Anyone Have Performance Numbers for a Bonanza A36?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by KennyFlys, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. KennyFlys

    KennyFlys Guest

    I'm helping a guy "tweak" his approaches in his A36. His power settings are practically slammed to the wall. We were pushing Vno and above in cruise and during vectors.

    I'd appreciate if anyone can provide me with recommended power settings for a nominal cruise in an approach environment to include vectors, entering for a full approach, PT and inbound on final course.

    Perhaps a scan of performance page for 2000-4000? Also, I need to know the Vfe and Vle numbers if not more detail from Section Two.

    I've gotta get this guy slowed down. I'd really like to see him change his overall operation. I'm not sure how much time is on the engine but I can't imagine making it to TBO. So, any little suggestions would help.

    Once I get him more on top of power control, then maybe we can tweak the approaches. I've got a guy who was very lost on how to handle an approach without a GPS. I turned off the moving map and it went down hill from there.

    He wants to improve approaches but adapt more to what would be expected of him for frequent flights into Austin. That would be the ILS 9.9 times out of ten. I figure once we get the "old style" nailed down, then we can use the new-fangled gear where he can stare at a moving map, if necessary. But, I'd prefer he first be able to fly the needles coming from the GPS rather than watching the map. All this follows his getting into a systematic approach brief. Up until now, he's been using what I'd have to call "The Shotgun Brief." It's not working too well.

    I wanted a challenge as an instructor and I certainly got it. Thanks for the help in advance!
     
  2. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Can't help you with the numbers, but I think this kind of pilot is more common than any of us would like to admit.
     
  3. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    it shouldnt be too hard to go out and find power setting and pitch attitude combinations that give the desired performance. half hour max of experimenting in the practice area should sort it out.

    have fun, i had an IPC earlier this year in a 182RG that was similar. about 3 times coming back, around 5 hrs total flying. It was pretty cool to watch him try to shoot the ILS at Vle the first time though...
     
  4. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Never seen the guy but giving eight-to-five odds that he taxi's between 1,200 and 1,600 RPM, dragging the brakes. I have an A-36 manual somewhere if you don't get it elsewhere first.

    Ask him if he knows about using Bo's for "ranch flying." If not, tell him it's one of the most important thing he can learn, because there are hundreds of ranch strips around Austin that he can use if the rubber band breaks, but he has to fly them slightly differently.

    Then show him how. Just remember "bottom of the green is top of the white" in most airplanes.


     
  5. RMCN172RG

    RMCN172RG Pattern Altitude

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    FWIW, this is from an Operating Procedures book I picked up at Tradewinds in Pontiace before they closed.

    Vfe 12 - 154 KIAS, Full 30 - 124 KIAS

    Vlo/Vle 154 KIAS

    Instrument Procedures

    AT IAF or VECTOR for approach within 10 NM

    Power Target 21" MP
    AirSpeed 120 KIAS
    Flaps if required

    PRECISON AT GS INTERCEPT

    Power Target 17"MP / 2300 RPM
    Gear Down
    Flaps Approach
    Propellor Smoothly forward
    Descent Target 600 fpm
    Speed Target 110 KIAS
    Landing Assured - Slow to 80 KIAS

    NON PRECISON AT FAF

    Power Target 15"MP / 2300 RPM
    Gear Down
    Flaps Approach
    Propellor Smoothly forward
    Descent Target 700-1000 fpm
    at MDA Power to maintain alt + Speed (22"MO)
    Landing Assured - Slow to 80 KIAS


    edit: I can shoot you a picture of the checklist page if you want.
     
  6. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Forgot an old trick for the "always too hot" Bo driver. Cut a template of the ASI so only the 90 and down portion is visible. Tape it lightly to the face of the instrument. Can't see the needle? going too fast.
     
  7. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'd recommend a look at Eckalbar's book. While not everything should be taken as gospel, it is a good starting point.

    Also, see if you can borrow a copy of the Beech Pilots Proficency Program syllabus. It's chock full of Bonanza goodness.

    That said -- I think the official BPPP and Eckalbar's numbers are too fast.

    I use 100 KIAS (IIRC, that's 19" MAP -- prop is full forward by now) to within 1-2 miles of FAF in an A36, slow to 90 (17" or so), then drop the gear and flaps to Approach. This results in a 450 FPM descent rate at 90 KIAS with no power change required.

    I perform and teach a GUMPS check once descent rate is established and needles are pinned, one more GUMPS 200' before MAP, and once MAP is reached and landing is assured full flaps and slow to 80 KIAS. and land and get off the runaway before the C172 behind you that will take up 3,500'.

    :smilewinkgrin:

    Sure you can fly the approach faster in an A36, but better to learn to fly it slow.

    A competent pilot aware of her airplane can later learn to pick up the pace.
     
  8. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    This looks very reasonable. I'm usually between 17" and 19" on the final segment of the approach, depending on how heavy I am. Gear and approach flaps at the outer marker on the ILS. The A36 slows down nicely and is easy to fly at 90kts indicated if required. No need to go screaming down the approach unless ATC tells you to.

    Have fun flying the A36. One of the best piston singles out there.
     
  9. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The POH numbers are generally for flight at MGW. You should teach that these need to be adjusted for actual flying weight. A one Kt reduction for each 100 lbs below MGW works pretty well. The exact calculation involves multiplying the POH CAS by the square root of the ratio of actual vs max weight but that's kinda tough to do in your head in the pattern. It's also important to understand the significant difference between IAS and CAS at low speeds (near Vso). For instance if you compute 1.3 * Vso as a normal approach speed you can be way too slow if you just multiply the IAS you see at stall break by 1.3 and then use that number as the target IAS.
     
  10. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    In training a few BE36 pilots for their IR, I found that 90 KIAS with approach flaps is a good approach configuration. Keeps speed under control without running idle power and allows prompt extension of full flaps when committing to land. For the rest, see Chapter 3 in Dogan's Instrument Flight Training Manual -- developing the full grid of the Six Configurations will be a good exercise for your trainee.
     
  11. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Amen to both! Having known configurations for a particular airplane is more useful than POH numbers anyway.

    Here's what you want to fill out, with some "clues" in gray:

    [table][row][cell].[/cell][cell]AI[/cell][cell]KIAS[/cell][cell]Power[/cell][cell]Climb[/cell][cell]Gear[/cell][cell]Flaps[/cell][/row][row][cell]Vy climb[/cell][cell]--o-- +10[/cell][cell](Vy)[/cell][cell]WOT/(MaxRPM)[/cell][cell]+1000[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][/row][row][cell]Cruise climb[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell]100[/cell][cell]25"/2500[/cell][cell]+500[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][/row][row][cell]Cruise[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell]150[/cell][cell]WOT/2300[/cell][cell]0[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][/row][row][cell]Cruise Descent[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell]20"/2200[/cell][cell]-500[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][/row][row][cell]Approach Level[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell]90[/cell][cell]16"/2200[/cell][cell]0[/cell][cell]Up[/cell][cell]Apr[/cell][/row][row][cell]Approach Level[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell]90[/cell][cell]18"/2200[/cell][cell]0[/cell][cell]Down[/cell][cell]Apr[/cell][/row][row][cell]Precision Apch Descent[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell]90[/cell][cell]16"/2200[/cell][cell]-500[/cell][cell]Down[/cell][cell]Apr[/cell][/row][row][cell]Non-Pre Apch Descent[/cell][cell].[/cell][cell]90[/cell][cell]12"/2200[/cell][cell]-1000[/cell][cell]Down[/cell][cell]Apr[/cell][/row][/table]

    One tidbit that I picked up from my CFII was that when doing the above table for a new airplane, the trick is to start out with 20" or 2000 RPM for fixed-pitch when getting numbers for cruise descent and approach level, 16" or 1600 for precision approach descent, and 12" or 1200 for NP approach descent as most airplanes, regardless of size and speed, will be reasonably close to those numbers. Just tweak as necessary.

    Also, FWIW, having the above table helped me immensely in the early-to-mid stage of instrument training. Known power settings allow you to set-it-and-forget-it and spend more brainpower on more important things. :yes: Also, having known performance for a particular airplane gives you a basis for questioning things later - For example, losing a few knots may mean you're getting carb ice, or airframe ice!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  12. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's a whole ton less work when you know your Power-Attitude-Configurations (and pretty much essential for IFR flight).

    Set it and know what to expect. If you don't get what you expect, something ain't right (gear down? flaps? Ice?).

    Anyway, when you're at lower power settings / airspeeds why fiddle with RPM?

    I like as little work as possible once established on the approach. So once I've slowed to FAF approach speed, prop knob goes forward and that's that.
     
  13. sba55

    sba55 En-Route

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    In my opinion, it's a good idea to practice both fast and slow approaches. 90 knots is a good practice speed, but it's very slow for an A36 in real life.

    I flew all my approaches at 120 knots. Gear down, that gave me a decent descent rate at 20'' or so. No real reason to go much slower than that.

    As far as "throttles full forward" - yes, that's a good policy for NA engines. Reduce power with mixture if possible if you're flying LOP (many Bonanza owners are) and, if ROP, I'd reduce power before I put the gear down a few miles before the FAF.

    -Felix
     
  14. john smith

    john smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ron,
    Can you post that chart as an attachment for downloading?
     
  15. john smith

    john smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Where did you learn to fly that way?
     
  16. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I can think of one -- the transition to landing. If you fly a BE36 at 120 KIAS all the way to DH, you're going to have your hands full getting it slowed, down, and stopped on the runway unless it's really long. While someone of Felix's experience can do that, I prefer teaching a much more stabilized approach from the FAF to the threshold when someone is new to the plane or instrument flying. They can get fancy later, once they've got the plane and the instrument stuff down cold. If Ken's trainee is flying as Ken says he is, he needs to get the basics down first before attempting the more advanced techniques described by Felix.
     
  17. john smith

    john smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That was going to be my recommendation.
    If the guy isn't going to read the POH, there's no way he will read Eckalbar's book.
     
  18. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    See post 11, above. Or buy a copy of Dogan's book. And no, I don't get a sales commission on the book.
     
  19. john smith

    john smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have it... I just cannot find it!
    It has been years since I last looked at it.
     
  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Most of the CS-prop planes I've flown, I like to leave at cruise RPM. Of course, that's because most of the CS-prop planes I fly, full forward on the blue knob is a very noisy 2600 or 2700 RPM. That's more noise than I want to subject either myself or the airport neighbors to.

    I'm not sure where you got the idea that I'm in favor of "fiddling" with RPM. The table accidentally had a 2300 instead of a 2200, but after done climbing, I don't think you should change it until near landing (or miss).

    If you're referring to the starting settings I suggested at the end, the inches MP are for CS props and the RPM's are for fixed props. I only said fixed once, 'cuz I thought it'd be fairly obvious. ;)

    Felix, I only agree in cases where the pilot is very proficient at both stick-and-rudder flying in their particular airplane, AND is very proficient at instrument flying. In the case of someone like Kenny's talking about, slowing down to 90 knots will probably help immensely. Only *after* they can really nail the approaches at slower speeds should they be speeding up. I do think that towards the end of training, it is a good idea to practice some fast approaches for the "best forward speed" scenario, but that practice will be worthless for someone who can't get the approaches right at slower speeds.
     
  21. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Agree completely. 9 of 10 Bonanza pilots need to learn how to fly approach to landing more slowly.
     
  22. John Collins

    John Collins Pattern Altitude

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    I almost exclusively instruct in Bonanza's.

    The early 36 and A36 have continuous position flaps, with out a detent (go down, stay where you are, go up). Early units have a VFO of 113 Kts and a VFE of 122 Kts. Starting in 1979, a three position flap system was implemented, (up, approach (12 to 15 degrees), down (30 degrees)). The VFO and VFE for the approach flap setting is 154 Kts whereas the VFO and VFE for full flap extension remained at 122 Kts. VLO and VLE have not changed and is 153 Kts.

    For Bonanza's without the approach flap settings, most pilots do not use flaps on an IFR approach. Typical power settings would be 16-17 inches, 2300-2500 RPM, gear retracted, gives about 110 Kts. For the aircraft with an approach flap setting, approach flaps are typically used and the power settings are 2 inches higher to maintain the same speeds. Descent to the runway is simple, lower the gear at GS intercept. If a level segment, such as an MDA needs to be flown, add 5 inches MP.

    The A36 is a category A aircraft if flown at 90 Kts. Most pilots fly the approach in the 100 to 120 Kt area to category B minimums. I don't like to fly right at 120 Kts as any increase is speed forces one to use category C minimums.

    With the gear and flaps down, the A36 slows up very nicely to normal approach speeds if you are willing to reduce power. Even at a 200 ft DH at 120 Kts, the Bonanza can be easily stopped in less than 3000 feet. At normal approach speeds of 80 to 90 kts, you can operate in and out of an 1800 foot strip, and at the lower speeds, it will not have a ground roll in excess of 1000 feet.

    I am accustomed to flying the Bonanza with out the approach flap setting, so as I near the IAF, I normally reduce power to 16 inches. I generally leave power set and just lower pitch for step downs or the gear when descent to the runway on the glide path is needed. Very little else needs to change other than occasional minor pitch changes to track the GS.
     
  23. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    BTW, I teach flying the approach with the climb power prop setting (usually 2500 RPM) -- one less thing to fiddle with if you go missed.
     
  24. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ...and I hate fiddling. It's almost as bad as banjo-ing.
     
  25. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Seems to me that in most Bonanzas and certainly in my Baron going to max RPM with the prop control before the throttles are closed enough to override the prop governor is going to make for noise complaints from the airport foes. Personally I see no reason to push the RPM above normal cruise on an approach. Leaving it there means one less thing to manage at the FAF and if you're in the habit of pushing all controls forward on a go-around (a good idea whether or not you firewall the prop(s) at the FAF) there's really no downside.
     
  26. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Interesting. We don't have too much problem with noise sensitivity here, but I've flown into enough airports that do that this should certainly be a consideration.

    Yet, in an A36, if you stabilize airspeed at 90 KIAS before the FAF (power set 17" or so MAP), pushing the prop knob in changes nothing. (unlike the sudden engine scream as the prop knob is shoved in when sparky rockets into the pattern at 140...)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  27. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    It's not just Bonanzas, Dan. I've come across the same phenomenon of the 120-kt "recommended" approach in the Comanche and Cirrus and it's probably in other models as well.

    When asking why, the answer you usually get (other than, "well that's what I was taught") is that the airplane is more stable at the higher speed. That may be true - I've flown a 172 at a 120-kt approach speed on an ILS and it's much more stable in that airplane also - but it's hardly an answer.
     
  28. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Give 'em a turbocharged engine with a manual or linked wastegate and see if it changes....
     
  29. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep.

    It certainly is "more stable" if they define stability as "control surface responsiveness."

    [BEGIN RANT]

    Which is one reason why repeated approaches going missed in practice (especially during initial IFR training) is Bad.

    Every approach should be flown with the intent to land. And a high speed approach means all that energy is now perched on those tiny little wheels with the weight balancing on top, likely on a wet runway.

    Of course time and money and practice going missed have to be factored in there, but those should be the exception, not the rule (especially in primary IFR training).

    [END RANT]

    Approach speed is a tradeoff between "stable enough" in flight and "slow enough" on the ground.

    The A36 will fly fine at 70 KIAS. It is definately more work as the controls are less effective with so little airflow.
     
  30. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That doesn't match my recollection but it's all too likely I'm remembering incorrectly. I do know that at any power setting that doesn't activate the gear warning in my B55 will allow full RPM if the prop control is fully forward.
     
  31. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree with Kent. There are indeed circumstances where a fast approach speed is beneficial but for most GA pilot's this is not the norm and in any case pilots really need to learn how to fly an approach at the speed that's optimal for the majority of their landings.

    IMO there are two reasons why so many pilots fly their approaches too fast. One (already mentioned) is that they like the way the airplane reacts to control inputs when flying at 1.5 Vso or faster and perceive the diminished control response at 1.2-1.3 Vso as a reduction in both comfort and safety. The other is the (generally unwarrented) fear of stalling close to the ground. This is likely also what causes CFIs (who should know better) to instruct and or accept higher than optimal approach speeds in training.
     
  32. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Precisely right.
     
  33. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I haven't flown a Baron yet, but the IO-520 equipped A36 I have a couple of hundred hours in is predictable in this way.
     
  34. KennyFlys

    KennyFlys Guest

    I prefer a manageable speed. Faster is fine IF appropriate. But, problems happen faster if you're going faster. Crossing the localizer toward the parallel gets the controller's attention VERY fast if you insist in also flying so fast.
     
  35. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I think it's more than that. There's also a momentum issue. With the airplane faster there is at least the perception that is is less affected by crosswinds on the approach, so less correction is required once set up. Of course, as you point out that momentum needs to be dissipated at the bottom,which can raise its own issues.
     
  36. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hmmm....

    Is inertia pilot perceptible? The advantage of speed on crosswind is the differential (you'll feel a 12 knot guts in a C150 moving at 56 knots, that the Bo at 85 won't), n'est pas?

    I don't know -- Some physics guru needs to chime in on this one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  37. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dan,

    I'm curious - What's the top-end RPM on the bird, and at what MP are you out of the governing range? I ask because I have to pull the trusty 182 back to slightly under 12" to get out of the governing range, which is why I don't put the prop forward until I've pulled power back to descend from TPA VFR, or until short final on an approach.
     
  38. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which means he's got to descend 200' and reduce speed by 65 knots to land. Is that what somebody thinks we should be teaching?
     
  39. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Redline is 2750 RPM.... 12" is below green arc, which is 13" (IIRC)
     
  40. john smith

    john smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is a problem of not having a qualified instructor familiar with the airplane. If you just want a sign off and grab any instructor, you're not doing yourself nor the instructor any good. As pilot, you are not getting the quality of instruction you should want, and as an instructor your are not giving the student the quality of instruction he/she deserves.
    As an instructor, you are possibly putting your certificates on the line should anything happen to the pilot resulting from the bad practices you are not correcting.