Cheap Twin vs 6-place Single

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by SoonerAviator, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I did some searching through archives but didn't see much of a discussion on it. An older (1961) Aztec has been for sale for a bit which has an ancient panel, mid-time engines, original paint which drove me to play out the scenario. I wonder, what are the pros/cons of considering a cheap twin vs a six place single? Wisdom regarding those type of twins says that you generally price them at the value of the engines since that's really where the value sets. So, if you could pick up a $45K-50K twin like an Aztec versus paying $75K+ for a similar PA-32, C206/C210, or Bo does it ever make much sense to go with the twin?

    The main concern I'd have choosing the twin over the single is just maintaining currency with multi-engine ops, versus the single especially with regard to engine outs and takeoff go/no-go parameters. Are there some other considerations that would rule out a 6-place light twin vs 6-place single I'm not thinking of outside of the care/feeding of a second windmill?
     
  2. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    @Ted DuPuis @GRG55 and others will be along shortly, but I've reached the same conclusion.

    When I buy, i'll buy a twin, because for my mission, a similarly or better equipped twin is a far better deal than the comparable single.

    The PA32 to Aztec comparison you note is particularly apt. the cost of a decent PA32 vs similar Aztec favors the twin. And if you need any of the other features of the twin (reduncy in motors, accessories, de-ice, useful load, etc) then that has to factor in too.
     
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  3. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    I was pondering the same about a year ago, before I bought the Lance.

    I watch the fuel flow approach 30gph on my PA32 on climb-out, and count my blessings that I'm not feeding two.

    If you can buy a mid-engine-time twin right now, and if the engines make it to near TBO without much trouble, and you're willing to basically give it away for nothing when the engines require rebuild, you may have a good deal. However, there's no way that you're getting a $50k Aztec, and putting 800 hours on it with nothing much more than the cost of fuel, insurance and annuals between now and then.
     
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  4. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I think it depends on mission. If it’s hamburger runs with friends vs night time IFR ops.
    Those are two extremes. But you can see a lot of scenarios across that paradigm that each plane would be better suited.
    I fly a 182 now and my mission and payload is going to grow. For now the 182 suits me fine. But a 310 is the goal in a few years. Hopefully find a decent one for 150Ko_Oo_O
     
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  5. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    There are some sweet 310 deals out there on some really nice planes.

    Actually, sell that 182 for top dollar in a day right now, and swoop up a 310. people are starting to figure out what a bargain the right 310 is
     
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  6. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    well, there's also the game of hunting up a spare engine on the cheap and either leisurely rebuilding it, or pickling it and putting it on the shelf. this let's you hunt for a deal. Maybe a plane had a prop strike on one side, but not the other, so buy the good, used engine for example.
     
  7. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Piper Aerostar 600

     
  8. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Not that I’d necessarily disagree with a completely trouble-free assessment, but vRef on the one I saw was actually in the low-$40K range, just due to age and panel being pretty much original to 1961. So, if you fixed $10K worth of squawks and put another $10K into the panel, you’d still be below most PA32 variants on the open market. Fuel burn isn’t going to be too much different from the PA32-300, most seem to see between 25-30gph depending on power settings and altitude.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  9. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Yeah, I thought that too when I was doing a similar calculus as you are right now. Then I got into detailed discussions with 1x Baron (B55), 310, Aztec and Seneca II owners, and came to the realization that the median expectation I had of the difference in mx and opex between all these twins and the single 6 seater benchmark was underestimated by at least 10K. 10K per year per 75 hours (at $4.80/gal when I was looking) for me was a budgetary inflection point of consequence for the same hours flown. Yes, I'm saying these things are 250/hr versus 150/hr per 100 per annum as a median outcome. Anecdotal sure, but I'll take their offline ledgers over the fanaticism found in the type specific online boards.

    It wasn't a good economy for me. The seneca and aztec owner were gracious enough to open up their ledgers, and it became quickly evident where the long term ownership costs began to walk away rapidly compared to the lance (my comparison airplane of interest at the time). To be clear, I didn't buy a Lance either, as I don't think the current prices were worth it to me. I'm just saying these twin samples aren't getting any easier to support, with the seneca being the only one I'm willing to exempt from that categorization.

    I'm not gonna convince you of that math though; you'll have to do your own homework and come to your own conclusions. Your monkey your circus. For me, the canard of the cheap twin as an alternative to the large single didn't pencil out in the end, but I didn't need the twin useful anyways so it was easy to emotionally walk away from the idea. Good luck!
     
  10. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Unless your ownership period is rather short, the OpEx of the twin will quickly eat up the difference in capital.
    If your hourly flying is low enough that the OpEx difference does not matter, than you are not flying enough to be safe in the twin, or even a single.

    Tim
     
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  11. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    No convincing necessary, as this was just something that piqued my curiosity with a few older light twins going for prices almost half of what their single engine similar-payload brethren are currently going for. I was just thinking that $30K buys a lot of maintenance and fuel. At 100hrs per year, $30K buys about 10 years of the extra fuel burn you might see if the twin drank 7gph more per hour. I also have no need for six seats, twin or not.

    I’m sure it will still come down to whether you need the 1,400+ lbs of payload and if the operating environment almost necessitates a second engine (lot of night/hard ifr, flight over water, etc).
     
  12. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    And it might be more the 30k savings. look at this below for a 190Kt, 22-25GPH aircraft for $30K. What single do you compare this against? a 210?
    https://www.beechtalk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=137550&p=1907224&hilit=310#p1907224

    what single competes with this 310 for a comfy 4 seater?
    Airframe:
    2415 Total Time
    New Tires
    New Bateries
    Cleveland Wheels & Brakes
    VG Kit
    23 Gal Necelle Tanks
    50 Gal Tuna Tanks
    Underwing Exhaust
    Always Hangared

    Engines:
    1042 SFRM (Left Engine)
    1258 SFRM (Right Engine)
    New Kelly Aerospace Ignition Harnesses
    New Baffle Seals

    OR, you can do a 210. here's one for $37K, so maybe about the same money. https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/31430913/1960-cessna-210

    I withdraw my objection. maybe you can go 210 speeds instead of 310 speeds, save 8 GPH or so and buy in for around the same amount. I'd personally prefer the 310, but I might withdraw my case that you're saving money with the twin.

    in either case, probably well served to decide right away to either go GDL 82 or a Skybeacon for ADSB for a couple grand, OR spend 10K to just put a Garmin 375 GPS + Transponder in and call it done.
     
  13. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I traded up to a 310 from a Mooney. My kids turned into teenagers (no matter how little I feed them). I looked at all the heavy-hauler singles vs. twins. Obviously I decided on a twin. Here's the thought process....

    Price: This was a beautifully restored '56 310. I paid a bit of a premium ($55K), but this plane was like catching lightning in a bottle. Still, this price was WELL below ANY of the singles. An apples to apples comparison of a 210, Lance, Cherokee 6 or Toga put this 310 about a $100K discount. That's ALOT of 100LL. Any one of those singles is a 14GPH airplane. My 310 is a 22GPH airplane. For the math impaired, that's 8GPH difference. At $5.00/gallon, that's 2500 hours before I reach the 100K difference. I fly <100 hours/yr so, 25 years will be my break-even point. No-brainer.

    Maintenance: Yes, it's more. However, I do most of the work on my plane so the Mx cost is ok, but there are 12 cylinders and all associated with that. Still, it's maybe a 30% increase in Mx cost. Even with the age of the plane, most parts are readily available. There are very few AD's on the 310. If I were to just drop it off at the shop, and annual would be about $4-5K

    Cabin size: No comparison. The 310 cabin is huge and a very comfortable ride!

    Operational Cost: About 60% more than the 4-cylinder Mooney. I consider this insurance money.

    Piece-of-mind: I fly at night, over congested areas and IFR quite alot. It's nice to know I don't have to pick a place to die if the engine quits.

    Sex appeal (no small factor): There is simply NOTHING sexy about ANY of the heavy-hauler singles. The 310 lays it on pretty heavy :) The girl is ok too.
    Bumblebee pinup 3.jpg
    310s are a great value right now. The UL, speed and price are a very hard combo to beat. Yes, it will cost more to own and operate, but not oppressively so. Don't listen to all the non-twin owners regarding cost. Can a double OH happen? Sure. Will it? Probably not. Giant annual cost? Maybe, if you save all squawks for the annual, but this is no different from any other plane.

    The 310 is a wonderful flying airplane! It is docile and fast. Although it WILL frequently humble you during landing :)

    Obviously insurance and training can be factors for some. Do hard research. Go fly one. The 310 will not disappoint.
     

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  14. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    Closed on a Colemill D55 Baron today. I wasn't comparing it as being cheaper than, say, a Bonanza. (it is indeed that, though) I was comparing it with something like a G3 Cirrus with a chute. (which it is wildly cheaper than)

    For my own personal interpretation of "ELOS", the math was quite favorable towards getting another twin. I fly over a lot of pointy rocks and am willing to shoulder the maintenance and training burden it carries.

    $0.02

    - Mike
     
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  15. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Nobody owns a personal airplane because it makes economic sense. At least nobody I know. So the subject question is merely dealing with the comparative degree of irresponsible financial profligacy. :D

    I was looking for a mid-80s A36 Bonanza originally. My all time "dream airplane" I had lusted after, that I never expected to be able to actually "afford". It was circa 2010, and two years earlier I had sold my business overseas and moved me, my wife and the cash back here. Discovered two things about the Bo at the time: a) they aren't a true six place airplane, and b) the Beechcraft premium made them an awful value proposition in the used market.

    A corporate pilot friend suggested looking at twins, and that set off a rigorous analytical process (typical engineer, big spreadsheet) to research and compare every piston twin candidate type out there.

    I bought my 1979 Aztec for well less than half what a comparably equipped A-36 with similar engine times was going for at the time. There's no comparison in terms of capability differences. The Aztec blows the A36 away. I do more with it than I ever would have done with the Bo. Fly it in conditions when the Bo would never have come out of the hangar. That I live in the Rockies is one reason, so on that specific point I do recognize for others, YMMV.

    The overwhelming majority of the involuntary maintenance costs so far have been on the airframe...and there's only one of those, just like a piston single. Rebuilt oleos, brakes and discs, hydraulic hoses, repairing various avionics including the engine monitor display and the Century III autopilot, replaced one flap (cracks in actuator bracket), rebuilt two of the gear door actuators, and replaced two of the gear indicator micro switches. These are all typical age related maintenance, not much different than often found on any 40 year old plane. Next winter is the dreaded ADS-B thing. None of these are related to being a twin.

    I do my own oil changes and plug maintenance (yes, there's 24 of them :eek: ), and quite a bit of the rest under supervision. As for the engines, over the past seven years I have installed new Skytec starters, new ignition harnesses, did 500 hr service on two mags and replaced a third one, new engine mount isolators and new brushes both sides for the prop deicers. Other than consumables that's the major stuff. They don't cost "twice as much to fly" as a comparable single.

    I won't voluntarily go back to a single for serious cross country. The Aztec load carrying is legendary, the interior is cavernous, they are built pretty tough with a stronger gear than a Seneca or most twin Cessnas; I flight plan 24 gph all in, and I never have to leave anything behind. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  16. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A double overhaul may not happen, but if you keep and fly the plane, you WILL be overhauling twice as often.
     
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  17. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Twins got cheap when the price of gas went up and the barriers to in flight weather went down. Many are a huge bargain in acquisition costs compared to the relevant singles. But yeah, you're going to pay for old complex systems. And you're going to need far more recurrent training to keep the VMC roll at bay. Pretty east to get upside down on a twin. Actually, easy to do that with any airplane, but mores with a twin.

    Had I yard apes to move around and the ca$h to move them I'd be looking at a twin. Yeah, very few privately owned airplanes make even a whit of financial sense.
     
  18. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If this isn’t blatantly racist then it is certainly tone deaf as I’ve ever seen.
     
  19. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    I think he's referring to children.
     
  20. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    WARNING SOMEBODY IS LOOKING FOR ANY REASON TO HAVE HURT FEELZ
     
  21. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Okay, tone deaf it is, for all of you.
     
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  22. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    I've lived in Portland now almost two years. In this time, I've learned from the residents here that I can find the social injustice in practically any situation. I have no idea what was racist about the 'yard ape' remark. Was that some sort of old-timey slur that nobody else remembers except for you and pepperidge farm?
     
  23. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's true, but I have my engine reserve for that.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  24. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Just referring to spawn. Lighten up Francis, no need to get your panties in a wad.
     
  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    With the twin you get speed, and while I know they're not necessarily statistically safer, I would have piece of mind flying around with two donks instead of just the one. Crossing the rockies or an extended overwater route that hum of two engines can't be replaced

    Nope. There isn't. The Lance, Saratoga, Cherokee Six, 210, 206, etc., all have a certain coolness factor over their absolutely utility capabilities, but they don't have a shred of sex appeal.. and aviation is in large part about that romanticism. Honestly had there not been a v-tail version of the Bo it's whole fame, stigma, and success, would look completely different
     
  26. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Coming from you that's pretty priceless.
     
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  27. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    Right? Like, way more ship's horn vs dog whistle. That term is like the n-word to me. If I would have ever said that phrase growing up I would have been beat silly. My parents were born in the 30's, me in '75.

    What's really forked up: Here's a landscaping care solution www.yardapes.com complete with an ape of the year. "Welcome to Litchfield County Connecticut’s premiere Landscape Firm."

    I am so very, very confused.

    Urban dictionary that term if you dare. I will never use that term, modern use is derogatory, in before the lock.

    Oh, twins are stupid expensive, and irresponsible to the bank accounts. I'd buy a B55 if I didn't live in Alaska, post-haste.
     
  28. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe it's a regional thing. I've only ever heard the term used in an extremely derogatory fashion. I can't imagine using it to refer to my children.
     
  29. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Racism/sexism etc becomes very interesting when it's unintentional, or when the act of considering something racist/sexist is racist/sexist in itself.. "you wouldn't understand because you're X" .. ?

    I'm Hungarian and when people learn this about me they inevitably will always bring up either paprika or goulash.. "ah, so you must love paprika, you know I tried making goulash once, I bet you've got a great recipe!" - I don't really care because they obviously don't mean ill-intent by it, but it's like dude, we eat more than two things and there's more to Hungarian culture than one spice and food

    But yes, IBTL

    --
    I mentioned it up top but I'll mention it again, the 600 model Aerostar gets you lightning fast speeds with very reasonable fuel burn around or just under 30 gallons per hour.. in a pseudo cabin-class plane.. and they look pretty bad#ss and would be guaranteed to turn heads on any ramp
     
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  30. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I've actually never heard it, I've heard the term Rugrats, but never the other

    Speaking of ill thought company names: https://www.moistrealtors.net/
    100% legit real estate office. learned about these guys since I work in the mortgage banking industry and refuse to believe that the company name on realtor's applicant was legit
     
  31. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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  32. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Never heard the term-in-question before, but I took it to mean "children," as in rugrats, kneebiters, demonspawn, and various other funloving, sarcastic terms used to describe kids with affection. Never even remotely took it as offensive or racist. However, as a musician, I am fairly offended (only partly kidding about this) by the media's and now the general public's coopting and misuse of the term "tone-deaf," which describes a lack of ability to hear the difference between musical pitches, and therefore be unable to sing melodies or play in tune with any accuracy. You can't be tone-deaf to an issue.. you can be deaf to an issue. Really bothers me... soooo offended. As a musician, I've been marginalized. Where's my puppy?

    Oh... back to the subject of this thread. I could probably afford to buy an older budget twin. Could never afford to fly it frequently enough to make it worth buying. Used to think a Cherokee Six was my desired eventual airplane. Looking more towards smaller, more efficient fuel-sipping planes now, eventually...
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  33. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm Hungarian and when people learn this about me they inevitably will always bring up either paprika or goulash.. "ah, so you must love paprika, you know I tried making goulash once, I bet you've got a great recipe!" -

    So, you gonna post a recipe or not?
     
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  34. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    hey....I'm Hungarian too....what's wrong wit dat?:confused:
     
  35. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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  36. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Me too!

    Only I spell it hung aryan.

    :eek:


    It’s a joke people!

    As to the term in question, it is much like “porch monkey”. Very often or typically used as a racial slur against blacks but I’ve also heard both used to describe non blacks as well. I doubt if @steingar meant it as a racial slur but rather just in a tongue-in-cheek pejorative manner about kids in general. Which I totally get.
     
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  37. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Well I wasn't gonna say anything, you know, being humble and all... but some of these are, in fact, true
     
  38. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Lol reminds me of the movie Clerks II.
     
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  39. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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  40. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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