C177 RG vs C182 for high altitude

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Arob16, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Arob16

    Arob16 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey folks - I'm looking for some experienced opinions on aircraft choice for a trip out west. 1975 Cessna 177 RG, OR, a 1975 Cessna 182P. Rough itinerary will be FTW-PHX-SMO-SLC-FTW. Highest planned cruise altitude will be 12,000. The POH for both aircraft would suggest very similar performance at high altitude, so it almost looks like a wash performance-wise. But the more I think about it, I'm leaning towards the higher-HP of the 182. I'm more concerned about high altitude performance and climb performance than I am density altitude takeoff distance... I think both will be fine given the available takeoff distances. Thoughts?

    Adam
     

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  2. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Take the 182
     
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  3. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    182 is FG so lower insurance, lower maintenance and less complicated systems. However, you're trading that fir higher fuel burn, more cylinders and higher overhaul cost. I'd do the 182.
     
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  4. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    +1 C182
     
  5. Arob16

    Arob16 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the votes so far guys. BTW not an ownership/purchase question. I have access to both planes (flying club), trying to pick which one to fly out there.
     
  6. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I don't think you can go wrong with either. I'm pretty sure the 177RG has a higher service ceiling.
     
  7. tlglenn

    tlglenn Line Up and Wait

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    Having flown to all of those areas from Tucson I would pick the 182.
     
  8. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You didn't state load. A 177 stopped for fuel at St. Johns AZ (low fuel prices) with 4 occupants and could not take off killing the pilot.
     
  9. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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  10. Arob16

    Arob16 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's not a good outcome. We'd be 2 pax, 2-day duffle bags... somewhere around 2500 lbs or so (2,800 max gross).
     
  11. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-Flight

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    Range? Payload? Anytime you can save a fuel stop, you’re saving a lot of time and money. Airports are few and far between and the weather might be pretty hot this time of year.
     
  12. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Have flown both out of Denver. Loved the Cardinal but it's downside was not-that-great climb rate out if high D-Alt airports.for the uninitiated, I'd go with The extra power if the 182.
     
  13. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Also +1 for 182. If nothing more than the extra headroom and easier to acquire parts. It’s a blessing to purchase a used aircraft that is still in production.

    The Cardinal is a great aircraft, check it out. The 182 is a safer choice in my view.
     
  14. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I've had our stock 182P up to just shy of 15,000msl. That day was in the mid/high 80's and surface DA of 2500 or so (going from memory). Since its not a turbo the climb rates will get quite anemic up around 13,000 and higher. But you should be seeing at least 450fpm up around 10,000. No matter what it seemed to take forever to climb up there but I did it from 990msl. My first try I was too lean. I am guessing I could have sustained around 200fpm at 15,000 for a bit longer. Previous write up is here:

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...-000-learned-a-lot.120913/page-3#post-2794794

    I'll throw in the obvious O2/Oximeter disclaimer. You may find yourself needing to go higher or maybe your body experiences the effects of low 02 sooner than others. 12,000 for longer periods of time seems like a minimum of having a oximeter along. And if you have o2 you might be able to climb up even higher for awesome tailwinds :)

    I know the 177RG will cruise faster on less fuel than the fixed gear 182. But the 182P, especially not fully loaded or fueled should outclimb it all the way and at least get the gear off the runway and into ground effect faster (or should I say shorter distance) when at higher DA.

    Besides learning about plane performance and O2 up at those altitudes, the experiment felt like a PPL training day of slow flight!!! I was doing lots of climbing turns to not get so far away from the airport. Once up over 13,000 it was classic slow flight once with any nose pitch up and turning.
     
  15. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I run Cardinals in West Texas at high DA with just two people on board all the time and even with brand new fresh engines it really doesn't have as much climb rate as I would like. That's why I voted 182...
     
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  16. Arob16

    Arob16 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @Sinistar what kind of TAS were you guys seeing up at those altitudes?
     
  17. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I calculated to be 139kts TAS. On flights just before that at 9000msl I was calculating about 137kts. Both seem a bit high but I used a IAS to TAS calculator since i had recorded IAS, altitude, temperature, etc. I suspect you should see about 150mph ground speed with no wind.

    But the wind :) Easily 40kts up there!
     
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  18. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Not even a choice here, take the 182.
     
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  19. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    182. There is no replacement for displacement.

    I really like the 177RG - it's a smooth flyer and really comfortable for a long legged guy like me, but it can be a bit doggy with any type of load or highish DA. The biggest 'Oh S**T!' takeoff moment I ever had was in a 177RG taking off with 4 occupants, no baggage, and fuel to tabs on a hot Iowa day. It felt like I was dodging buildings climbing out (I wasn't really, but it sure felt drastically different than anything else I had done).
     
  20. Arob16

    Arob16 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback... 182 it is, will report back on this thread on how it goes! Thanks all
     
  21. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Which variant? An RG?
     
  22. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Yes 177 RG per the original post.
     
  23. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Doesn't matter much, the climb rate is about the same between the 177RG and the 177B until you get the gear up... And the A model, forget about that.
     
  24. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Well, that's a pretty big caveat, isn't it?
     
  25. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    I've been over 13000 in my 182 with 3 big dudes (2 250+, 1 ~200), full tanks, a yeti full of ice, and bags for Oshkosh. Don't think a 177 could do that.
     
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  26. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Are you running a 260HP or 230HP (sorry, forget). An extra 30HP would be nice up there.
     
  27. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    230. I have the O-470-U
     
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  28. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-Flight

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    Not concerned with high density altitude TO? Which is cheaper to rent? Do you need the retract/complex time? Whose paying the fuel bill? Good auto pilot in both? All things being equal, I’d take the 177rg. If I had to buy the plane, I’d take the 182 for its utility. The 177rg are designed for an efficient cross country machine.
     
  29. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Don't know much about 177's but I live at 5,500' and owned a 182 for 5 yrs. Obviously DA is always a consideration. I'd get around 400fpm taking off a few hundred lbs under gross at 8000' DA. Mostly flew at 11,500-12,500 and planned for 130kts. Thats a little slower than most 182's but I had a STOL kit and VG's.
     
  30. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    182... btw, you realize you don't need to be up there for that itinerary, right? I guess if you want to that's fine.

    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
     
  31. AdamZ

    AdamZ Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Both planes can complete the mission but the 182 will be more capable. ( Also assume you mean the 180hp Cardinal)
     
  32. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    OP says 177RG, all are 200 horse.
     
  33. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Assume both are bone stock loaded to gross
    177RG: 2800 / 200 = 14 pounds per horse
    182P: 2950 / 230 = 12.83 pounds per horse

    Obviously depending on actual fuel capacities one could be significantly heaver than the other with full fuel tanks.

    177RG factory long range tanks = 60 gallons or .3 gallons per horsepower

    182 factory long range depends on S/N assume 79 gallons or .34 gallons of fuel capacity per horse.

    It looks like the 177RG would take a significant fuel load reduction to match power to weight ratio of the 182 if you loaded the same weight in either cabin.

    The 150 horse 177 I fly, I usually fly around in the summer with 32 gallons me 175 pounds and passenger 145 pounds plus about 40 pounds in bags/junk so around 2100 pounds takeoff weight, that's about 14 pounds per horse (on paper). (I've had it it 14,500 feet solo)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  34. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    182 is the better choice for this. High lift wing and power will both help. Both are sucky high wings in bumps, but the weight of the 182 will help there too.

    Grumman Tiger