How is the twins market ?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by blueskyMD, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I understand completely. Admittedly, I had some anxiety prior to the 310 purchase; i think I lost some sleep over having 12 cylinders instead of 4 to worry about. I would research 310s and would find all the horror stories. The most common is a nose-gear collapse. This is almost always due to being rigged improperly or not being re-rigged every year.
    Not that it [nightmare annual] can't happen, but it's very rare and rarely do people come on a forum and tell you how awesome and trouble free their plane is. Kind of like having a baby, all you will read is the horror stories. The same thing happened to me when I bought my Mooney. Turns out there WAS a ton of problems with the Mooney, due to my lack of plane-buying knowledge, that I missed.
    Sure, you could end up getting gang-raped in the annual, but typically the people that happens to defer a bunch of maintenance then instruct the shop to, "make it safe because I put my family in the plane." The same can be said of ANY airplane. Obviously, crap happens sometimes, but most of the time those nightmare annuals are due to owner neglect. BTW, there are many 310s out there that haven't had attention for many years.
    A classic 310 airframe isn't worth much. Look for the value in the engines and avionics. Personally, if you can't find the unicorn, look for updated avionics over engines. The -470 is roughly $35000 to overhaul, but you will recover most of that cost, whereas avionics are only about $.50 on the dollar. Good part is, the -470 is about as bulletproof as they come.
    Yes, the costs increase with a twin. I would be lying if I said they don't, but I feel it's well worth the extra cost. Wether going somewhere with the family at 177KTAS and 22GPH or just out for a fun flight in the local area at 145KTAS and 14GPH, I really can't think of a more versatile airplane. Watching the Mooney fly away with it's new owner was hard, but I have zero regrets thus far.
    When you get closer to a purchase, feel free to PM me. I will be happy to share my experience with 310 ownership!
     
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  2. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    My base annual inspection is about 2400. Last years annual I had the 500 hr done on the left engine mags and 2 exhaust stacks reworked and the total bill was around 4K. I'm putting her in for annual again next month and doing some additional things (redo the rubber engine baffles, install shoulder harnesses, 500 hr the right engine mags, install a battery minder, etc). I'm planning a bit more than last year with the extra stuff that I want (not need). This is not owner assisted at all (wish I had the time). I do all my own oil changes, installed new batteries and new spark plugs, etc.

    I generally cruise at 175-180 kts and 24-25 gph ROP. My limit is the CHT's and my baffles suck. I expect the new baffles after annual to bring my CHT's down 20-30 degrees and can run a bit leaner. I've toyed with LOP and and can get it to 20 gph at around 165 knots but usually I operate ROP because I don't like the speed loss. If I had a turbo version I could make up the speed loss with MP and would do LOP more. Who buys a 310 to go slow anyway? :)

    I sought out a Q model as it has the R (largest) cabin but the IO-470's which as mentioned, seem to be the longest living of the options. I'm not as worried about TBO as many people are able to run these motors past but yes, it is 1500. I'm sitting about 500/600 on my engines.
     
  3. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Which airport in KC do you keep it at? I just moved my Twin from MKC to LXT
     
  4. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    You pretty much have to operate with that mentality regarding TBO, when the Conti number is so low compared to Lycoming offerings. Of course the problem is that buyers don't have such a nuanced view of TBO and clobber you on it, compared to Lycos. But from an operational pov, I agree, who cares about that number.
     
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  5. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    I have a nice B55 if you're looking for one
     
  6. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Pattern Altitude

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    My R model hasn't been terrible for maintenance. The biggest single expense so far has been overhualing the heater last winter (per an AD, and the fact it sucked and it gets flown in the Rockies in the winter). I think that was around $2,400. The de-ice timer crapped out this winter and ended up being $1200+labor. Those are so far the only really big ticket items we've replaced, besides avionics. The more I fly the 310 the less I want a different airplane until I can afford a BIG upgrade. The cabin space is great, useful load is great, capability is great (we base out of a runway that's 3,500 for landing, 3,900 total), cargo capability is great. We see 24-26gph on average out of the 520's with 175ish true (usually 10k+). I would guess it costs $300-$325/hr to run/own with current fuel prices.

    If it's something you can afford and want the utility/capability of I recommend twin ownership. That being said you also have to invest in yourself in training and currency otherwise the safety aspect of a twin is the deadly part.
     
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  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Probably the 310 pictured in post #3 of this thread.


    The ME is easy. Typically 7 to 10 hours.

    "...can't afford it" is a purely theoretical construct when it comes to airplane ownership. Twins do everything faster than singles, including the rate of progress towards family bankruptcy.
     
  8. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    175 KIAS or KTAS?
     
  9. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just made the jump to the twin world.
    Prices seem to be coming up but there are some deals out there.
     

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  10. kep5niner

    kep5niner Pre-Flight

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    KGPH - Midwest / Mosby. Nice 5000’ runway with an ILS. Reasonable hangar costs.
     
  11. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    as soon as gas goes up.....there went the twin prices, down. :D
     
  12. kep5niner

    kep5niner Pre-Flight

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    Good catch. Flying helicopters now, so we don’t reference KTAS much.
     
  13. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    What's the Duchess market like? Who flies them besides schools?
     
  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Economical personal twin. Back in the 1980s Burt Rutan's brilliant aerodynamicist, John Roncz, used to own and fly one. Few were built (<450 I believe) and I just never see them around. In fact I see more Beech Travel Airs than Model 76s.
     
  15. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I always really enjoyed flying the Duchess for what it was - reasonably roomy and easy to fly. But it seems to me that it’s a plane that exists for training - unless you absolutely need that second engine, for the price I think you’re far better off with any number of singles.
     
  16. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What are your plans for the Grumman ??? (Assuming that you own the plane in your avatar)
     
  17. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Nice plane! A have a few hundred hours in one - super comfy and awesome range. Congrats!
     
  18. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just sold it. Listed it and was sold within 12 hours. Going to miss it.
     
  19. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

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    By the time I'll be able to afford one, they'll be in the LSA category and triple in price, lol
     
  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Both the Duchess and the Seminole were very much used for the training market more so than the private flyer market. For some reason Cessna never really went after that market, and the Twin Comanche, while it was used in the training market while it was still being produced, was cast aside in favor of the Seminole once it came out due to both its undeserved bad safety reputation (which was more the FAA's fault than anyone) and because production was stopped in 1972 after the Piper factory in Lock Haven flooded.

    There's nothing wrong with this breed of light twins - And if you like Arrows, you'll probably like the Seminole, which is merely a twin Arrow IV. Baby Beech owners would likewise feel right at home in a Duchess, and Comanche owners in a Twin Comanche.

    However, they have to be flown a little differently than more capable twins: They've got useful loads not a whole lot more than some singles, and at least some of the difference is taken up by fuel, so they really don't climb well on one engine. Pretty much from rotation until you've cleared all obstacles in the area, it should generally be treated as if it's a single where only half of the engine can fail at a time. Performance is going to suck on one - For example, the Twin Comanche without tip tanks has a max gross weight of 3600 pounds - Higher than my 280hp Mooney - but its engines are only 160hp apiece, so when you lose one at 7000 feet or so and can only maintain 75% power at best, you have 120hp left to hold up a 3600-lb airplane if you're at gross. Not my idea of fun.

    That said, one of these light trainer-class twins will maintain altitude with one out a whole lot better than a single with one out. ;)
     
  21. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks for sharing. I didn't quite expect the $8K/annual but you were clear to indicate "budgeted" so I am guessing it fluctuates.

    Thanks for sharing, especially from the assisted annual perspective. We would not have that luxury where we are.

    Wow, our base annual on the 182 is about $1600 and we are also in the upper Midwest. Our typical annual is usually around $2100 though now that it has stabilized. Its easy to forget, its not just 6 more cylinders and plugs, its 2 more mags, another exhaust system, another starter, etc.

    I also seem to hear a pretty recurring overall expense of about $310/hour (okay, strange how that number worked out!). For our example, there are a lot of straight leg 182's out there. Typical operating costs are $120/hr-$145/hr. We plan for $130/hr (fuel,mx-reserve,annuals,hangar,no financing).

    So lets say a person would jump to a C310 from their fixed gear 182. I purposely did vs from a 182 retract because this would be a decent step up.

    Consider a 530nm trip as an example (all numbers rounded up a bit):
    C182=4hrs vs C310=3hrs
    C182=50gal used vs C310=70gal used
    C182=10gal reserve vs C310=20gal reserve
    C182=60gals vs C310=90gal
    C182=800lbs left for pass/baggage vs C310=????lbs for pass/baggage

    ...I guess I am not sure of useful load the C310 will have if you take off with 90gals. I would guess over 800lbs right?

    I find the numbers interesting. In the 182 those numbers might just barely work for 4 people and frugal on baggage. I suspect the C310 should be able to fly a 5th person and more baggage. I have no clue of the difference on high DA other than I know in the 182 I'd reduce that 800lbs after fuel by another 150lbs or so which kicks out the 4th passenger. Maybe the C310 can still carry the 5th passenger at higher DA's?

    I also like that you fly 3hrs for my 4hrs. By the end of then 4th hour we'd just be landing. If you landed, you would have refueled, bathroom stop and easily back in the air. Add a second leg of 530nm and you are there after a total of 7hrs (6hrs flight + 1hr stop) and the 182 is there after 9hrs (8hrs flight + 1hr stop). If a person can afford it, you are getting there a lot sooner (2hrs!) plus the room and redundancy.

    Thanks for sharing your information!!!
     
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  22. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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  23. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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  24. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    If I had 90 gallons of gas, I have a little over 1000 lbs left for passengers and baggage.

    In your 1000+nm cross country, that is where I could carry 163 gallons, myself plus 400 lbs and make it non-stop. I just punched ARR to MIA for fun into foreflight and it shows with the current average 5 kt tailwind for the flight that I would make it in 5 hrs 40 min with VFR reserves left.
    A) I don't like flying quite that long in one sitting
    B) I'm a bit more conservative with my reserves.
    C) If I was patient I could do it LOP with a comfy reserve
     
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  25. aggie06

    aggie06 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wasn’t that plane in the AOPA article about the Cougar?
     
  26. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes it was. Still looking for a copy or two of the magazine if anyone has it laying around
     
  27. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    What month/year was that? I’ll see if I have it...
     
  28. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    January 2018
     
  29. aggie06

    aggie06 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have my copy still in pretty good shape. It’s yours if you want it.
     
  30. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Well, I was able to go faster than you're listing on less fuel with the 310N going LOP, but I put a lot of effort into efficiency. ;)

    When you do your baffles make sure you get as many of the gaps filled with RTV as you can.

    My recent idea (ignoring time, money, and FAA) would be a short nose 310, get a couple of GTSIO-520s. Pull off the turbo systems, add a belt-driven supercharger (I don't like the Cessna turbo system), 8.5:1 compression, 550 cranks. Would be a lot of fun.
     
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  31. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll take it Ill send you a pm
     
  32. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    you got over 180 KTAS on less than 24 GPH? that beautiful 310 is efficient!
     
  33. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I did a LOT of tweaking on that airplane over the course of the 5 years I had it. With 520s I was getting about 185 on 23 GPH combined, or 197 on 27 GPH combined. Altitude impacted this as you'd imagine.

    I'm loving the turbine world, and with how much else I have going on I don't miss the tweaking that I had to do on the pistons all the time to keep them operating in tip to shape and peak efficiency. However, it was very satisfying to see those improvements.
     
  34. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have one also...:yesnod:
     
  35. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

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    It all depends on where you are flying. At sea level, yes the light twin on one engine has the advantage over the single with none. A great airplane for Florida, or cruising the Caribbean. In Colorado, I'll take the the single with no engine because when you finally grind into the earth, the single will do so a hell of a lot slower. This fact is a big part of why the twin doesn't have as safe a record as one would think it should have.

    If somebody is planning on buying a twin to fly their whole family whenever, where ever, buy the twin with the biggest mofo engines on it you can. Having a twin as a family "airliner" invites you to think, "We can take a trip anywhere we want to go!", but with the light twin, this is poor thinking. The light twin is perfectly suited for exploring the Caribbean, but forget about the trip across the Rockies.
     
  36. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Pattern Altitude

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    Training, proficiency, currency, maintenance. All things twins need.
     
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  37. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I respectfully disagree.

    I live on the eastern slopes of the Rockies. After owning a series of piston singles I now fly a light twin specifically because I often fly over the rocks to and from the west coast, where my wife and I grew up and still have family.

    As for "grinding into the earth a hell of a lot slower" I will acknowledge the 5200 lb gross Vso of my twin (55 knots) is 9 knots higher than that of my Husky, but still a wee bit better than a Cirrus SR22 at 59 knots. But then the Cirrus has a parachute, so perhaps you have a point. ;)
     
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  38. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Seems like a prudent list for any type of airplane. :cool:
     
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  39. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sent you a pm
     
  40. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not really. Stall on a single-engine Comanche is 53 knots, on the Twin Comanche it's 61 knots. 8 knots difference, to me, is not "a hell of a lot slower" even if you multiply by 1.3...

    Plus, single-engine service ceiling (the thing most people focus on) is not an altitude which you can't operate above without both engines running. It's the altitude at which you can *climb* 50 feet per minute on one engine. Using a stock non-tip-tank-equipped Twin Comanche as the example, the single-engine service ceiling is 5800 feet, but the single-engine absolute ceiling is 7100 feet. But again, that doesn't mean that you can't fly above 7100 feet with one engine out. 7100 feet is the asymptote of your altitude vs. time after engine failure graph.

    Let's say you're over the Rockies at 15,000 feet and lose one. You get it boxed up and trimmed for single-engine flight, and you will be coming down... But your "glide ratio" will be much better than that of a single because you do still have some power, and as you descend and gain more power, your "glide" is extended. Unless you're in a box canyon, you should be able to find yourself an airport before you meet the ground.

    The difference in stall and landing speeds? No, not at all. I don't think that has hardly anything to do with the twin safety record - It's pilots who don't train, practice, and plan ahead for the engine failures that cause twins to have a less-than-expected safety record, not airspeeds.
     
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