4 cyl RG vs 6 cyl FG

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by ConstaP67, May 18, 2022.

  1. ConstaP67

    ConstaP67 Filing Flight Plan

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    Anyone have a sense of the financial puts and takes between going w a 4 cyl RG vs a 6 cyl FG Think Cardinal RG vs 182 or Arrow vs Dakota/235….

    I’d like to find something that can cruise at 130kts or better, and has a useful load of >950 lbs.

    4 cyl RG gets me there at 10gph but at the cost of higher insurance and annuals.

    6 cyl FG burns more gas 14-15 gph but figuring insurance and annual costs lower because of the extra drag.

    At 50-75 hrs/yr and $6 gas is it a wash?

    250 hrs PPL/IFR but no RG time….
     
  2. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    I’m not sure how a cardinal made this list.

    The Dakotas can haul bricks.
     
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  3. ConstaP67

    ConstaP67 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah but finding a nice Dakota for sale is like finding baby formula on the shelf.

    To be more precise it’s becoming an Arrow/M20J vs 182 debate.

    I spent a lot of time in Warriors/Archers early in my flying life and really loved ‘em before buying a 172 w some other guys. Did most of my ifr work in the Hawk. Then got married and had had kids….

    But…..now getting back into it after 25 year hiatus, have logged 22 hrs dual in 172/DA40 and once I get past some med issues (that’ll be another thread, in time) would like to take advantage of the fruits of a decent career and take the plunge again.
     
  4. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    PA-32? Aka Dakota XL.

    I have seen threads on the DA-40 having a useful load comparable to a 25-cent skill crane game lifting a stuffed teddy bear.
     
  5. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    Don't forget about the 73-77 charger/pathfinder. Essentially a Dakota, but no tapered wing... And probably harder to find. Tapered wing never did much for me, but they go for a premium. But maybe that's because the airframe itself is newer.

    Don't sit in a Cherokee Six...shoulder room! Take out the middle row and kick your feet up if you're in the rear seats.

    As far as fg vs rg. Depends on airframe. Those Cessna RGs always seemed wonky to me. The Piper's less so. But I like dumb and simple fg.
     
  6. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Hershey-bar-winged Cherokee 235s, Chargers and Pathfinders carry 84 gallons, compared to Dakota's 72. Just sayin'. And the Petersen mogas STC is available for their lower-compression engines.
     
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  7. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    Is the Petersen STC simply a piece of paper or is there a part(s) to change?
     
  8. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    Do the 73-77 235's have the dual magneto the Dakota's have?
     
  9. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My insurance came down pretty quick in my Arrow II ($3600 new ppl, $2400 now after 200+ hrs in it). Still not as low as a FG 182 quote ($1800), both with the same hull coverage.
    But with what gas cost when I filled up today at my home airport (7.15$/gal) that insurance difference equates to only 2 fill ups of my 48 gal tank. To me that's not a big enough financial difference to pick one plane over another.
    With gas going god-knows how high, I personally wouldn't want to burn 15gph if I could get away with 10. That added money will stack up quick if you're flying a lot.

    However, I will say that if you go the RG route there are some expensive RG maintenance that you hopefully will be on the lookout for (particularly for arrow). Base annual for me was $2375 for the arrow 2. But there can maintenance headaches... For instance, this one made me want to hurl :eek:. The parts were expensive AF. I unfortunately brushed it off when it was caught by the prebuy shop as sounding not too bad. If you do get RG, have them scrutinize the landing gear and make sure all ADs c/w. Don't make my mistake.
    upload_2022-5-18_22-32-41.png

    upload_2022-5-18_22-33-2.png

    I'd also see what the cost differential is on engine overhauls. I'd imagine a 6 cylinder costs more? Though I've never priced one out so I can't say with any confidence.

    Only other comment since you mentioned useful load. If you fly an arrow -- your climb will be pretty meager if you're planning to max out the useful load. It's my only complaint with my arrow when it's loaded down in summer time :(
     
  10. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    Just a 470 dollar piece of paper. Problem for me would be finding an airport that sells the stuff.
     
  11. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    "Installation of an Auto Fuel STC on a low compression 80/87 octane engine is a simple procedure. No major modifications are needed on this type of engine. We provide you with the paperwork and placards required by the FAA to make it all legal. An IA mechanic must "install" the STC by adding the new fuel placards and an engine placard. He then fills out a log book entry and form 337. The whole process takes approximately 30 minutes. No additional modification is required on this type of engine."
    https://www.autofuelstc.com/stc_specs.phtml

    PA-28-160, 161, 180 and 181 require replacement of the fuel pump and modification of the fuel system forward of the firewall. But this does not apply to the -235. Why, I do not know.
     
  12. aftCG

    aftCG Line Up and Wait

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    Because the Cardinal RG hauls a pretty good load. Mine had a useful load of 1005 lbs and the last two I flew were above 950.
     
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  13. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    No.
     
  14. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    1) If I can predict what gas and insurance prices were going to be, I'd have already retired very rich after playing with options and puts.
    2) Flying is a stupid expensive hobby - you don't do it to be economical. First pick a plane that you will enjoy for the flying you'll be doing. See if you can afford it. If yes, continue. If no, then go to your second choice. Don't start the selection process with X is more expensive than Y.
     
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  15. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    If that's your main goal, you can still hit that with 4cyl FG. Grumman Tiger is well over 130kts and some are >950lbs. On the experimental side, there's also Glasair Sportsman and Sling TSi.
     
  16. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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  17. a572mike

    a572mike Cleared for Takeoff

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    My 182 burns 12ish pretty consistently...
     
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  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    On pretty much everything BUT the PA-28, it's a paperwork issue (and a placards).
    The PA-28 version requires a boost pump change.
     
  19. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Only the -160, -161, -180 and -181.
     
  20. ConstaP67

    ConstaP67 Filing Flight Plan

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    Great replies, thanks.
     
  21. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Rounding error.

    Now a large difference will be seen between just dropping off at the mechanic, compared to being hands on in your maintenance.
     
  22. ConstaP67

    ConstaP67 Filing Flight Plan

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    What maintenance can a non A&P owner do on their own plane?
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Everything listed in Part 43 appendix D. Your basic oil changes, replacing bulbs, tires, diagnosing failures in the landing light circuit (my philosophy is that if I trace it far enough, everything is connected to the landing light eventually)....
     
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  24. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Certified - change tire, hydrolic fluid, add oil, and few other things.

    EAB - just about anything
     
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  25. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    I think the money and the speed differences are more or less in the noise. They're all pretty slow, and none of them make much sense financially for personal use much of the time. To me, the differences are payload and maybe range. Between those two things, it's usually easier to stop for fuel than make two trips. The exception being if you're going to fly over water or large areas of nothing.
     
  26. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Owner assist annual, I have historically done almost everything
     
  27. donjohnston

    donjohnston Pattern Altitude

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    “Just about”?
    LMAO
     
  28. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    The 182 or Dakota for sure, the 177RG and Arrows are dogs and don’t carry much.
     
  29. William Pete Hodges

    William Pete Hodges Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can put me in the 4 cyl RG camp. My insurance is about 1800 per year now after the insurance spike. 140 TAS at 8 GPH LOP. My Navion friends are burning more than twice that much. Mooney Super21.
     
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  30. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Arrow probably wouldn't make my list. The M20 vs Cardinal might just depend on what I could find. 182 if I wanted to carry 4 people.
    I am guessing the M20 and Cardinal might be a wash in maintenance and maybe insurance. M20's are know to be a bit harder work on, but have a simpler gear system.
    Would Guess the 182 would be cheaper for maintenance and Insurance, but would be slower and burn more fuel ( I usually figure about 12gal/hr)

    Brian
     
  31. bkspero

    bkspero Line Up and Wait

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    An older Grumman Tiger can meet your requirements. My '76 will do 135 kts at 9.0-9.5 gph at 7500 ft (typically at about 200 lbs less than max gross) and has a useful load of 975 lbs. In addition to savings due to it's fixed gear, it has a fixed pitch prop so you avoid the cost of maintaining a constant speed prop. No recurring AD's (or at least there are alternate means of compliance that avoid recurring costs). Recently there was a FAA proposal for recurring airframe inspections, but they withdrew it when the error of their proposal was explained during the comment process.

    I am less familiar with Cardinals, but it always seemed like a fixed gear 180 hp model would also at least do close to those numbers. Except for 1 year, though, it will have a constant speed prop.

    The big difference between these planes and the 6 cyl models you are considering is that they should be able to exceed your minimum requirements by a greater margin than a Tiger/fixed gear Cardinal, but do so at materially higher operating and maintenance costs (as have been shown above).
     
  32. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Please educate yourself on preventative maintenance and learn what tasks qualify as well as where to find them before moving forward with aircraft ownership.