Piston Aircraft with 200 kts cruise?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Fearless Tower, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just curious as to what piston a/c will haul a family of 4 plus luggage and do at least 200 kts cruise.

    I'm thinking:
    AC 685
    PA31 Navajo
    C310
    C340
    PA46

    Any others worth considering?

    Of those that can do the job, any thoughts on best for overall cost/value(acquisition, maintenance, insurance...etc)?

    This is a half pipe-dream half reality based question.

    Right now, I'm thinking 310 is the best overall value and utility (if you get a good one). The AC 685 is my personal favorite for pax comfort, but I fear that it may have the highest operating cost.

    FWIW, the 200 kts cruise requirement is a rough number I figured to make a Virginia to Arizona trip doable in one day.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've flown Richmond, VA to Richland, WA in a B-90 King Air that is only a bit faster than your listed fleet. Stopped in Little Rock and Denver for fuel, wouldn't do it again other than at gunpoint. But the good news is that the trip back should be quicker.

     
  3. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    RV-10

    Not quite 200 knots, but 200+ mph . Maintenance will be a lot less than certified, and you can do the work legally. I use 91 octane car gas and save $2.00 a gallon. Easy to fly, low stall speed, proven reliability.

    Weak point? Doors must me latched. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  4. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Family of 4 with luggage? Hardly.
     
  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Also included in the list is the P-Baron, 414, and 421. The Duke might almost do it, just not well, and also the P-Navajo. Then there's the Aerostar.

    The 310 in naturally aspirated form is difficult to get 200 kts out of. Even if you have the Colemill conversion, expect to burn a lot of fuel to do it, as in similar fuel to a P-Baron for going slower. Plus it'll be hard on the engines. In our 310N Colemill we do 185 KTAS at 28 GPH LOP.

    A RAM T310R is probably the best value and lowest operating costs to do 200 kts or so. My friend will do 230 KTAS at FL190 with about 44 GPH, but he isn't comfortable doing LOP operations. Probably could get those numbers down a good amount to do 200, but you'd still be doing it up high. He does 200 by 6,000 ft, still high fuel burn.

    The Aerostar will do it well and economically from a fuel burn perspective (even a 600A model with naturally aspirated engines), but the general consensus seems to be Aerostars are maintenance hogs. The 600A at my previous airport seems to support this.

    A normal PA31 can do 200 KTAS, but it's not very happy about it and is running hard to do it. Figure 40-50 GPH.

    A 310 like ours is probably the most economical way to get close to that. Laurie and I figure if we ever have to replace this we'd probably look for an upgrade. T310R is a good one there, but probably also look at the pressurizaed Aerostars, P-Baron, and 340 on up series for consideration.
     
  6. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    With full fuel. :D

    Would you care to bet? :dunno:

    670# people
    390# fuel
    100# baggage
    1160 pounds

    Useful load is 1200.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  7. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Yes I would. A friend of mine in Kentucky built one. Unless you consider "luggage" four small bags (carry on or smaller) and also consider those 4 family members to be small.

    Sorry, I didn't find the RV-10 to be what I would call a "comfortable" aircraft to sit in for extended amount of time.
     
  8. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Don't think the Navajo is going to see 200 knots unless you are sucking O2. A turbo C310 perhaps again, on O2.
    Cammander 685, with those engines is going to be expensive to operate.
    I have a little operational experience with pressurized piston aircraft and frankly have never been too impressed. Pulling air off of turbo charger(s) that are already worked to death and trying to cool piston engines in the thin air has never worked well for me. Others will disagree.
    I know it is not one of your options, but a trip that long west bound is in the turbine realm, however you will triple the cost, IMO. Tough mission for pistons.
    That being said any of the aircraft you listed will do it. I think the Navajo would be most comfortable but like you I think the 310 would be hard to beat on a cost per mile. The PA 46 would not work for me personally due to being a little short on the number of engines. JMO
     
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    FWIW, we pretty routinely do trips of similar length in the 310, and don't mind it at all. It all depends on what you and your family's tolerance is for long periods of time in a small plane. To that point, one of the cabin class options is much nicer. It also costs much more. What's nice about the 310 is that it is economical, comfortable, and reasonable roomy.

    Some families do road trips in a Ford Focus, others insist on having a Suburban. All depends on your personal wants/needs and budget. What I don't like about cabin class is it separates the front from the rear. Others love this part. You must decide for your family. :)
     
  10. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Southwest Airlines
     
  11. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'd also eliminate the Commander 685. I flew 690s, and didn't like them. I imagine I'd like a 685 even less with roughly half the power.

    When I compare hourly costs on the 310 with PA46 owners, the 310 is a bargain. But the PA46 is pressurized. It also has a ridiculous engine failure rate, especially if you try to do 200.
     
  12. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Every day and twice on Sunday.
     
  13. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Then you certainly don't know what you are talking about.

    Mine is very comfortable 4-5 hour trips no problem except for bladder range. Easily fly anywhere in the lower 48 in one day. 9 hour trips are broken up into 3 stops for comfort.

    My 320# son in law sits in the rear seat. :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  14. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Your initial response? " Hardly" ?

    Care to retract that statement? :dunno:
     
  15. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That pretty well tells me what I need to know. No further questions.

     
  16. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Nope. I'm not enamored with any of the RV series. The RV-10 is not that roomy in my opinion and like I said, define baggage. If you are talking normal size suitcases it's not going to happen.

    Like Ted said, some people are OK with piling 4 family members with luggage in a Ford Focus and heading out on a long trip with it.

    The RV is a choice, nothing more. Practical? We each have our own standards, some lower than others.
     
  17. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    This ain't my first rodeo chuckles.

    You need to preface that with "Depending upon weather".

    So, How much do the other 3 occupants weigh? Given that the RV-10 (depending upon equipment) has roughly a 1200 pound payload where does the "luggage" and fuel come in??
     
  18. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    See post #6.

    Only 3 in the plane with son in law. ;)

    1200 pound useful load and you said the RV-10 is " Hardly" capable of the mission? :dunno:

    Virginia to Arizona is a very doable trip for a family of 4 with 100# of baggage in an RV-10 in a day. Sheez.

    There are clowns in every rodeo. Chuckles. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  19. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    See my quote on traveling in a cramp little airplane extended and having to pack luggage for 4 people into a 13 cubic foot baggage compartment.

    If you want to lower your standards of travel that's your business.


    Waaaaaaaaaaa, MOMMY!!! He sad bad things about my little airplane!!!!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  20. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

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    I have spent a lot of time considering this exact topic.

    Not knowing a budget to purchase and operate leaves it pretty open ended.

    I would consider a P-Baron. Pressurized, 1800ish useful, 30GPH fuel burn, FIKI.

    Certainly a 200 Knot plus aircraft.

    Assumes this isn't a family of powerlifters or Russian beet farmers.
     
  21. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You said the plane was not capable of it. You are proven wrong and won't retract your inaccurate assessment. Now result to name calling and and disrespect.

    Hung over from night or are you aways this way on Sunday morning?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  22. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ted, out of curiousity, what didn't you like about the 690?

    Personally, I love the layout of the Aero Commanders. Love the cockpit. Love the seating. Like the onboard lav feature (although I have never had to clean one....).

    What bothers me is.....the fuel system, the wing spar AD, the insurance, and it won't fit in a T-hangar. I don't know much about the 685s, but I have talked with a few folks with AC 500's and they are figuring around $500/hr op costs...and suspect that their insurance was probably quite a bit lower than what mine would be.
     
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  23. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Even still, 200 MPH is not 200 kts. On a trip that long, the difference in speed will be significant for time. That's why I say that a standard 310 really won't fit the mission criteria, unless he's willing to take a reduction in speed.

    What I like with the 310 for a family of 4 is that there is plenty of luggage room between wing lockers and the rear seat area. I do trips a few times a year with 6 people and luggage, and they have to be asked to keep their luggage to a minimum. We didn't have to worry about that in the Navajo, even with 8 people and luggage.
     
  24. Piloto

    Piloto Line Up and Wait

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    Consider the Baron G58. Roomy and unlike some of the others it fits easily in a T-hangar.

    José
     
  25. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Delta is cheaper (and better service these days IMO).

    But, I hate the idea of having to pay someone else to fly my butt around. If I have to make a business trip, I might as well get some enjoyment out of it.
     
  26. craigvince

    craigvince Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My Turbo Bonanza trues out at 210kts at FL240. That's with full fuel (140gals) and two big adults or main tanks full (80gals) and 4 average adults with a duffel bag each.
     
  27. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Your post you referred to me as "bozo" (not a term of endearment). I responded back in kind. (nice to see you quickly retracted it after posting)

    If you want respect, show respect.

    And no, I was proven wrong. It's called opinion. Your opinion is taking a small homebuilt to try to do a mission that most people wouldn't do with the constraints of little passenger area as well as lack of adequate baggage area.
     
  28. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    The feeling like you're sitting on the ground is fun in a sports car, but I find to be less fun in an airplane. They aren't tremendously sporty (I liked the feel of the Cheyenne better), and the ground steering on them I found to be terrible at best. Plus it was pretty easy to break the nosewheel steering mechanism, so I was told.

    Like the Aerostars, the door opens in such a manner that you can easily walk right into the prop. There is a door lock to try to prevent this, but it's still something that I think has taken out more than one person. In a piston this is a bit easier since you don't have the long spool down time that you see on a turboprop. At least on the Aerostar, the door is right next to the pilot.

    On the cockpit side, I found the column yoke got in the way of seeing the HSI and generally blocked the panel. Not fun.

    The Lav is very public, being right in the center of the cabin. So probably ok for families. I liked the Navajo lav, which is in the back such that you could actually hide it more easily. On the Navajo/Cheyenne, the relief tube handles about 90% of bodily needs.

    For $500/hour you can operate a decent number of the other types listed.
     
  29. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    The 685's are maintenance hogs. The 500's are better maintenance wise but does not offer the speed range you are looking for.

    You could always go for an Excaliber Queen Air. ;) (just don't ask what an overhaul for an IO-720 cost)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  30. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What's the O2 capacity with 4 up? Can you get anybody to wear it?

     
  31. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think I'd be better off buying a DC-3 and paying someone to fly SIC with me.....
     
  32. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Barons, 400 Comanche, Turboed Bonanza at altitude. I wouldn't run the 310 at 200, it becomes both a fuel and a maintenance hog at that speed, however, it's comfortable and economical at 180kts, and three miles a minute gets me corner to corner in the CONUS in a day. The difference between 180 and 200 is 100 miles for every 5 hours, but I increase my fuel burn from 9mpg to 7mpg so I'll have to add another fuel stop on long trips making my ramp to ramp time on a trip like you suggest even longer at 200 than 180.
     
  33. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wayne, what about the trip made the trip so miserable?
     
  34. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    He doesn't enjoy flying, personally I'd rather spend 6hrs in my 310 than the 2.5 I did in the ERJ yesterday coupled with the 1.5 in the Q-400.
     
  35. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or just come by here and I'll get one of the members to host a round of golf at Preston Trails. The sprinkler-head distance markings for shots over 280 yards simply say NFW. 1,800 nm GA trips should show up the same way in the flight-planning software.



     
  36. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You called me "Chuckles". Chuckles was a rodeo clown. You started the name calling, I responded in kind.
     
  37. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Interesting point. May be worth considering.

    Anyone care to comment on the 340 vs 310?
     
  38. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Huh??:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

    chuck·le (ch[​IMG]k[​IMG][​IMG]l)intr.v. chuck·led, chuck·ling, chuck·les 1. To laugh quietly or to oneself.

    C'mon man, try the decaffeinated stuff, it can be just as tasty as the regular brand. :rolleyes:
     
  39. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    340 is essentially a pressurized 310. Below 10K about the same speeds, above 10K the 340 goes a bit faster.

    I believe Wayne owned and operated one, and there are several variants out there (Ram Conversions)

    If you are thinking 340 a 414 will operate at about the same cost with a bigger cabin.
     
  40. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That is my thought process.....I can't believe some of the trips that they are using RJs for these days.

    Yeah, long-ass flights can wear you out, but personnally speaking I 'd still rather be sitting in the front looking out than in the back...even First Class....although there is something to be said about the free drinks. Plus there is the whole TSA headache.