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Choosing a single engine aircraft

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Choosing a single engine aircraft

Old 4th Mar 2016, 14:00
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Choosing a single engine aircraft

This weekend we will sit together with a party of three friends to start discussion on purchasing a single engine aircraft to share.

Our mission profile so far:
- stationed at an airport with paved runway
- as fast as possible small hauler for one to max three
- mainly for fast business trips throughout Europe
- range wished 1,000+ nm for possible returns without refuel
- no kids, but occasional carriage of SLF in form of a girlfriend
- under 2,000kg due to airfields frequently visited restrictions
- IFR capable
- able to operate safely on 1,600ft gras for vacation trips
- purchase most probably new
- wish: piston Mogas capable or Jet-A1 engine, turbine an option

We came up with a first list 'o head scratches:
- Cessna TTx (short gras strips?, castering nose wheel -, Avgas)
- Cessna 182 Skylane (slow)
- Cessna 206 (too big, range cries for long range tanks)
- Cirrus SR22 (short gras strips?, castering nose wheel -, Avgas)
- Mooney Acclaim Ultra (short gras strips?, Avgas)
- Bonanza G36 (quite big & heavy for purpose, gras strips?)
- Bonanza F33A (nice, but only old, same Qs as G36)
- Lancair Evolution (perfect, BUT: no IFR as experimental and over 2,000kg)
- PC-6 (slow)
- Diamond DA40 (our consensus - quite ugly flying sperm)
- Piper Matrix (looks good, but too big, a small 4-seater Matrix would be perfect)
Perfect would be a certified Lancair Evolution under 2,000 kg, why don't they do that?

Any suggestions, comments?

Last edited by Fly4Business; 4th Mar 2016 at 14:17.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 15:44
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A Piper Malibu Jetprop, thats not a Meridian/Matrix but a converted piston Malibu with a PT6 up front will meet all needs.

JetPROP DL and DLX | JetPROP, LLC
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 16:42
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The Mooney Acclaim is definitely out if you want to use grass runways, whatever their length. Longer grass runways might be fine for some of the others, but the 1,600 foot requirement is going to rule out much of your list.

The Bonanza's a conundrum. It sounds like you don't need the carrying capacity of the G36. You'll be burning fuel just to haul a big, empty cabin behind you on every flight. The F33A seems better size-wise, but you're then looking at a much older aircraft.

Given the wide range of aircraft you're considering, maybe the TB20/21 should be on the list too.

I think you're going to have to work out which of the requirements are really important to you before you can reach a decision. The 1,600 feet grass runways and mogas wishes are somewhat at odds with the fast IFR tourer ones. If the 1,600 foot grass runway requirement is just for a handful of flights one week of the year, you may be happier junking that, rather than spending the other 51 weeks wishing you'd bought something faster.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 16:52
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It is possible to operate the Jetprop out of a 1600 foot runway.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 17:37
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Originally Posted by Above The Clouds View Post
A Piper Malibu Jetprop, thats not a Meridian/Matrix but a converted piston Malibu with a PT6 up front will meet all needs.

JetPROP DL and DLX | JetPROP, LLC
Thank you very much! We indeed missed that one and it looks made for our mission profile. We definitely have a look into it.

@WS: Yes, we are working in the dream phase at the beginning and may cut down requirements along the path later. I did occasionally operate Mooney M20K on gras before and yes, it was at the uncomfortable edge. Is the Acclaim different from the K? Bonanza and its lack of new 4-seater SEP is unfortunate, as is the cancellation of Cessnas JT-A and halt of the thinking on a Jet-A1 powered 206. The TBs are out due to own experience of flight performance with reduced power.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 18:21
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If you can afford a JetProp, go for one of those. Why are you even considering a Cessna 182?!

On the M20K / Acclaim question, yes there's quite a difference. The Acclaim is considerably heavier (MTOW 1528kg vs 1315) and it has a stretched fuselage giving more leverage for the much bigger 280hp Continental TSI0-550 stuck on the nose vs the 210hp TSIO-360 on the K. All with largely the same suspension.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 19:28
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Originally Posted by Wrong Stuff View Post
If you can afford a JetProp, go for one of those. Why are you even considering a Cessna 182?!
The Skylane is on the list by two reasons, first available as new and second the most reliable aircraft we all ever encountered. The discussion to trade speed for reliability is open and if we take more frequent gras strips into account we definitely have to think more slow metal.
Originally Posted by Wrong Stuff View Post
On the M20K / Acclaim question, yes there's quite a difference. The Acclaim is considerably heavier (MTOW 1528kg vs 1315) and it has a stretched fuselage giving more leverage for the much bigger 280hp Continental TSI0-550 stuck on the nose vs the 210hp TSIO-360 on the K. All with largely the same suspension.
The long fuselage may be a plus, but you are correct, if it still uses the same gear we have to look deeper, if.
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Old 5th Mar 2016, 02:30
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Your requirements are simply incompatible, you can either have speed or short strip capability. These 2 require totally different wing designs, you cannot have both.
Rather buy something fast with long range etc and rent a 182 when you need to get into shorter strips.

One other factor which seldom gets a mention is accessibility. Some people, especially as we get older, do not find it easy to climb over the wing to enter so high wing types such as the 182 are more practical.
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Old 5th Mar 2016, 17:36
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A late Saratoga with de-ice would do you quite well. As ever, the six seats are a distraction from the ugly truth vis-a-vis useful load, which is likely to be circa 1,100lbs for a well equipped late model with de-ice.

Remember that one of the big practical barriers to GA IFR 12 months of the year is airframe icing.
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Old 5th Mar 2016, 18:59
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looking at your required mission profile the only new aircraft that I can see being an option is Pipistrel Panthera (cert with IO-540v engine).

It meets your mission profile but and it's a big but it's not available at the moment as far as I'm aware, I could be wrong.


fats
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Old 6th Mar 2016, 22:48
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Thank you all for the input! We found a Jetprop DLX stationed not far away and talked already with the owner to take a test ride. He assured operation from 1,200ft gras to be possible. We'll see.

*update* I had a first ride in a DLX today and am totally flashed.
Yes, this machine is darn close to what we were dreaming of.

@ATC: Great THX!

Last edited by Fly4Business; 7th Mar 2016 at 20:07.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 16:15
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Mmm business trips? Time to spare, go by air.

CG
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 18:50
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Mmm business trips? Time to spare, go by air.

Not if you can get a JetProp.


I flew one nearly 2 years ago and the admiration is not wearing off.






/h88
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 19:06
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If you can afford a new jet prop then get a TBM 900
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 19:42
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If you can afford a new jet prop then get a TBM 900
Decision was to stay below 2to, so no TBM.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 17:35
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So folks, to keep the records. I am happy to announce we signed contract for a Jetprop DLX today .
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Old 2nd May 2016, 19:48
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Fly4Business
So folks, to keep the records. I am happy to announce we signed contract for a Jetprop DLX today .
Excellent news you won't be disappointed.

BTW my commission is only small
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