February 14, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
Many manufacturers claim to make modifications that cause airplanes to fly faster, burn less fuel, and get to altitude just a bit quicker. Many are dubious, but such is not the case with a new set of wheel fairings for the Cessna 402, 414, and 421, according to at least one owner who has tried them.
Premiere-Aviation’s fairings cover the exposed main gear wheels after they have been retracted into the wing. Designer and company owner Peter Danto say the result is airflow that stays attached to the wing longer, resulting in a 6-percent increase in climb rate, 3-percent decrease in fuel burn, and an increase in cruise speed.
Cessna 421 owner Tim Taylor agrees. “In my opinion it’s the most cost-effective speed modification ever designed for a 421,” he said. Taylor claims a six-knot increase in cruise speed, eight knots more speed at the same climb rate of 800 feet per minute, and better climb rates at altitude.
Danto claims all these improvements are possible because, on the stock airplane, the wheels disrupt the laminar flow under the wing. The Premiere-Aviation modification keeps the airflow attached to the wing both over and behind the wheel, he says.
To date more than 40 kits have been sold. They currently retail for $2,000. Danto says paperwork for the 425 and 441 supplemental type certificates is at the FAA, and that work on the Citation modification should begin this year.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
AOPA is testing whether aircraft ownership can be more affordable than many people believe with the development of “Reimagined Aircraft.”
Over the past several years, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) developed its digital flight planning tools into a suite of products that put flight planning capability, airport directory information and aviation weather in pilots’ hands. AOPA partnered with Seattle Avionics to create FlyQ EFB, an electronic flight bag (EFB) iPad application, and FlyQ Pocket, a smartphone application.
AOPA is exiting the electronic flight bag (EFB) market, and the association’s existing products will transition to Seattle Avionics.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>