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-   -   Airplane With The Nicest Handling (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/642970-airplane-nicest-handling.html)

Flyer517 3rd Oct 2021 10:51

Originally Posted by zac21 (Post 11120522)
There has been a few that liked the Beech wing which is great, but I don't see the little Beech Debonair mentioned, it is a delightful airplane to fly, extremely well balanced. [even if it was near 50 years ago] !

Bingo! Absolutely loved the Debonair. What a gorgeously wonderful aircraft to fly. Controls so harmonised. Donít think I flew it in a straight line for more than 30 seconds.

cattletruck 3rd Oct 2021 11:23

The Chippie was the first aerobatic plane I flew (dual and after a long inoculation of PA28s). In my very first hour I was doing barrel rolls, loops and knife-edges, you'd think they had finally cut the string tether off this fly. A very graceful aircraft in all unusual aspects of flight, but I had done my thorough research beforehand by reading a book called Flying Aerobatics by Robert T. Bowring which was also beautifully illustrated by Jim Prendergast.

I was watching an F111 do a slow low level (warm-up) display with the wings fully swept back and was quite surprised how effortlessly nimble it was, seemed to be able to turn on a dime. Any pig drivers out who can confirm this?

Mach E Avelli 3rd Oct 2021 11:32

Generalising a bit, but the Poms seemed to make sweet handling aircraft, even if their cockpit ergonomics were sometimes messy. Thinking Heron MK 2 with original Gypsy Queens, HS 748 ( though the manual pressurisation was a pain for the FO), Viscounts (if you could stay ahead of the tail ice and didn’t flog it through turbulence) and the delightful BAE 146, the sweetest flying almost bulletproof commercial jet ever built (but not for the technically challenged). Of every type I ever flew, I think the 146 would be the easiest to handle.
Still generalising,Yank ‘airplanes’ seem agricultural. The DC3 was a wondrous thing for its time, but anyone who says those ailerons make for good handling must have only flown some crude Russian biplane before. Metro, an effective, likeable enough dog. MU2 ( yes I know, it’s actually Japanese) slippery little sucker. King Air? Cockpit an ergonomic disaster, pissy little control yoke, handling OK for amateurs, which was its original market. C 441 flew way better than any King Air and you could find stuff where you expected it in the cockpit. B737 - best was the 200, provided it had dash 15 or 17 engines; later versions went downhill after that. But my wooden spoon for handling goes to the Convair 580 as the worst contraption to come out of the USA since the war, with its interconnected control system. What WERE they thinking to fit a Piper Tripacer system into such a beast? Also, with the worst cockpit ever built, the CV580 made the Viscount look positively modern. The Dutch were no slugs with their F27 control harmony, which they really worked on to get just right, though F27 ground handling took practice.
The Brazilians did a great job with the Barbie jet, too. Certainly it had nicer handling than anything I flew that the Yanks had built up until that time, and considering it did not speak English, had good ergos.
Another non-English speaking aeroplane, the ATR 42 was good, 72 not so, which often happens when an original design is stretched to please the bean counters.
At bugsmasher level, Beech straight tail Bonanza sweet, also Baron, then most Cessna 400 series and old Citations if you didn’t mind the fact it wasn’t a ‘real’ jet. All Pipers too bland for me; sent me to sleep with boredom, even as a student. The only Piper that did it for me was the Cub, though those heel operated brakes bothered me any time there was a crosswind.
I did not do enough Chippy time to make meaningful comment, other than that if it looks right, it probably is right.


T54A 3rd Oct 2021 13:01

Originally Posted by PeterJG (Post 11120539)
The Buccaneer

That's cheating

T54A 3rd Oct 2021 13:06

I enjoyed the B200 and the B1900C. The B1900C was lovely stable platform. B727 was a blast, but a bit of a cow to land. Alouette 3 was like strapping a back pack on. You just wore it. The Denel Oryx, once you got used to the size, was an unbelievable machine to fly. It felt like it had no limits. I hated the B58 Baron.

oldmacdonald757 3rd Oct 2021 14:12

The best 777
The easiest A320
The worst 787
Most fun Zlin 242

His dudeness 3rd Oct 2021 14:19

MP: Dove but ONLY in air, a real dog on the ground
TP: B200
Jet: Citation C650

Spunky Monkey 3rd Oct 2021 16:58

C150 Texan - a nice tailwheel twist on a benign aircraft.
Cessna CJ3 - twin jet - lovely handling and characterises - really forgiving and capable.
Gazelle Heli - ticks every box
Robin DR400 - a delight to fly and teach in
Fokker 100 - Great old school flying
Always found the Tiger Moth, Cub and Pitts Special exciting to fly in not the most pleasant ways!

Great aircraft you have mentioned.
Best cockpit ride was in an RAF VC10 - next level aircraft.

W9SQD 3rd Oct 2021 17:35

My favs, by decade F4D, L-1011, Bae-146, G550. 😉

Rhody Flyer 3rd Oct 2021 17:46

Best piston single BE36
Best piston twin D55
Best turboprop P180. Was an absolute dream to fly (4500hrs in it)

Direct BAMES 3rd Oct 2021 19:11


But the worst by far was........... wait for it.............. a Gulfstream 5. 'Looks wonderful. Handles like a p1g in sh1t! So utterly disapointing.
Maybe a trifle unfair. A truck certainly and very capable in every other respect.

The best was the Falcon 2000 very closely followed by the Falcon 900.

The most challenging and therefore the most satisfying, the LR35.

LawrenceD 3rd Oct 2021 19:29

Robin aircraft Iíve always found a delight to fly. The 2160 is relatively pathetic at aerobatics but the only aircraft Iíve really felt at one with in the flare.

Part-own a cirrus, great cruiser on autopilot, fairly horrible to hand-fly.

carib man 3rd Oct 2021 19:43

1) l1011/500, 2)md83, 3)b777/300, 4) a340/500

Old Boeing Driver 3rd Oct 2021 22:43

Boeing 727........although no 2 landings were ever the same......

Crosswhinge 3rd Oct 2021 22:49

What an interesting tread.
Seem the Chipmunk wins the peoples choice even though it may not have been common in the "first to leave" colony in the British Empire.
As a low time PPL years ago my vote is for the C210.
The term harmonisation wasn't mention until post #27. A mysterious combination of balance, response , authority, feel and ???? I remember on a check flight in a Piper Warrior whinging to the Instructor about the awful squishy controls.
The term also applies to sailing boats. Joshua Slocum the first man to sail solo around the world went days without input. That is in the days before auto-sailors. His must have been a very balanced boat.
I had a couple of minutes on the side stick in the back seat of a Rutan Long-ez. A delight. The aircraft seemed to be an extension of my arm.

zlin77 3rd Oct 2021 23:11

Enjoyed the F28-4000, delightfully light ailerons in a Transport Category Aeroplane, next type was the Bae146, totally unimpressed!

43Inches 4th Oct 2021 00:06

The term also applies to sailing boats. Joshua Slocum the first man to sail solo around the world went days without input. That is in the days before auto-sailors. His must have been a very balanced boat.
I thought pre autopilot you just lashed the helm so it went more or less where you left pointing. That being said pre GPS and satellite communications solo ocean sailing was something for the brave.

As far as aircraft, I liked Piper Warriors, Arrows, Seminole, for their simple flying ability, easy to just jump in and circle the air with not much brain power. Cessna was similar, but apart from the 152 all felt a bit tractorish. Favorite is the Chieftain, just liked its solid feel and stability, I've had some beautiful experiences in the ole PA31 types. I liked flying drifters at an early age, they were fun and free, nothing special performance wise, although you could switch off the engine and soar in updrafts which was like chill surfing in the air. Jabirus just way too tight for me, but would be a nice sporty thing for small humans. I found baron 55s twitchy and awkward, 58s were ok, fast but expensive and nothing real special. Bonanza seemed ok, but Lance or Saratoga was cheaper and flew quite well also. Never liked Cirrus or Tobagos or similar. Put floats on anything, it will handle like a dog, but it was some of the most fun I've had, with a few close calls you don't get in other modes of flying. Least liked airplane, P68s, Partbananas are horrible machines, from getting in and out to just the mush it calls control.

I've flown much bigger than the chieftain, but transport category are nice, but relatively boring.

Jerry Springer 4th Oct 2021 01:12

We need to say what we mean by Good Handling first....
Stability is ‘good handling’ in some applications, but terrible for other needs.

I haven’t flow many types, but of the ones I have:
For being docile to the point where you can fly it with your eyes closed: Cessna Caravan
For being able to get in and out of tight spaces on rough terrain: Twin Otter and Super Cub (depending on how much stuff you want to shift)
For being twitchy as heck: Sukhoi Su-29
For being able to turn a tight radius, kick around trees, and go under power-lines: Air Tractor 502

Jerry Springer 4th Oct 2021 01:22

Originally Posted by 43Inches (Post 11120846)
transport category are nice, but relatively boring.

Yep! they don’t make A to B aeroplanes exiting to fly! The more boring they can make them, the better the design.
For most the most part in aviation, success in aircraft design and operational procedures results in making it as uninteresting as possible for the pilots.

itsnotthatbloodyhard 4th Oct 2021 02:07

Originally Posted by cattletruck (Post 11120588)
I was watching an F111 do a slow low level (warm-up) display with the wings fully swept back and was quite surprised how effortlessly nimble it was, seemed to be able to turn on a dime. Any pig drivers out who can confirm this?

The 111 was a lovely jet to fly, but with the wings fully swept, it really didnít turn on a dime. Ever. :)

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