November 11, 2009
Sept. 21 - The Sweepstakes Bonanza has gained weight. During the conversion from a stock V35 Bonanza into a show plane with every upgrade we could fit in it, it's gained more than 300 pounds and the C.G. location has moved aft.
When AOPA bought N2001B in September 2000, it was a stock airplane. The only major repair or alteration forms in its records were for modifications to the avionics package. The empty weight was 2,146 pounds, and the empty weight center of gravity was 78.7 inches aft of the datum.
We have weighed N2001B three times during the refurbishment. The first weighing was done by JA Air Center following the installation of the avionics, autopilot, and instrument panel. Before JA did their magic on the panel and avionics, Tornado Alley Turbos had removed the original IO-520 engine and replaced it with an IO-550, their Whirlwind II turbonormalizer system and a new McCauley three-blade propeller. Additional upgrades that added weight included a Whelen Comet Flash three-light strobe system, a Beryl D'Shannon Speed Sloped windshield, and a B&C Specialty Products standby alternator, The total weight gain noted during the May 25 weighing was 199 pounds. The CG was almost unchanged at 78.8 inches.
Following the paint job and the installation of the TKS weeping wing ice protection system, the aircraft was again weighed. Without a tank of TKS fluid, the weight gain was 70 pounds, further increasing the empty weight to 2,415 pounds. The CG moved aft to 79.05 inches aft of the datum.
The final weight was determined after the new interior and sound suppression kit were installed. In its final form the Sweepstakes Bonanza empty weight is 2,463 pounds. The empty weight CG is 80.02 inches aft of the datum. Filling the fuel tanks (114 gallons) and TKS fluid reservoir results in a useful load of 390 pounds and a CG of 80.66.
Reviewing this regulation will make you a more effective plane spotter when ATC calls out fast traffic in busy (and haze-laden) airspace.
Pilots who attended AOPA's fifth regional fly-in of the year in Chino, California, shared the excitement of the people, airplanes, and educational events via social media. See what they were saying.
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