November 11, 2009
Jan. 23, 2004 — The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes takes the giveaway to a new level — and a new rating — for 2004. The grand prize winner is going to fly away in a fully refurbished twin-engine aircraft.
"For the first time ever, we're giving away an aircraft with more than one engine," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And by the time we're done with it, the 1965 Piper Twin Comanche will truly be a 'grand' prize."
AOPA Pilot magazine Editor-at-Large Tom Horne will shepherd the 2004 sweepstakes aircraft through its year-long restoration, updating its progress in articles in the magazine and status reports on AOPA's Web site, AOPA Online, and ePilot electronic newsletter.
Horne is well acquainted with the Twin Comanche. In a 1996 article on the aircraft he wrote, "A good-looking, four- to six-place light twin that goes 170 knots on 17 gph? Such objectives may seem incompatible in the same airplane, but the truth is that from 1963 to 1972 Piper built about 2,200 airplanes with those characteristics. We're talking about the Twin Comanches, possibly the best-looking, best-performing light twins ever built. And the great thing about the Twin Comanche is that with its simple systems and familiar engines it is an easy step up for just about any pilot."
The PA-30 Twin Comanche is powered by a pair of highly reliable 160-hp Lycoming IO-320B engines — the same engines that power the likes of Piper's Super Cub and Tri-Pacer or Cessna's Skyhawk. A standard Twin Comanche can carry more than 850 pounds of payload for nearly five hours (without reserve) on a single fill-up. AOPA's Sweepstakes aircraft will be anything but standard, though.
The AOPA Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes aircraft is already having its engines remanufactured to Superior Air Parts' Millennium specifications at Penn Yan Aero. Other planned upgrades include every available speed modification from LoPresti Speed Merchants and wingtip tanks from J.L. Osborne that will let the Twin Comanche carry another 30 gallons, or two hours' worth of fuel. Kelly Aerospace, makers of starters, alternators, fuel injection components, and magnetos, and Rapco, Inc., makers of replacement vacuum pumps, will lend their expertise under the cowlings.
Plans for the panel are still being confirmed but tentatively include a full Garmin stack, including the CNX-80 — the first certified WAAS-enabled GPS unit, an S-Tec two-axis autopilot, a Sandel EHSI, and a J.P. Instruments engine analyzer/fuel totalizer. Sebastian Communications of Merritt Island, Fla., will handle the installation. Airtex Interiors will make sure the ride is both comfortable and classy.
On the outside, Scheme Designers, who designed the paint scheme for both the AOPA 2000 Millennium Mooney and the 2001 Bonanza, is on tap to give the Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes aircraft its own one-of-a-kind look. DuPont is supplying the paint, including Chromalusion® color-shifting paint (which goes for $700 per quart!) to be applied by KD Aviation. And Williams Airmotive will re-skin the control surfaces.
Anyone who joins or renews membership in AOPA between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2004, is automatically entered in the Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes. In addition to the grand prize of a fully restored 1965 Piper Twin Comanche, AOPA will give away nearly 200 additional prizes each month — a total of over 2,200 prizes — ranging from AOPA T-shirts and eyeglass Croakies® to AOPA Zulu Time Watches and leather flight jackets from Sporty's Pilot Shop.
Alternate methods of entry, as well as complete rules and eligibility requirements, are available online.
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