Piper Arrow II vs III (+ Turbo or Not...?)

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Alex Batista, Dec 9, 2018.

?

Which airplane you think is better for cross countries of over 500 nm?

  1. Piper Arrow II

    5.0%
  2. Piper Arrow III

    17.5%
  3. Piper Turbo Arrow III

    77.5%
  1. Luigi

    Luigi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Had a friend with a turbo lance, it always ran hot, but that was one lance, have you had issues Arbiter?
     
  2. JC150

    JC150 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I bought a normally aspirated arrow because everyone told me about engine problems with the turbo arrow. Everyone also told me about problems with the T-Tail.

    Turns out 1) I like the T-Tail better and 2) I wish I got the turbo arrow because I've already had to overhaul the normally aspirated engine
     
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  3. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Moot point. Lance prices are more than 40 amus higher than even turbo arrow iii and iv when normalized for avionics. I'm actively in the market for these two airplanes, that's the reality of 2018.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  4. Luigi

    Luigi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Another fun Turbo arrow glitch: If you have the optional cold primer at some point the internal "o" ring dries out in the solenoid (mounted on top of the engine), and they will not repair the unit at the manufacturer in NJ, they want you to buy a new one for $2800. Know a guy whose mechanic disassembles and replaces the $1 o ring all in for about $80
     
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  5. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congrats! Exciting times. :)

    I've flown a bunch of Arrows - I like to say I've "hit for the cycle" because I've flown the I, the II, the III, and the IV.

    My personal favorite of the bunch is the III... And I'm sure I'm in good company, because when Piper started making Arrows again, they brought back the III, *not* the IV.

    I don't know where that burn rate comes from, but the engine in the II and the III is the same... Or was the III you were looking at a turbo, vs. a normally aspirated II? In the normally aspirated III, I would plan 135 KTAS and 10 gph.

    In either case, I do like having the extra fuel capacity, for several reasons. One is that you can just tanker cheap fuel and save on operating costs. Another, especially IFR, is options! I once flew a trip in an Arrow III where I was really glad it had 72 gallons usable. I flew for a couple hours, got to my destination, found the weather had deteriorated below forecast, had to miss the approach, headed for my alternate and in the 15 or so minutes between missing the approach and getting to the alternate, ATC at the alternate cut THREE new ATIS broadcasts! They went from Golf (SCT090 10SM), through Hotel and India to Juliet (OVC003 3/4SM) very quickly. And when I was on that approach, I was suddenly really glad that I had enough gas to just fly all the way home if necessary! I did make it in, and so did the jet behind me, but that was it - The field was below minimums for >24 hours after that.

    Again, I would take those numbers with a grain of salt. The II and the III will have very similar performance in real life, with the III maybe being just a hair faster with the slightly-more-efficient tapered wing. I find the III to be a bit better-looking because of that as well.

    Well, the question there is, what *exactly* is your *entire* mission?

    If you were going to be doing these 500+nm legs every week or two, then the turbo would be worthwhile. However:

    For these more occasional, maybe quarterly long trips (which is very similar to my own mission), the turbo is hard to make sense. If you don't want to go into the oxygen altitudes, then it's really pretty much worthless. For the shorter legs you'll fly in between longer trips, it IS worthless.

    A non-turbo airplane will generally be faster than an equivalent turbo airplane below about 10,000 feet. Figure they'll be about equal at 10,000, with the turbo gaining a bigger advantage the higher you go, until you hit its critical altitude. But if you don't want to breathe oxygen, you definitely don't want to go above 12,000 and you'll have days where you won't be doing so hot at 10,000 either, and the turbo really doesn't have much of a performance advantage at 12,000. Average that out with the non-trip legs you fly and overall, you're going to be paying more money in both fuel and maintenance for no gain.

    I won't take a position on the TSIO-360 since I haven't had to care for and feed one... But how is a turbo NOT worthless for missions below 12K? (If you'd rather fill me in via PM I'd happily discuss it there, but I'd like to know what you think I'm missing.)
     
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  6. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Sure thing, I'll take it to PM, because this is gonna turn into another two circle fight about Mooney-J/Comanche/182RG potato, and I'm done getting painted like I have a vendetta against those airplanes just because I have a different preference when it comes to the aggregate cost picture of owning these things.


    At any rate, forget about the NA 6 bangers for a second, that argument has been noted. Let's talk Arrows v turbo Arrow. In my opinion you overestimate the performance of the NA Arrow above 8K. I own a post-72 -II with gap seals, wing root seals, gear lobes, poor/incomplete paint, mid time engine, so that's my benchmark. Saying there's no performance difference below 12K greatly exaggerates the performance of the NA Arrow ime, or conversely, seeks to be much too deprecating to the turbo arrow imo. The differences actually begin around 8K in earnest at the engine RPM most owners operate (2400 or below). At those RPMs, you're not making 75% above 6600 DA, and 65% at 9800 DA in an NA Arrow. You will make 75% at 12K in the turbo Arrow at sedate RPMs (making barely 55% in the NA at that altitude) circa 11-12gph depending on your cooling setup, and the difference will be 15 knots. No oxygen needed and you will make 150 true in a turbo arrow at 2400 and 12K, 145+ at 10K, both at 11-12gph, which is what you would be doing in a NA 250HP+ 6 banger (granted at a lower altitude). This is especially true of the T-tail turbo, the fastest of the lot.

    Btw, the NA -III is the second slowest NA Arrow (arrow I is slowest), not the fastest. Hershey bar wing is faster cruiser (lower parasite drage) but poorer climber (higher induced drag). As such, the pre-'72 -II (200hp) is the fastest NA, with the -IVs falling in the middle with my post-'72 -II. We're talking about 5 knot differences, so it's all ballwash. The turbo IV is the fastest overall, due to the T-tail and post-'84 fairing refinements.
     
  7. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What the arrow wanted to be
    PA24 :)
     
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  8. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    Please include me; I want in the conversation. I love learning from experienced pilots/owners :D
     
  9. Vince R

    Vince R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I flew one of the new (2002) Arrows for a while...wasn't super impressed. It flew well...about 130-135...but it really seemed to have maintenance issues. In one six month period, it needed hydraulic lines, a prop governor, avionics repairs and an autopilot servo. Aside from the cost, it was down more than in the air, and this was one of the newer, low-time planes. Plus, it leaked - if i flew through rain, I'd sometimes find 3 inches of water on the floor in the back. Thus, whatever you go with, be sure its as good a specimen as you can find, even if you need to spend more. I'd say this is more important than whether it's a II or a III.

    To me, the turbo comes down to how likely you (and your passengers) are going to wear oxygen. Plus, depending when and where you fly, turbo altitudes may not be available to you considering icing, winds aloft, etc. pick some random dates and work up some flight plans - should be pretty clear whether it's worth the extra $5-10 an hour that the turbo will cost over time.
     
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  10. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    spend your evenings or afternoons gazing at Flightaware watching Arrows criss-cross the country.....then make your decision. You'll learn about winds, weather, and patience.....then change the channel to something faster and things are more exciting....like a PC-12. :D


    You'll discover that 10-15 knot speed difference doesn't make all that much of a difference. Now, if climbing is important....I'd get the extra HP with the turbo for the get out of trouble for when you need it (power is addictive and you won't want to go back to less). Go for the one that is most affordable to you. One that is well maintained and well equipped. The last thing you'll want is a project....that get's spensive real fast...and you won't want to pay for upgrades. A new panel or an autopilot can cost tens of thousands and will return pennies on the dollar.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  11. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    Well, assuming I fly 100 hours per year (which based on my calculations it would probably be a bit less than that but a good average) and the Turbo costs $10 extra an hour on average, that would be $1,000 extra per year. That’s already worth the “get out of trouble extra power”.

    My biggest concern (based of what I’ve been finding out so far, thanks to everyone here) is wether the Turbo is going to have “negative implications” because of my 7k - 8k ft average flying.

    First, I don’t mind paying the extra money (assuming no more than $2k year) to “have” the Turbo for when I need it (who knows, it may change the way I fly). I just don’t want my <10k ft flying to “harm” the airplane costing more in “repairs” as opposed to “maintenance”.

    Second, I don’t want my <10k ft flying to make my trip “slower” in a Turbo that it would’ve been on a NA Arrow.

    Any input of those specifically?
    @hindsight2020 @Checkout_my_Six @Vince R (or anyone else). And again, thank you all. You’re all a bunch of really smart and helpful pilots!
     
  12. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    the turbo is nice when it works.....and when it doesn't you need to have an experienced mechanic. You don't want to be paying for him to learn. There's more than just the turbo.....there's waste gate (think exhaust dump valve), controller for the waste gate, and many have a special fuel pump that compensates for altitude....and if your lucky there's an oxygen system. All those take care and feeding....but are great to have if they're working. I've grown to love mine....but, I'm also a mechanic so it's not costing me much other than my time.

    Climbing at +1,000 fpm all the way up to altitude is nice....specially if you're going into the teens. :D
     
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  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, I wasn't meaning to compare anything but like-for-like - Same airframe and engine power with the exception of the turbo.

    All else being equal, a turbo will sap some power down low because it's restricting the exhaust without being able to make up for it in extra power. At full RPM, a NA engine will be able to make 75% power up to about 7000 MSL and 65% power up to about 11000 MSL. Since most of us run at least a slightly reduced RPM, that makes the "sweet spot" for those of us who would rather lose a few knots than buy a bunch of cylinders about 9,000-10,000 feet - At that altitude, we can just make 65% power without using full RPM, at wide open throttle, and it's the thinnest air we're going to be able to make 65% power in, so the speed is pretty good. And all of this is independent of the type of airplane, since we're all flying in the same atmosphere. ;)

    Couple all of that with the fact that you need to climb to take advantage of a turbo, and it means that you need to fly long legs for the turbo to be worthwhile. Like the OP, I fly a handful of long trips a year with plenty of shorter flights in between - So far this year, I've been (from Wisconsin) to New Orleans, the Outer Banks (NC), and Jackson Hole (WY) and I'll be headed to Texas next week. On those trips, the turbo would be an advantage... But I'll also go on $100 burger runs or poke holes in the sky every week or two for the health of both the airplane and my skills, and on those flights the turbo is a disadvantage.

    Again, I'm not basing my thoughts on anything airframe-specific, at least in terms of cruise speed, because the issues with cruise speed really are more related to the atmosphere than the airframe. The big difference, IMO, would be in climb rate. I don't remember how high I've flown in an Arrow, but I did get an Archer to 9500 with 3 guys aboard so it can't be too awful. ;) But it might be that the N/A Arrow doesn't climb particularly well above 8K and thus the turbo gets to altitude sooner. Other than that, it seems like what you're describing above is pretty much just the power differences in cruise again, and since the N/A should be able to comfortably make 65% at 9,000 feet, a turbo at 65% at 9,000 won't do any better (and in fact will likely burn a bit more fuel).

    Now, in this specific case, with the OP being a pretty new pilot and the airframe being a Turbo Arrow, I would be more inclined to lean away from the turbo. In a "panic" go-around, that wastegate setup SUCKS - You can't just push the throttle all the way in without overboosting. Ka-Boom, time for an overhaul!

    I didn't mean to imply that the III was the fastest, by any means. The IV, as you said, is the fastest, turbo or not (as long as you're comparing turbos to turbos and NA to NA).

    I'd be really surprised if the III was slower than the II, though? That big fat wingtip has to have stronger vortices, I would think. But the difference isn't particularly perceptible. Or maybe that's because the II that I flew was a really nice one (N300KR, I think it was - KR for "King Radios," their old factory demonstrator, very well maintained and still was very nice even though they didn't own it any more), and the IIIs I've flown have been well-worn rentals.
     
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  14. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But you don't have much extra power down low. It really only gives you a major advantage in power up high. For example, at 7000 feet you'd still have 200hp available, while the NA would have 150. So you'll climb better, but cruise at that altitude would be similar.

    It's certainly not giving you much of an advantage at that altitude.

    It won't harm the turbo, but it will cost you more money for no advantage.

    It won't be slower, but it also won't be faster unless you're pushing it harder, which makes it cost more money too. For example, in my Mooney at 6000 feet I cruise at about 170 knots on 12 gph at 65% power and best economy mixture. If I increase to 75%/best power, I can get another 10 knots out of it, but it'll burn 17 gph. It would also be likely to require overhaul earlier than it would otherwise. In fact, I can't tell you how many times people have told me that my engine never makes it to TBO so I might as well run it hard... But I'm nice to my engine and guess what - I'm past TBO and it's still running great.

    Another thing to consider, that I hinted at in my previous post, is how the wastegate system works in the Turbo Arrow works. It's a fixed wastegate. What that means to you as a pilot is that you cannot ever go to full throttle unless you're at or above the critical altitude, because you'll overboost the engine, which gets very expensive in a hurry.

    Here's a couple of good articles to read, if you haven't already - You should probably disregard the listed prices for the mods, though:

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/1992/april/pilot/piper-turbo-arrow
    https://www.avweb.com/news/features/piper-pa-28rt-turbo-arrow-227504-1.html
     
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  15. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    How does that work @Palmpilot ? Do you just buy 2 bottles if you have 2 passengers and put a mask on (like the hospitals)? And then, do you just pay to get the bottle refilled? How long does it last. I know nothing about it and this Turbo is looking more attractive each day so I may have to jump in the O2 Band Wagon.
     
  16. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    This is something else I hear from time to time @Luigi How much does it cost to add this (parts+labor) if not already installed when I buy my airplane? And what is it exactly? What does it do? Pardon my ignorance.
     
  17. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    This is important! So is there a “place/website” where I can see a “check list” of must haves when it comes to this. Seems like all this (often ovelwhelming) Information can only be acquired in blogs like this one with the combined (and often contradicting) knowledge of experienced pilots. So now I’m trying to narrow it down. Thank You!!
     
  18. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    btw.....is that you in those glaaaases? o_O
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  19. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You don't have to use a mask, hospital-style, until >18,000. Until then you use the far-more acceptable nose cannula.
     
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  20. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have a single bottle with fittings for four oxygen hoses. Here's a sampling of what's available:

    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/ps/oxygen_0systems.html

    Maintenance shops or FBOs often have refilling service. How long it lasts will depend on the size of the tank, how many people are using it, and the flow rate (which you set according to altitude).
     
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  21. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And my understanding is that cannulas don't use as much oxygen.
     
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  22. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    opposite....a mask is more efficient in usage and delivery. which is why cannulas are only good to 18,000 feet and a mask is required higher.
     
  23. Heftiger

    Heftiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Does this statement exclude the oxi-saver cannula?
    My flow meter has both cannula and mask markings and the mask requires a higher flow rate for the same altitude.
     
  24. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    no....but, the mask is not the hospital style....it seals on the face.
     
  25. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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  26. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    Yep, that’s me :oops:, why? You don’t like them? They’re Oakley’s version of “Aviators”.

    Ah, that seems e bit more bearable.

    So “to cannula or not to cannula, that is the question” :confused:
     
  27. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I don't believe I could recommend a PA-28R-201T for a first aircraft. The I0-0360- takes a bit of care.
     
  28. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    I can make assumptions as to why, but I’d like to know your reasons. And thanks for your input!
     
  29. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Too cool for school.....;)
     
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  30. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    You can mismanage the the TSIO-360 very easy, it can be over boosted. plus they have a tendency to crack cases.
    My customer rebuilt his 3 times in 500 hours, because he likes to run max-horse.
     
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  31. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I stand corrected.
     
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  32. Luigi

    Luigi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The merlyn wastegate is about $3800.00 installed, I believe the intercooler (Turbo plus ) is around $7000.00
     
  33. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    :confused: Wow!! Yep, I’ve decided a NA engine is the way to go for me! Thank You!!
     
  34. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If those numbers made you jump, make sure you learn what other big numbers you might see before buying an airplane! :eek:

    Off the top of my head, a few of the maintenance surprises I've seen on club planes and my Mooney:
    * Corrosion and a fuel bladder on the 182 ($15K),
    * Engine overhaul that necessitated a prop replacement due to prop being out of limits and no longer supported $44K (and the price for the overhaul itself, the number most people budget for, was only $26K), also on the 182
    * Some noise on the radio that turned out to be poor quality, poorly routed wires having their insulation eaten through necessitating a $4K rewiring job on an Archer
    * Autopilot woes in the Mooney that have added up to several thousand dollars - The most annoying (but not most expensive) being the $800 trim switch (now $1100 from what I hear)

    I could go on... But, while I'm certainly not trying to talk you out of it, I hope you go into it with eyes wide open! Every airplane is going to have expensive surprises sooner or later, so be sure you're ready to absorb them. Being actively involved as an owner, and sometimes finding used parts or doing some work yourself, can go a long way towards reducing your overall expense, but you can't keep everything cheap.

    My airplane partner and I know we're indoctrinated into this ownership thing when we say things like how X "only" costs $7,000. :hairraise:
     
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  35. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    Yes, absolutely! I’ve been budgeting and looking (and learning) as much as possible about average costs of ownerships, etc. My reaction to the additions to the Turbo were based on the fact that is an extra expense that is not needed (and perhaps counter-productive).

    I’m glad you mention examples of the other surprises. They do make a person think about renting instead.

    At a general “overall” glance, what’s a good rule of thumb to follow when you buy? Low time? Complete Log Books? Newer Frame? Who used to own it? (I’m guessing a combination of all of these). Anything else?
     
  36. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    just so ya know....renting is cheaper. o_O


    ...but don't tell my wife that. :D
     
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  37. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    One word. Experimental. Adding a Garmin G3x to your certified plane is $10k just for the box and a certified shop has to install it. If you've got an experimental its $4k for the same box and any shop can install it or you can install it yourself.
     
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  38. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Provided the airframe isn't really high time, I'm not too worried about AFTT. Anything that isn't going to tick over 8,000 hours while I own it, and it's been flown a reasonable amount recently, is probably OK. Say we're looking at a 1979 Arrow (so it's 40 years old and the math is easy): 5000 hours AFTT, consistently in the 100-150 hours/year range: That's a yes. 5000 hours AFTT that consists of 1000 hours a year for the first four years and 25 hours a year since... Eh, maybe. 5000 hours AFTT that consists of 160 hours a year for the first 30 years and then 2 hours a year for the last 10 years? No way. And overly low time (1500 hours on a 40-year-old airplane, for example) is as much of a cause for alarm as high time.

    Engine is a little different. An engine with less than ~350 hours is still in the potential infant mortality zone. You're probably OK, but you're also probably paying for a low time engine, so if it quits you're out a lot of money. An engine that's over 400 hours and has been consistently flown at least 50 hours a year (hour a week!) is good, though I'd prefer to see more like 80-100 hours a year. Or even 250 hours a year. Remember that most N/A engine TBOs are 2000 hours, but *also* 12 years. So, if you have a 500-hour engine but it was overhauled 12 years ago, make sure the plane is priced the same as one with a 2000-hour engine. That said, if an engine has been flown consistently, and especially if it's got oil analysis and compression results in the logs over time, I wouldn't hesitate to borescope it (and maybe pull a jug to check the crank and cam), buy it and fly the hell out of it. I am of the Mike Busch school of thought when it comes to major overhauls: Don't do it until you actually have to, and don't pull a perfectly good engine because it hit an arbitrary number of hours.

    Complete logs: Definitely. If the logs aren't complete, who knows how it was treated during the time frame without logs? And the more recent the missing logs are, the worse of a problem it is. If you're buying a rarer type you may just have to deal with some old missing logs. Buying a Swift with the logs missing before 1960? Well, as long as all the ADs show being handled and such, no biggie. Same airplane with the most recent 10 years of logs missing? Nope. Ubiquitous aircraft type like a C172, C182, PA28, etc? It needs to have all the logs, or at least be priced at a *significant discount* (and you're going to have to sell it at a significant discount eventually), and I probably want the last 15-20 years of logs at least.

    Who used to own it? Don't particularly care. Occasionally I see airplanes for sale that used to be owned by someone famous, and usually they're trying to use that to justify a selling price that's way out of line. I don't care. It flies the same as any other aircraft of the type, right? The only exception to this would be if the immediate prior owner was someone I knew to take really good care of their planes (which would obviously be a plus) or if an owner was someone I knew didn't take good care of their stuff.

    Other than that, it's how well it's equipped compared to what I'm looking for, and where the asking price is in relation to Vref, just as a reference to normalize the asking prices.

    Yeah, but you have to do an awful lot of work yourself, or it can cost you almost as much as a certified airplane. And doing your own work on certified airplanes can reduce costs somewhat too. But, if you're someone who just wants to fly, and has no interest in working on your airplane, experimental isn't that big of an advantage.
     
  39. N1120A

    N1120A Pre-takeoff checklist

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    N1120A
    For a personal plane, that only you will be flying, I'd probably take the Turbo Arrow. Reliably into the low 140s and nice ability to get over some weather and into some helpful winds. You also can meet basically any MVA in the Lower 48 with more Direct To capability and less need to be constrained to certain routes and rely on VFR departures into composite flight plans (think places like ABQ). With the NA Arrow, look to fly 130-135 at about 10 GPH all day under 8000 and save a GPH over 8000 but start losing TAS around 9000 or so. I'd personally be uncomfortable trying to go over 11,000 in a NA Arrow, for performance alone. If you were to look at an NA Arrow, I'd give stronger consideration to a Grumman Tiger instead, save on MX items and natural AC during taxi.
     
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  40. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-Flight

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    I’ve been looking for someone who breaks this “AFTT” down the way you just did here: Thank You!!

    That’s another thing I feel will make my research even more complicated. And that’s also when reading (and understanding) all the logs come in.

    I will probably have to hire someone to read those for me... or are they relatively easy to read and understand?

    When I said “Who used to own it?” I was referring to a Flight School as opposed to a “Private Owner”. I feel that 5000 hours put by several inexperienced students would probably put more “wear” on the AF (not to mention shorter flights with a more significant amount of landings).