Turbine

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Twin turboprop for the masses

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Given that it's been decades since we did a pilot report on the Piper Cheyenne, you might be surprised to learn that I am such a fan of the model, especially the II XL. From a value standpoint, it's hard to beat a Cheyenne - fast, comfortable, and capable.

Jet or turboprop?

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Entry-level jets were so tempting to Jeffrey Brausch, a member of the Air Safety Institute Board of Visitors, that he looked at nearly every offering on the market. When decision time came in 1999, the model he wanted most was the one he already owned, a pristine 1981 Piper Cheyenne II XL.

Consolidation of knowledge

Article | Nov 01, 2011

There are a number of witty phrases used among pilots to refer to the often-intense nature of turbine aircraft training courses. "Drinking from a fire hose" is particularly descriptive, as anyone who's ever taken an accelerated type-rating course can attest. Earning a type rating is no small achievement for any pilot, from the airline veteran whose certificate is bulging with multiple type ratings to the newest light-jet pilot earning his or her first. The amount of information is often overwhelming; the pace at which it is presented can be enough to quickly drown one's self-confidence.

200 feet, lights in sight

Article | Nov 01, 2011

"Approach lights in sight, continue" is a callout heard during every two-pilot jet simulator session, yet generally unfamiliar to pilots transitioning from piston aircraft. Why? The reliability and capability of jet aircraft are so great that they are often flown into weather conditions a pilot wouldn't take a piston aircraft. Very low visibility conditions are one such example.

Powering into the future

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Relative to older style engines, modern turbofan engines sound almost too good to be true: Higher and faster on less fuel, lower emissions, and less noise, lower weight, and longer TBO. In this case, the old adage about too good to be true doesn’t hold up.

Flying the Jumbo, Jumbo

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Illustrations by John Sauer When I was a young commercial pilot, I wanted to fly jets. Didn’t we all? A jet pilot’s life would be so easy; just flip a few switches, wait for the engines to roar to life, and take the runway.

The NeXT Beechjet

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Photograph Courtesy Nextant Photography by Mike Fizer It’s no secret that there are plenty of good used jets on the market today. Some are just plain excellent values for the owner-pilot, but others are particularly well-suited for remanufacturing and remarketing as rejuvenated airplanes.

Swapping avgas for Jet-A

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Strapping a fire-breathing turboprop engine on your average piston single confirms that one man’s toy is another man’s tool. To some, such a swap seems like a questionable use of resources.

(Not) straight-in

Article | Sep 01, 2011

By the time they fly their first jet, most pilots are accomplished at instrument flying. They certainly understand the difference, for example, between a straight-in and circling approach.

Mark II Cessna 206: The ultimate family truckster

Article | Sep 01, 2011

What was the first turbine single certified in America? Most of us would say the Cessna Caravan, which debuted in 1985. But no. Under a supplemental type certificate (STC) Soloy Aviation Solutions of Olympia, Washington, began modifying Cessna 206s with reverse-flow 417-shaft-horsepower Rolls-Royce/Allison 250-C2 turboshaft engines in 1983. Soloy called this modification the "Mark I" model, and it came fitted with a Soloy-designed and -manufactured propeller-reduction gearbox. In all, 85 Mark I Cessna 206 conversions were built over the years. Soloy’s Mark I kit applies to Cessna 206G and -H models built from 1977 to the present.

Profile: Stuart Woods

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Stuart Woods, a best-selling mystery writer with 46 books published and more on the way, can churn out a chapter in an hour and spend the rest of the day on a restored antique boat somewhere. That "somewhere" could be in Maine, New York, or Key West, Florida. Woods found public acclaim with "Chiefs" in 1981 and stays on the New York Times bestseller list with his Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. Like many popular authors, Woods' name appears on the cover of his books in larger type than the title. His latest book is "Bel-Air Dead." His publisher dictates mandatory nationwide book tours, but, "If I had to fly the airlines, I wouldn't do book tours," Woods said. "I like landing, backing the car up to the airplane, and we drive away. That's my idea of travel," he said.

Turbine Pilot: Mods to an end

Article | Aug 01, 2011

A host of modifications transform the once dowdy Beechcraft King Air 200 into a twenty-first century keeper nearly 50 years after the first King Air took flight. Faster, further, sexier.

Power up, temps down: King Air 250

Article | Aug 01, 2011

In late June, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) certified its new King Air 250, a more refined variant of its predecessor, the King Air B200GT. Like all King Airs, the 250 has the classy, comfortable cabin that has made the line the go-to twin turboprop for more than 7,000 customers.

Mentoring Matters: Where’s that fix?

Article | Aug 01, 2011

The Activate Vectors to Final (VTF) feature on all modern Garmin navigators, from the GNS 400 up to the G1000 and its derivatives, was revolutionary when introduced. Before this feature, when a pilot received vectors for an approach, the steps to properly configure the GPS were numerous and often confusing.

Turbine Pilot: Britain to Brazil

Article | Jul 01, 2011

With its first foray into light business jets, Embraer has created quite a phenomenon with its Phenom 100 and 300. With aggressive pricing and quality products, the Brazilian manufacturer has sucked up remarkable market share in the very light and light jet segment.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

The majesty of Denali’s north slope filled the Turbine Otter’s windscreen. Thin, wispy clouds obscured the summit of North America’s highest peak, making it appear even more majestic among nearby competing mountains, Mount Foraker and Mount Hunter.

Turbine Pilot: Market scan

Article | Jun 01, 2011

As our directory of single-pilot turbine airplanes showcases, the choices for stepping up to light turbines are vast, from single-engine turboprops to monster twin turboprops (the King Air 350i tips the scales at more than 15,000 pounds) to light and medium-size twinjets. The choices are varied and broad, however the taxiway to light turbine certification is littered with failed or sputtering projects—Adam A700, Emivest, Spectrum, Visionaire, and many others.

Turbine pilot 2011 directory

Article | Jun 01, 2011

With 2011 came a few rays of much-needed hope in the new light-jet and turboprop market segments. Inventories of used airplanes were on the decrease—traditionally a sign that prospective buyers will begin to consider buying new aircraft.

Logbook entry

Article | Jun 01, 2011

The general aviation manufacturing industry has experienced a lot of turbulence in the last two and one-half years as a result of the global economic downturn and the media’s perception of business aviation. But, optimism is returning.

Turbine Pilot: Go down and slow down? Good luck

Article | May 01, 2011

Slippery. Perhaps more than any other one skill, the transition from piston airplanes to turbines requires the pilot to learn the art of descent planning and, really, energy management.

Logbook entry

Article | May 01, 2011

Here’s a thought your boss—who may not receive AOPA Turbine Pilot—might not come up with on his or her own. If you’ve been wondering when and how to move up from your present turbine aircraft, get ready to push those throttles forward.

Mitsubishi MU–2: Addictive performance

Article | May 01, 2011

Mitsubishi’s entrant to the American general aviation scene in the late 1960s—the MU–2 twin turboprop—was a cutting-edge airplane that, performance-wise, blew the doors off the competition. At the time, the Beech King Air 90 couldn’t come close to the speedy Japanese newcomer.

System Synopsis: The new redline

Article | May 01, 2011

While an MU–2 can certainly cruise faster than 300 KTAS, its ASI redline (right) is set at 250 KIAS. This prevents overspeeds at low altitudes.

Turbine Pilot: Making the turbine transition

Article | Apr 01, 2011

Last year at the NBAA convention in Atlanta and AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, I moderated panels on moving up to turbine airplanes. The seminar was part of the Light Business Aircraft series of forums co-hosted by the two associations at their respective conventions.