind the pilot seat and landed uneventfully. Mechanic said electrical contacts on the motor were gummed up. He cleaned it out, and there were no further problems.
On the K35 Vle was 122 KIAS and Vfe was 104. It would be very difficult to slow to flap speed without putting the gear down first.
How did that happen? Shoddy preflight? Or very hard landing followed by go around?
Ummmm yeah, ok.
Rolex, Casio, Tag, Timex, Patek Phillipe. No difference. All hype.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Beech "quality" is a marketing hype.
People wear a Rolex for prestige, not because it's a great time piece.
The only 182 on wheels I would choose over a Bonanza is a Katmai.
My dad got a Rolex in the mid 70's, of course he was proud of it, probably cost $2K back then. Anyway, he's showing to a guy at work and without missing a beat and being very serious the guy asks, "A Rolex, is that anything like a Timex?" My dad was crushed and the guy asking honestly had never heard of a Rolex!
Not sure about Beech quality, only ones I've ever been in were a couple King Airs, but I can tell you as a Rolex owner, I was glad when cell phones got popular, now I always know what time it is!
You seem to be the one preoccupied about which one is better. I made no such assertion. To suggest there is no variance in build quality across various manufacturers is just nonsense.
Regarding the quality of a Beech, well how would you define it if you were to really learn some of the differences in the way it is built compared to other GA planes?
It really comes down to " Good enough vs. Heavy." That's how I see it anyhow. With Good enough an aircraft can be powered with a smaller engine, and still get reasonable performance. What can you say about Good enough other than it is exactly that? Along with the Good enough business model the way the plane feels in the hands of the pilot are often lacking, but the Good enough will get the job done. A Good enough plane will have a mandated 3.8 G loading limit, and at a greatly reduced weight it can usually meet the Utility Category.
But if you go Heavy it pays dividends if these traits are of value. But are the added traits actually of value to everybody? Obviously not or Good enough would have been run out of business a long time ago. So what are a few things that Heavy buys you with a Bonanza?
The landing gear is the same as used on Barons which are significantly heavier. It is just plain tough when used on the much lighter Bonanza. When the government began buying the T-34's there was a requirement for the airplane to withstand a "Drop test" to prove its integrity. I don't remember the height, but it was significant. I seem to vaguely recall it being a vertical drop at gross weight from 15 feet. The plane which is basically a Bonanza had to be able to do this. I bring this up because it is the same gear. If you wanted to read this for yourself I think Larry Ball writes about it along with supporting pictures in his book "Those incomparable Bonanzas." Also of note and shared in Colvin's book (Colvin was a career Beech engineer) he talks about the demonstrated crosswind component. The rating listed for the Bonanza isn't based on the control deflections that were demonstrated by a factory pilot in order to land. On a Bonanza it is the side load the gear can withstand over and over for the life of the airframe. Basically the Bonanza can land straight with no correction provided the landing area was wide enough with centered controls in the same crosswind that Good enough can handle to land with controls crossed to land. So what does buy you? A Bonanza can land in a crosswind that is roughly twice as strong as Good enough because once the control authority ends, the gear will still protect you against these loads.
The airframe is built tough as well. As far as I know the Bonanza is the only GA plane that is in the Utility category at gross weight. Think about that, and then look at your POH for any Good enough planes and tell yourself that there isn't a different in design and build quality because it comes across as naive to argue otherwise. This strength didn't just happen to be built in, it was purposely built in and cost a buyer more of his hard earned money back in the day to have.
Then moving forward to the engine mount. Good enough has a tubular mount while Beech mounts the engine to the keel. It is night and day in quality and strength. Then inside to the controls. Look at the little things like the column that goes through the panel that the yokes are connected to. On old Mooney's or Pipers they are puny, and the Bonanza's makes the 182's look flimsy. Again, Good enough though.
Today's owners of these old Bo's continue to pay for this quality though. Moving the plane around on the ground takes real effort. At home I have a tug, on trips I plan my parking. To fly at true Bonanza speeds the fuel burn is high with the big six cylinder, but I can match the speed and efficiency of a 201 Mooney for example or close to it if I power way back.
Airplanes are all tradeoffs, but to say the Bonanza wasn't built to a higher standard is just wrong. Why in the world wouldn't Cessna for example certify to gross weight in the Utility category if their product could meet the criteria? (Apologies for spelling and grammar errors, I'm on an iPad and have to get going.)
Is removing the fairings and inspecting main gear for fatigue cracks a standard annual inspection item on a 182?
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Small light planes are more fun to fly!
True. I built and flew an RV and it was exactly as you describe.
Interesting thing about the Bonanza is that Walter Beech somehow built in toughness and still was able to design in a light and balanced control feel. Best of both worlds.
I love my Bo - but I am in annual just now, and (as I am fond of saying), the only thing I like less than finding something wrong with the airplane at annual, is NOT finding it!.
So he found a little something - glad he looked, and it'll be fixed, and that's all just fine.
I do it.
Just changing the tire on one can ruin a guy's day.
Except for the single door on older models. That is a major difference for me to not have to climb in over a wing through one door.
Lol, airplanes are a ****load tougher than we give them credit for. Most things that will allow the plane to come apart will be glaringly obvious by that stage. That's the interesting aspect about riveted monocoque construction, with so many components comprising the unit, the failure of individual components becomes less significant. Most people usually find corrosion and smoking rivets before there is much integrity lost, and I ferried a 170 in for annual that was so bad during the inspection the decision was made to scrap it.
I like loading passengers without dying of heat stroke as everyone climbs through one door. In this picture, about a 10 knot quartering tailwind is keeping the 95 F OAT from cooking the cabin. (That may have been 95 in the sun, not OAT)
In this picture, she is ill, chemo and all sorts of stuff. I loaded her in the shade then pulled the plane out so the cabin shaded by wing, closed up the hangar and everything, then climbed in and got the fan running.
I finally got to see a Cardinal up close and sit in one. Not only does the view seem fantastic, those doors make getting in and out just fantastically easy. Next time I find $100k lying around, it's going on my purchase list
68's run $30k-$40k and make an a decent 2 place airplane for a flatlander. With mogas in the tanks, >$36/hr for gas is possible at cruise.
Yeah, I figure $40-$60k for purchase plus extra fix-up fund and costs. I was trying to be realistic in my dreams
I like that...
I bought an A36 in September and have logged 225 hours in it thus far -- and loved every minute / eager to go fly.
With a fair amount of experience in type, I have a hard time understanding how gear-up landings occur in at least an A36 like mine. First, the gear horn goes off (very loudly) if power drops too low with the gear up. Second, the plane is pretty slick clean -- I have to put the gear out at 152 knots just to get it down into flap range (122 knots). Third, to get the plane on down to 80 knots or so for landing, flaps sure help.
All of that is say one would really have to work hard to slow the plane slow enough for a landing, gear horn blaring, to do a gear-up landing. Not only that, everything would feel 180 from a normal approach -- speed, approach angle, sounds, handling.
I'm sure it's been done in an A36, and I was quite worried about it when I bought mine, but 225 hours in, I just have a hard time seeing how one could achieve a gear-up without using the gear to at least slow down enough to land and/or get the flaps out with out violating Vspeeds.
FWIW, I burn 11.5-12.5 LOP at 157-162 knots (depending on altitude primarily, the higher the slower and more gas-sipping) in our plane. ROP I burn around 16.5gph at 172 knots in the 6000-7000 range.
On every flight I'm impressed with the plane. We've done multiple 500-1000nm trips, usually with a leg stretch stop or two somewhere, and the family is fresh and ready at the destination. 'Took it skiing in Colorado and loaded it with more luggage than our Acura SUV could carry -- had to have family bring some of our bags to the airport. With 2 adults, 2 older kids, and bejesus load of bags (my wife and 2 daughters did the packing), it did totally fine coming and going -- including leaving Denver with full fuel...
Love, love, love that plane. Only step up I can see is a King Air or a jet.
What about CG. I've looked at Bos and the CG issues keep me away.
The A36 CG is moves more up and through the envelope while the 35s can move aft if one just blindly goes flying.
Whenever we are going "heavy", I use a little iPhone app that I configured to our particular A36. It shows the envelope burn line from origin to destination. 'Never have had to reconfigure bags or people yet to stay in the envelope -- departing or arriving.
Here's the one I use:
Not much of an issue in the A36. Some 33 and 35 series planes have CG issues.
I have little trouble staying in CG; it requires attention, but is manageable.