Turbine

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The deal on CJs

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

The Cessna model 525 CitationJet, first delivered in 1993, was a fresh design that replaced the venerable Citation I in the single-pilot, entry level jet niche. The "CJ" was an immediate success and became the foundation for Cessna’s light-jet line. In today’s market conditions, buyers can pick up a five- to 10-year-old, like-new, single-pilot "legacy" CitationJet CJ1 or CJ2 for roughly half the price of the equivalent 525 from the current line.

Mentoring matters

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

It's common knowledge that things happen quickly in jets. Starting an approach in a light jet at 180 knots obviously requires much faster thinking to maintain situational awareness than does the same approach in a single-engine piston at 90 knots. While this reality certainly challenges transitioning jet pilots, what's often even more challenging than the fact that things happen quickly is the fact that the pilot needs to make things happen even more quickly.

System Synopsis

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

Aircraft designers pray at the altar of system redundancy, so virtually all essential aircraft systems come with backups. Of course, that goes double for twins—especially turbine-powered twins. But what about a failure of a single-engine turboprop's sole fuel control unit (FCU)? If it decides to go belly-up the engine will rapidly spool down and summarily quit. Among other cues, you'll detect the onset of an FCU failure by observing drops in the torque, fuel flow, and gas generator rpm. The engine noise level will also be a clue.

Where flying is 'still fun'

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

There are only a handful of days before the Memorial Day weekend and at the north end of Lake Washington just outside Seattle, there is a buzz of activity surrounding a group of de Havilland Beavers and Otters. The lake is more than 20 miles long and for more than 65 years its northern tip has been home to the largest floatplane operator in the country. With the unofficial start to the summer season just days away, Kenmore Air is busy preparing its fleet of floatplanes for the busiest time of the year.

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.