Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by John Baker, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    I have a1978 PA 161. I have about 400 hrs to TBO. What do ya'll think about installing a 180 Lycoming in it. Do you think it would hurt the resale value, or saleability of it. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this.

    John
     
  2. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    Does the STC increase the MGW?
     
  3. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    No, that is one of the problems with the Archer/Warrior STC, no legal increase in MGW.

    For the cost you are almost better off just selling what you have and buying the plane you want.

    Now the STC from 150hp to 160hp is worth it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  4. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    bummer! a '78 has the long body and tapered wing, too.
     
  5. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    I'm almost 66 years old, my little Warrior is probably my one and only bird. My mechanic suggested the 180, however, I am concened that it will actually lower the value of it if it is not a desirable upgrade.

    I puchased N997SG a little over two years ago from east Texas. It is a very clean, almost new looking plane, even though it is 30years old. I have put some serious (at least for me) money into it making it right. It had an oil caning wing walk that I had replaced, some avionics went out since I purchased it, the directionl gyro and the number one VOR indicator. I'm not to eager to purchase another used aircraft and have to go through the same dance with it.

    John
     
  6. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Do you need the power? Is the engine getting weak? There could be a lot of life left in that thing...
     
  7. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    I guess the real motivator for doing such a thing is that my grandkids live up in Colorado Springs. I have rounded the clubhouse turn and am in the final prepeing for my private ticket. I Am am no expert on aviation, but I think my 160 would not be all that great for a run from San Diego to Colorado Springs.

    I purchased my bird with more of a chasing the $100.00 hamburger mission in mind rather than pushing it up a mountainside. The engine she has now runs great, compression is excelent in all four. She just came out of her anual and all is good.

    Heck, for all I know, she would do just fine on that run. That is why I am running this whole idea past those of you who know more than me, which is probably all of you.

    John
     
  8. fdorrin

    fdorrin Filing Flight Plan

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    The STC does increase the MGW. I have a 1981 Warrior II, and I plan to upgrade the engine to 180 HP at TBO. I'd love to learn about your experiences and decisions along the way.
     
  9. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I have flown Warriors and Archers, and have flown each in high density altitude circumstances, and fairly heavy.

    First-off, if your plane is running well and the engine is strong, I would not be in any hurry to yank it and replace it; the Warrior is a good-flying airplane.

    On the other hand, when it comes time for the engine to be overhauled anyway, going to a 180 would be a great way to improve the performance of a plane you have already spent time, money and love making right for you.

    And I believe that the 180-HP upgrade would definitely improve, not harm, the value of the plane.
     
  10. charlie

    charlie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a 1980 Warrior ll with a 180 in it. It had a gross weight increase to 2415 with the 160 engine but installing the 180 did not increase the MGW. We used the Arch/Warrior STC. There is another STC out there but I do not believe it increases the MGW. The conversion is expensive and a real PITA to do. Charlie Melot Zephyr Aircraft Engines
     
  11. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    There is simply no substitute for power, and more is better than less. Warriors with 180s are not that uncommon, and with the tried and true Lycoming 360 up front I don't believe that you would suffer a value decrease - but others with more experience than I (e.g., any experience at all) in the resale market can guide you better.

    Your 160 will do fine in the mountains if you fly conservatively, undergross, yada yada. This is an important point!

    Your 180 conversion will do better but I am having a hard time understanding a scenario where you would say "No Go in this 160, but if I had the 180, I'd go." As a new pilot with little mountain experience, you shouldn't cut the decision that finely.

    -Skip
     
  12. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    that's the real point, innit?
     
  13. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Whose STC is that? The Sykes STC (Arch-Warrior SA2946SO) for the 180hp does not increase the MGW. You will not only have to replace the engine but you also need a new prop. IMHO unless you have a really great panel that it is far cheaper to sell your plane and upgrade to a real Archer. I looked into this with great detail when I bought my Warrior and decided then to just keep the 160hp engine.

    I hear rumor of a STC from Bob Small but I cannot find it in the FAA database. The talk on the Piper Owners Society webboard is that this STC will only be for 1976 models and later.

    There are rumors that for PA28-160's that there is a seperate STC that can get 100lbs of MGW increase but that is a seperate issue.

    I am curious if you have some new info.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  14. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I flew to Leadville, CO from my home base at Front Range Airport outside of Denver in my 180 HP Tiger with two relatively large guys on board and had no trouble. Yes, I know its got 20 more HP, but that stubby little wing doesn't produce as much lift as your Warrior, and I ony have a service ceiling of 13,800 ft. However, the reason I am telling you this story is when I got to Leadville, the highest airport in North America at 9,927 ft., I noticed a Cessna 172 landing. It was an instructor based there with her student. I asked her if it was a 180 HP 172. She said no, that it had the stock 150 HP engine in it. I was shocked. She said it did fine in the mountains.

    My point is that a mountain flying course and some time with an experienced mountain CFI will do a lot more for your capabilities from San Diego to the Springs than 20 extra HP. Here's a good place to start. Click on the section for Mountain Flying.

    http://www.coloradopilots.org/default.asp?menuID=
     
  15. colomtnflyer

    colomtnflyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    John-

    I cannot disagree that more power is a good thing for flying high, in mtn flying, sometimes power will get you into trouble faster than you want! I have flown all over the Colorado Mtns in a C172L, w/ 150 hp engine (including Leadville). It's about technique, not just power!

    If you are interested in a Mtn Flying lesson from some very knowledgeable CFI's, try Peak Aviation, based at Cutter in KCOS. This is the flight school I used to teach mtn flying at (also have my C310 on lease with them). Robert Dorband and Ali Ghorashi are both great instrs and quite knowledgeable! Whether in your aircraft or theirs, they'll show you a great time, and give you some great information.

    If you'd like more information, PM me!

    No doubt, Anthony- you met Ursula, who along with Daniel manage the LXV airport. She has been teaching there longer than I have been flying!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  16. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's her! She is very nice as is Daniel. I enjoyed hanging out with them and talking mountain flying. I flew up to Granby from Leadville and did a T&G just to say I'd been there.

    More horsepower is better, no question. I found myself wanting 200 HP with a C/S prop when mountain flying, although my 180 was OK. I'm sure if I had that, then I'd want a turbo. :D
     
  17. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Back to the reason for the original question - San Diego to Colorado Springs and would the 180 HP engine be practical?

    The entire trip can be flown at no more than 9500 ft (actual, not density) with no problems. I live in Colorado, too, and have a 180 hp cherokee. But learned in a warrior.

    Questions to ask yourself
    1) how much will the replacement engine cost?
    2) how much fuel can you buy for that amount?
    3) how close is your warrior to an engine overhaul?
    4) what's the cost of the current engine overhaul?
    5) have you calculated the ROI on the replacement engine?

    Rather than spend the money on the replacement engine, I'd recommend a really good mountain flying course (if the ground school is less than 2 hours, it's not a really good course) along with the actual flying (which should be a minimum of 4 hours, probably broken into 2-3 sessions). There's no problem with flying a 160 hp engine, it'll just
    take a little bit longer, probably less than an hour over all.

    Rough estimate using a VFR flight planner for the warrior, 7.5 hours flying time at 9500 MSL. Rough estimate the same planner for a cherokee with 180 hp engine at the same 9500 alt is almost exactly the same amount of time. In fact, the warrior was 10 min faster. Strange, really strange....

    Route:
    SAN-Yuma-Buckeye-over the top of Phoenix (9500 works!)-Show Low- St Johns (stop there for gas - always cheaper!) - AEG (Albuquerque) - up north a bit to get around the Sandia mountains then turn east - hang a left at TAFOY, over Las Vegas, NM - Raton, NM - and straight into Colorado Springs.
     
  18. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The Cherokee Owner's Association wrote an article about the 180hp conversion some time ago (I don't have a copy); their concensus agreed with Charlie Merlot's, above: it wasn't worth it. That said, here's a good list of the STC's (the web page has a LOT of other good info on it).

    From: http://home.earthlink.net/~keith_dkx/cherokee-resources.html

    Engine Upgrades
    • Arch-Warrior, Inc. offers an STC to covert a Warrior to 180 HP. Walter Sykes, (561) 278-1964.
    • AVCON Conversions in Udall KS has an STC to upgrade a Cherokee with an O-320 to an O-360 180 HP. (620) 782-3317, Robert Williams. He's very difficult to contact but one CPA member reports successfully purchasing the STC in 2006. There are rumored to be two versions, one with a fixed-pitch prop and another with a constant-speed prop.
      (this is not the same company as Avcon Industries which also makes STCs for various aircraft)
    • Art Mattson's R&D (also known as A M R&D) has an STC to upgrade an O-320-E2A to 160 HP.
    • Bob Small has a "Bold Warrior" conversion to upgrade a 1976 thru 1983 151/161 Warrior to a 180 HP Lycoming engine. Email: bsmall38@hotmail.com, Phone: (480) 844-2325.
    • Lycon has an STC to upgrade an O-320-E2A to 160 HP.
    • RAM has an STC to upgrade a Cherokee 140 or 151's O-320-E3D to 160 HP.
      (Their web site says "These STCs are not offered to suggest a significant performance increase", which is honest.)
     
  19. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And in case the OP doesn't know who Charlie Merlot is, he has one of the best engine shops in the country and knows his stuff.
     
  20. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    Thanks for the input, I had no idea that my Warrior would be OK for such a trip. I've had it up to ten thousand, the controls felt kinda mushy, so I didn't try for anymore. Like I said, I lack the experience.

    John
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  21. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The feel of the controls will vary with indicated/calibrated airspeed. When you're at 10,000 feet, your engine is making less power and the air is thinner, so your indicated airspeed will be quite a bit lower in cruise. However, if you note that indicated airspeed and then trim for that speed at a lower altitude, the controls should feel the same.

    As far as going from San Diego to Colorado Springs, well, you probably won't be going direct in a Warrior no matter what horsepower engine you have in it. Direct from KSEE to KCOS is 695nm, but goes over some pretty high terrain, with MEF's well over 14,000 feet. If you modify the route to KSEE TRM BLH FTI KCOS, you should be able to fly the whole thing at 10,000, but it's 814nm. Still, a much better way to go. Tailwind or neutral wind, a fuel stop at KSJN, any headwind stops at KPAN and KAEG for example. That should keep you away from the biggest rocks and all the restricted areas (you sure have an abundance of those east of San Diego!)

    Lots of room for variation, but you don't want to be crossing the mountains north of KLVS/FTI (Las Vegas/Fort Union, NM), at least until you have done a mountain flying course and KNOW your airplane and its performance in very high density altitude conditions.

    Have fun! :yes:
     
  22. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    Thread revival 2012!

    Similar question as before. I've been looking at the market for post '78 Archer IIs to compare and so far I estimate about a 40K difference between what I estimate I could get out of my warrior II at sale and what a mid time engine King or Garmin /G equipped archer II seem to be going for on TAP, et al.

    I have an '83 PA28-161 so MGW is already 2440#. Engine is post TBO but still doing its job. I haven't quite put a dollar figure to the opportunity cost of the hassle of selling mine and buying a different airplane, with the associated transactional cost (loss) pains and belated maintenance endemic to re-starting with a 'new-to-you' aircraft purchase.

    Just thinking out loud. My ideal step up would be an AA-5B, but the panels of the few that are on sale are complete garbage and people seem to want 60K for just airframe and a high time engine. I would hate to part with my airframe and /G panel just to not find a suitable tiger for the same $$ I could buy into Archer II performance with a better panel.

    From my vantage point the tiger is superior to an archer II in cruise speed, inferior (marginally so) in climb and short field capability. I consider their relative merits a wash for my sub 400NM profile, though of course I would prefer the tiger cruise speed. The mission is adequate in the warrior II mind you, but I find the climb rate too anemic for my taste during the summer months. I just want better climb in the western TX summers. Overhauling the O-320 does not appeal to me as overhaul cost on a O-360 is identical long term. Maintenance costs between all three airplanes I consider identical, which makes keeping the O-320 the least desirable option.

    What say you? Sell and upgrade to Tiger or drop an O-360 into my current ship?
    Why in the world archer II are priced 20K above tigers is beyond me, but sparked my interest in reviving the thread.
     
  23. zaitcev

    zaitcev Pattern Altitude

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    I think a lot of it is explained by misconceptions about the repair of glued airplane. People are just afraid of the unknown. Plus small things like desire to fly into places like Gaston's, not being handy with castering nosewheel, etc.
     
  24. NineThreeKilo

    NineThreeKilo Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Would it increase the value, YES

    Will you EVER get the money back out if you sell NO

    If you need the power, meh, I'd also look at different planes
     
  25. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    I agree with that assessment.

    Do I need the power? No, not really. I went through the numbers a couple months back where I considered a pa-28-235, and for my mission it was overkill and inefficient.

    I just know I wouldn't be happy with 160hp climb rates for extended years of operation, so I have no interest in overhauling the O-320 when the times comes. The only reason I've been considering the engine swap is in the pure opportunity cost of parting out with the panel and airframe I have in my hands today and try and find the airplane I want in the open market, for the same money. The archer II are above 40K in premium if I were to match my panel to them. That's what peaked my interest. Resale wasn't a consideration, I'm trying to find a 10 year+ airplane here. One where getting upside down on capital costs will be immaterial to me. I'm just after the utility value and the predictable and relatively cheap cost of operation.

    What other airplanes would you recommend?
     
  26. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I'm not the only one who's flown a Grumman in and out of Gaston's without any problem at all. Only Grumman accident I've seen there was on video, and evidenced a serious lack of competence. Get with an AYA PFP instructor for a proper check out in type, and you should have no troubles at all in that regard.

    As for the advertised prices of Tigers, if you see one you like but don't want to pay what they're asking, make an offer you are willing to pay. Worst that happens is they say "no."
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  27. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    180 hp in a warrior makes an Archer which is still a 118 kt. airplane.
    180 in a grumman is a 135 knot airplane.

    The question is, though, do you have airspeed discipline? The Archer is tolerant to landing overspeed. The Grumman, not so much.

    Only if you have a terrific panel in your Warrior (and that's rare), would I contemplate the O-360 upgrade.
     
  28. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    This is good advice. I need to get a feel for what Tigers are really being exchanged for these days before I commit to keeping my warrior via an engine swap.
     
  29. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    Let's be objective. An O-360 in a post '78 warrior II makes a post '78 archer II: a 125KTAS airplane. That's within 10 knots of a tiger. The post 78 pants really are good for 7-8kts. I know because my Warrior II does 115-118KTAS @ 8000. Archer II I've rented without pants bore out at 118-120tas.
     
  30. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ummm... Those sound like Piper marketing numbers. The fastest Archer I've ever flown, by far, was 122 KTAS on a really good day, and that was with the newer pants. Most of them are only 115 KTAS with pants, or 110 without any pants. I don't buy 125 KTAS for an Archer with pants, nor 120 without 'em, except in an exceedingly rare well-kept clean model.

    Adding 180hp to an airplane that already has 160hp will result in a theoretical maximum of 4% speed increase, all else being equal. However, all else is not equal - adding a heavier engine means there will be additional induced drag from both the extra weight as well as the further-forward CG. If you want to go faster, an expensive engine upgrade is NOT the way to accomplish it.
     
  31. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    I understand that, but then explain how a tiger is 15-10 knots faster than a 150hp, or even 160hp stc cheetah for that matter, when they are otherwise aerodynamically identical. If an archer II doesn't do 125KTAS easy then tigers don't do 135KTAS easy. Out of rig airplanes are everywhere and that robs 5 knots, I don't consider a rigging job something only found in the rare and well kept regimes of flying.

    As to marketing numbers...Marketing numbers would be saying the archer II trues out at 130KTAS, and the book DOES say that on the charts. Just like the book does says the tiger trues out at 139KTAS. That's marketing numbers. Saying an archer II makes 125KTAS with the post 78 pants and saying a tiger with wheel pants does 135KTAS is not marketing numbers in my view. Only in the grumman-biased view of "all pa-28s being inherently draggy" regardless of vintage, does a tiger on the same cube root rule is faster than a 160hp cheetah by 10-12 knots but an archer II is only 4 knots faster than a warrior II. Meh.

    I know putting a 180hp engine on my warrior would give me 10-12 knots. I also know my warrior does 115KTAS. That's not conjecture: That's no gap seals, protruding step in the stream, 2200SMOH, ADF antenna on the bottom two antennas on top plus GPS puck, stock fuel caps, post78 wheel pants...115KTAS. Archer prop and 20 more ponies equals 10 more knots. It's not all that aggresive of a claim really.

    Indeed I wouldnt be upgrading to these airplanes for speed; rivet technique, wingspan, antennae removal and cross-sectional reduction are more aerodynamically efficient ways of gaining speed. I just challenge the assertion that a Tiger is substantially more than 10 knots faster than a late model archer II, as it hasn't been my experience flying pipers.
     
  32. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    "Let's be objective"

    I have never seen an archer make 125 knots except in descent. Maybe all three of them are out of rig. Perhaps a short body Cherokee 180 you think can make 125?? But if you 're comparing that, the rear seat on the short body really precludes one from calling that a 4 seat airplane....unless you're physically quite small.

    My experience would agree with this.

    If you get to use Piper Marketing #s, then we use the Grumman number of 139 knots.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  33. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    Tigers and Cheetahs are not "otherwise aerodynamically identical." Though they look the same from the outside (except for the Cheetah's small carb air intake below the spinner, and "gills" on the lower cowling sides), the plumbing inside the cowl is quite different between the two, and results in less cooling drag for the Tiger -- with a tip o' the cap to Roy LoPresti.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  34. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you need the climb rate, and actually want to carry four 200-pound guys plus luggage, the post-1973 PA28-235/236s (Pathfinders/Dakotas) are hard to beat.

    Those planes can carry their own empty weight in useful load, and are fairly fast. We flight plan 140 knots (thanks to speed mods).

    I looked seriously at putting an O-360 into our '75 Warrior, back in '02. In the end, it was easier to just buy a different plane.

    Sent from my Nexus 7
     
  35. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    Just another data point: I used to rent mid-to-late '80s Warrior IIs and Archer IIs regularly for business trips in Southern California, mostly IFR. At that time the airplanes were fairly new and well-maintained, and all (except for one of the Warriors, which was the stripped-down "Cadet" version) had the later-style gear/wheel fairings. At light weights with 75% "full rental power" I did see 125-130 KTAS at 5,000-7,000' in the Archers, and about 5 KTAS less in the spatted Warriors.
     
  36. Mike5250

    Mike5250 Line Up and Wait

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  37. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    I have hit the speed range in my 160hp Warrior. But more often than not, I am at 115kts.
     
  38. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They're not otherwise aerodynamically identical.

    The maximum possible performance from increased horsepower, with *every* other factor being equal, is:

    New speed = Old speed * (New horsepower/old horsepower)^(1/3)

    Now, where there is horsepower in the equation, it should actually be thrust. So, if you go from an inefficient prop to a more efficient prop you could beat the cube root rule. But you're not going to make a Warrior go 10-12 knots faster with an engine upgrade.

    The other thing to look at is total trip speed and efficiency. The higher horsepower *will* greatly improve your climb rate, and if you cruise at a higher altitude where the actual power being developed is the same, you'll be able to get there faster and spend more time there, but it's still going to be a very marginal increase overall.

    But, like Dr. Bruce says: There's no substitute for horsepower.

    I could agree with you there. The one time I flew a Tiger, at 2400 RPM and 3000 feet it got about 115 KTAS. I wasn't too impressed. I was told by the Grumman aficionados here, though, that 2400 was too low of a power setting. :dunno:
     
  39. skyflea

    skyflea Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
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    60
    Location:
    Jasper, TX

    Display name:
    skyflea
    +1 on Pathfinders :yes:
     
  40. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    de facto Mejico

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    Thanks for all the input folks! I've run the numbers and it's pretty much a wash so it looks like I'll keep scouring the tiger ads until I can get one for the price I want. In the meantime I'll keep flying the warrior. The winter should give me a performance pad climb-wise until I get sick of it again in the summer.

    I still hold my claim archer IIs are 125KTAS machines but to be honest the time difference under 300NM is immaterial versus the warrior. So is the Tiger for that matter, though it would be nice having the extra airspeed for the few 400NM+ trips. I don't think my mission requires the six cylinder climb rates at all to justify the spring to a 235. I think 180HP is the sweet spot.