58P Baron and the flight levels

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by astanley, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    I know at least one esteemed member of our PoA community owns and flies a P Baron.

    How are they up in the flight levels? For long distance trips (500-700nm), flying heavy, what is the average time to climb above FL180?

    There seems to be a premium placed on later Barons with true dual controls and other 'normalizations'. These features do appear to open up panel space, but are they worth the huge increase over just installing 'dual' controls?

    Questions from an airplane addict browsing the web...

    Cheers,

    -Andrew
     
  2. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Andrew: I'm not good with the /quote stuff, so, I'll try to answer down here.

    I generally fly in the low flight levels for two reasons: I fly LOP and above about FL210 on a standard day, I have to reduce fuel flow so low to keep CHTs under 380, it's just not worth being higher except for those occasions where one has a great tail wind or needs to get above weather. I do a cruise climb at 140 knots indicated up to the low flight levels: pretty much 700 fpm until I reach critical altitude (which is where I can't make full MP). Since I don't use redline MP, I can generally get 700 fpm to about FL200 on a standard day. Somewhere above 10,000 feet, I slow my climb speed to 130 knots if I can manage CHTs.

    The trip lengths you mention are great in the 58P. It really stands out over 500 NM and I can make 1,000 NM if headwinds don't average more than 15 or 20 knots. More than that and I pull up for fuel. The plane has a six hundred fifty pound payload with full fuel. Inboards only have 24 gallons less fuel and a commensurately higher payload.

    The P-Baron has higher wing loading than the 58 making it more stable in unstable air.

    As for the later models, I just don't think they are worth the premium unless that's really what you want and intend to keep the plane. Some folk pay an awful lot extra to have the non cross-bar yokes, gear lever on the right and throttles and props in the more standard location.

    My 2 cents.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  3. sba55

    sba55 En-Route

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    Andrew:

    This spreadsheet here is a really great way to experiment with numbers:

    http://www.beechtalk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=376

    You might have to create a free account. Download "MasterCalc - PBaron final.xls" from that thread.

    In addition to what Dave said, I think the P-Baron is the plane of choice if you want to go fast and far and you don't care about TONS of space. MX isn't that different from a standard Baron. I've looked long and hard and haven't found a comparable plane with similar performance, similar mx and parts availability. ~25 minutes from SL to FL200 is very doable.

    -Felix
     
  4. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    :rolleyes:
     
  5. Teller1900

    Teller1900 En-Route

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    I am a dad!
    I thought for a minute you were planning to jump back into your training with both feet! :D
     
  6. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Hey, a P-Baron is a go-places plane. If your mission is to go places, it's a pretty attractive option.

    Dave, I didn't realize it only held 650 lbs with full fuel. I thought it was more than that. Then again, full fuel on that is approaching 200 gallons, right?
     
  7. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    184 gallons, IIRC... so yes, that's "approaching 200". What is it in the inboard tanks? 24 total, or 24 each side?
     
  8. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Yes Ted: 190 usable; total is 196. The spreadsheet Alex referred to shows closer to 550 payload. My plane is just a bit lighter than the one shown. 'Course, we all have other stuff in it. I think it's pretty typical to trade payload for fuel.

    I might mention that Cessna has done a number of STC upgrades on the 340; one of which increases gross weight with the higher horsepower engines. The P-Baron only increased it once when they went from 310 to 325 HP. Now, the upgraded engines can be 335 HP, but it's not worth the work to change things with the limited number of P-Barons flying.

    If flying with more folks on board, inboard fuel only still gives 4.5 hours total flying time at 205 to 220 knots depending on conditions with 800 pounds in payload on my plane. In summer, or when high, good reason to use longer runways. More of a trip machine than a short field airplane.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  9. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oooooh, but it's tight. Compared to a Malibu, that is. I love the space in my Matrix, I could never move into a Bonanza body. I may step up to the pressurization one of these days. Right now the Matrix is fine. I've been up to FL250, just had to wear that funky mask. Assuming you feel safe on one engine, that is....:D
     
  10. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    The 58P sure isn't the end-all; beat all plane. It just really fits my needs. I have a friend that's 6'4" and isn't slim; he just can't get comfortable up front in my plane. He had a Cessna 414 and loved the room. The Cessna 340 is a bit wider with the same engines; so, one trades a bit of speed and handling for more creature comforts. When my Dad was ill, the 340 would have been much better for him with the air stairs.

    We pays our money and takes our chances <g>

    Best,

    Dave
     
  11. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    TBM 800?


    :D
     
  12. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    Well, I'm at a life crossroads. You and I talked extensively about how much I miss flying, the fun and the utility. One of the forks I hav in front of me will mean very little in my life besides Jessie and my bicycle (because i'm getting too fat). The other means a huge amount of risk but wih the potential for a really nice payoff. Also, the 'risk' path means I could include aviation again, beyond this little vicarious experience. The risky path means that a P-Baron could be in my future, if I'm successful. I think constantly about the cabin class twin and singles. I really like the C208, bt the acquisition costs are beyond me. King airs are nice, but even worse $ wise.

    The P-Baron seems the best from a 'pros' perspective:

    + 750nm with Jessie and I and luggage, non stop, in 3 hours
    + Stable, well made platform
    + FIKI, prssurized, and comfortable within reason
    + twin fans for some minor over water work.

    I have read some negative things about C414 maintenance. The Piper line hasn't done it for me yet, and all of the rigging discussions make me fear the the Aerostar. There are probably a pile more planes out there - which is OK, because I'm waaaaaaaaaaaay early in any exploration.

    Driving 9 hours up and down the I95 corridor at a holiday borders on the insanity. I'm also to the point where the airlines can go suck an egg. At 200 hours a year, it would be cheaper to do our flights to and from Maine via Baron GA than the airlines. Work travel would be a bit easier, but I can't eliminate the airlines altogether.

    I don't know how much of a pipedream this is, but it has been calling me for a while. I gotta decide some things and set some goals - so why not a CPL-MEL-IA and a P-baron? :yesnod:
     
  13. sba55

    sba55 En-Route

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    I think you'll find that if you don't want to burn 5 gph more, go 20 knots slower, have very mediocre range, and worry about parts availability, there are no alternatives. If you want more space, or don't mind lower quality ala brand C/P pistons, there's lots of other choices. The 58s have plenty of space and have a very efficient airframe. Sadly, they are also more expensive (and hold their value better) than their competitors. 340s, Aerostars, etc. can be had for much less money.

    Just don't forget that the word "pressurized twin" is a game-changer. Better get used to $10,000 insurance initially, $50k engines, and $20k just to get to a stage where you can solo the plane.

    -Felix
     
  14. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    They've never quit on me yet, but as you know, there's just something satisfying about having two throttles to push forward.
     
  15. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I think that 750 nm in 3 hours would require a tailwind from what Dave has quoted on his numbers, no? Realistically, even in a 200 kt plane you're probably looking at more like a 4 hour trip. Of course, that's still pretty good!

    I do like having two engines. In this part of the country, that second engine offers you a lot of options. Plus if you need FIKI for whatever reason, it's very hard to obtain in a single without spending a ton of money.

    Rather than jumping right in a P-Baron, though, it'd probably be good to look into a regular Baron, 310, or Aztec to get your feet wet. The insurance companies will like you a lot more, and so will your wallet. I seem to have done the transition about as fast as the insurance companies will allow. If you want info on what's worked for me (at least so far), shoot me a PM. The other thing is that you may very well find that one of the non-pressurized planes is sufficient for your needs at a significant cost savings.

    I know I'm the one who bought an Aztec for my first plane and was looking at a 340 initially, but I'm glad I bought the plane I did. It's proven to be a better overall fit for my needs (not to mention significantly cheaper), even though there are times when turbos and pressurization would be nice. To Dave's comment about the P-Baron not being the be-all-end-all plane, no plane is. It's just a matter of what fits your needs. Each plane has its respectives strengths and weaknesses.
     
  16. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I miss my P3. Thank heaven someone else paid for it.

    But, for price/value, I'll wear cannulas for my needs. FIKI PA34-200T. And yes, I do FL 21 occasionally (Eastbound, GJT-PIA).
     
  17. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Andrew: Here's hoping you make the right choice and things work out for you.

    There were years when I didn't fly after leaving the military. A lot of that was financial, but some of it was no real use for the plane. About ten years ago, I was in a position financially to begin flying myself again and needed the plane to see family which was spread near and far.

    Life can be good and we have a lot longer than most of us think to achieve our goals.

    Good luck. Say hi if you get down this way again.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  18. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    You're right, Ted. I have the "235kt" cruise number in my head, which is probably a fuel hog (winds notwithstanding). But even then, 4 hours to Missouri from VA is pretty nice. 3 hours to BHB (assuming I go over-water and stay to the E of JFK, and then head N up over ORH) is especially nice, and faster than the airlines (famous last words!)

    We're of the same mindset. I would actually rather a single turbine, but they are cost prohibitive at this time. The FIKI, for me, will be a must if I go down this path. We like to travel in the winter, to see family, and this opens up the dispatch envelope in many ways. It's not a "go no matter what" solution, but a "we CAN go" solution in some cases.

    I'll drop you a PM in the next day or two. Life choices plus airplane lust got this thread started, so logic may be lacking in my thoughts.

    My main desire for pressurization is not needing to ask pax to wear a cannula or an O2 mask. For Jessie and I (probably 60-70% of trips), this would be fine, but I'd rather the "mask free comfort" of a P plane, especially if we have to move the pets around.

    I will also note that, for the longest time, I've loved the Navajo. But, those geared engines are maintenance and fuel hogs, and that does scare me. (Dispatch reliability is a big thing, and not having a 1000 hour time bomb is a big thing)

    Cheers,

    -Andrew
     
  19. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    I've stiffed you guys the last three trips -- work in DFW usually crushes me :(

    Thanks for the kind words, Dave. I think I'm in a similar position to where you were in the past -- our location isn't going to get any closer to family, and potentially get farther away. That plus this little "fork" in the road opens up a lot of questions.

    Not to mention, the lack of flying in my blood is starting to get to me. All Work And No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy...
     
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I've found that for most flights under 1000 nm that aren't originating and ending at a Class B airport I can generally save time on GA in the Aztec, especially when you look at door-to-door travel time. As an example, when I flew to Tony and Leah's wedding last month, the door to door time (not including last minute starter repair on the left engine) was on the order of 7 hours. Now that includes driving to the airport, loading up the plane, making a stop in Ohio to pick up a passneger (although I'd need a stop for fuel anyway on that trip unless I had the long range tanks or a tailwind). The best examples are my dog flights. Non-stop from Anderson, SC to Albany, NY in 4 hours? Beat that, airlines.

    Exactly. Some days you just ain't flying, but FIKI opens up a lot of days that would otherwise be closed off. Although I'll take two pistons over a single turbine, but that more has to do with personal preference. I know the turbines are more reliable, but I just like having two engines and find far more romance in pistons than turbines.

    Sounds good!

    We'll talk about this some. Makes sense (I had similar thoughts initially), but you may be overestimating how much time you'll spend up at oxygen altitudes. Now granted I don't fly a turbo plane so there's not much incentive to go up high unless I can get a really good tailwind, but I've only had a few instances where I've really wanted to go up that high. And it's no secret how many animals I transport in my plane! They've never had any issues. Pressurization is nice, but adds another level of maintenance.

    The P-Navajo is the only one with the geared engines. The base Navajos are still extremely capable planes, and the TIO-540-J2BDs in the Chieftains are some very nice engines. My instructor just put a new TIO-540-A2C in his Navajo 310. The old one was still running strong at 1850 hours (TBO on those is 1800). That said, we've taken the Navajo on a few trips and I can't say I enjoy paying for 40 gph of fuel to go 180 KTAS when I can pay for 20-21 gph on the Aztec to go 155-160 KTAS. If I could justify it, a Navajo or a 402 with the crew door up front is probably next on my list, but I have a feeling I'll be sticking with the Aztec for quite a while.
     
  21. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did? Man, my memory must really be going. ;) :rofl:
     
  22. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You may also want to consider the DA50 Super Star if it's out by the time you're looking to buy. Only one fan, but it's got the rest and is probably much more economical (one fan, much lower insurance due to fixed gear/single engine, lower maintenance, etc.) to operate. If nothing else, it'd give you most of what you want until you've built the time to get into a twin.
     
  23. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    You did great in the 58P; squeaked it on the runway too.

    This fella is a businessman that was using the plane to go on B trips as Andrew says he might. It's more cramped than a 414 or 421 for sure; even a 340 is wider. If you are sitting with two large folks up front (which you weren't) it can be a bit narrow. Your head isn't far from the top of the interior with a head set on either. Not fun in turbulence.

    The welcome mat is out if your down again soon.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  24. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Every single day, Jack must have just a teeny bit of fun. Just even a teeny bit.

    Or one day Jack decides it's not worth it at all.

    Buy the P-airframe. Or in five years you will still be in the same place.
     
  25. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    I hear you, Bruce, I hear you.

    I have some work to do before I can get into a twin. But a man has to research...

    Cheers,

    -Andrew
     
  26. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    Dave picks up correctly. If I go down path "B", GA will be a part of my business travel (ergo FIKI/heavy IFR). The allure of the P-Baron is speed and a very stable IFR platform, especially in the later models (which have all that panel space). 205-210kt is very, very nice; it puts pretty much everywhere I'd like to go within 4 hours and no stops for gas.

    Cheers,

    -Andrew
     
  27. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Andrew: quit screwin arouind in Dallas being Mr. all work and not flying. I need to do practice approaches a lot. See what a 58P really flies like. It's a gas! 100LL gas!

    Best,

    Dave
     
  28. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Andrew, you will enjoy the time. It's heavy in pitch, light to moderate in roll, but nowhere as ponderous as a 414 or 421.

    Warning: in Dave's at least, when you roll into a turn, it just stays in it. Near neutral dynamic roll stability, like an A-Star. VERY good pitch stability.

    And a thank you to Dave, whom I think nearly lost his cookies watching me close the throttles 50 feet off the ground.
     
  29. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I love this stuff!

    ---

    Andrew, when you recall that this is all about passion anyway, you can stop applying logic to the equation.

    Do what you can, revel in it.

    So says me. I bought what I could reasonably do, love it, see a reasonable (if not stunning) chance at something more down the road.

    That P is certainly nice!
     
  30. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Andrew,

    I'm of the mindset to get what you can now and live life. We never know what tomorrow will bring. If you could swing a Bonanza or other single now, even it its not optimal, would that work for much of your personal travel?
     
  31. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I think a Bonanza would be perfect for Andrew, but I am glad he's swingin' for the bleachers; I'll be able to say, "I knew him when..."

    Sorta reminds me of my sister, during her Proctor & Gamble days, telling me about her friend Steve who left for a software company in Seattle - a Brand Manager on the fast track, throwing it all away on a wild and speculative venture. That one worked out pretty well for Mr. Ballmer...
     
  32. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    You handled and landed the plane better than I have on many occasions, Doc. You just did something quickly that I didn't expect. Startled your CRM partner is all!

    It's really a funny insurance situation. I knew you had mucho flight time and experience, but if something happened, insurance coverage depended on me--a $300,000 roll of the dice--I knew you were good for it :rofl:

    Best,

    Dave
     
  33. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think Anthony is making the point that it'll be a while before Andrew is rated and insurable in the Baron, and until then the Bonanza is a great way to build flight time and familiarity with the brand, the airframe, complex time, etc. that will get him insurable in the Baron that much faster. I was thinking the exact same thing. :yes:
     
  34. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Beginner's luck and/or an excellent coach in the other seat. :yes:

    I tell ya what tho, the 58P is one heckuva lot easier to get into! I think it was easier for me to get into a J3 Cub than it was to get into the cockpit of the 421.

    Yep - That's my biggest issue in Beeches. For some reason, I didn't have that problem in Spike's Bo though. :dunno:

    Thanks, I will advise! I always have a great time with you guys. :)