AOPA Pilot Magazine
September 2001 Volume 44 / Number 9
AOPA's 2001 Bonanza Sweepstakes: Turbo on the Go
How to get to 200 knots
I just checked my logbook and discovered that I'd spent a total of 25.3 hours behind the yoke of N2001B, the V35 Beech Bonanza that will go to some lucky winner come late January or early February 2002. That makes me the high-time pilot in this particular airplane, and the experience has been both educational and fun. Every few weeks I'm off to fly N2001B from one refurbishment site to another, all over the nation. If this isn't a dream job, what is?
One thing's for sure: That lucky winner will need some time to get accustomed to N2001B's engine operating procedures and peculiarities. The 300-horsepower Superior Air Parts Millennium IO-550 engine, together with its Tornado Alley Turbo turbonormalizer, make a powerful and — for most — unusual match. Factor in the recommended lean-of-peak TIT (turbine inlet temperature) operating procedures and you've got several learning curves to climb.
Can I quickly sum up how you fly this V-tail's engine? Yes. You fly with one eye glued to the J.P. Instruments EDM-800 engine analyzer and a hand on the mixture control. Now that's an overstatement, but for the transitioning pilot that perception will definitely come through.
Starting the engine is fairly conventional. Battery switch on, throttle firewalled, mixture full rich, auxiliary fuel oost pump toggle switch to the High position, then look for the fuel flow to peak. That should be in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 gph. Then it's pump off, retard the throttle to just above the idle position, and crank the engine.
Once alive, it's time to lean the mixture. During ground operations the spark plugs can become fouled with lead from an excessively rich mixture, so the drill is to dial the mixture back (both the throttle and mixture have vernier-type controls). At these low power settings a rich mixture for this engine — any engine, really — isn't needed anyway. How lean? Tornado Alley Turbo recommends that you lean so much that if you advance the throttle from a typical 1,000-rpm idle, the engine will stumble.
Takeoffs are also conventional. Throttle, propeller, and mixture controls full forward, and off you go. At takeoff power the EDM-800 should show a TIT of no more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. For short-field or high-density-altitude takeoffs the mixture can be leaned to 1,310 to 1,380 degrees for more power. Full-rich takeoff power is richer than necessary and robs a little horsepower — a tradeoff for cooling the big IO-550 with fuel.
Should you use the three-position (High, Off, and Low) auxiliary boost pump for takeoff? Probably, and here's why. So far, vapor has been forming in the fuel lines, causing a few anxiety-producing power fluctuations during climbs (and cruise, too, for that matter). Then again, all of my time in the sweepstakes Bonanza has been spent in warm — sometimes hot — weather, which is conducive to vapor formation. The record for hottest ambient temperature during a takeoff goes to Texas' Houston-Southwest Airport, where the ercury hit 106 degrees. That's when I definitely set the boost pump at the Low position. (The High position is intended for use only if the engine-driven boost pump fails, and it moves a higher flow of fuel.)
There have also been fuel-flow fluctuations in cruise. So I typically end up running the boost pump on Low pretty much all the time. After all, low boost is intended for vapor suppression.
I've heard two main explanations for the vapor problem. The first has to do with high fuel temperatures. Let the Bonanza sit out on a 100-degree ramp for a few hours and the fuel in its tanks gets very hot indeed. Ergo, vaporama, especially at high power settings — at least until a few hours at cruise altitudes, when the fuel temperature drops. The other explanation holds that the fuel-line diameters are too narrow and won't allow enough fuel to pass through. Believers of this theory emphasize that this V35's fuel lines are the same diameter used in earlier Bonanzas, those with smaller engines that sucked less fuel.
While climbing, you leave the throttle wide open. Tornado Alley says it's important to lean to a target TIT during climbs. From sea level to 10,000 feet, for example, you shoot for 1,280 to 1,300 degrees F. What I like to do is set up the EDM-800 to show TIT and cylinder head temperature (CHT) during climbs. This way I can tell if any CHTs are heading for the 380-degree threshold that Tornado Alley would like you to stay below (CHT redline is 460 degrees). If CHTs get too hot, enrichen the mixture and climb at a higher airspeed.
Once you've reached your cruise altitude, level off and let things stabilize for a few minutes. I've been cruising between 9,000 and 12,000 feet, but it's possible to fly as high as 18,000 feet, using the nasal cannulas in N2001B's Mountain High portable oxygen system. A mask is provided for flying at higher altitudes.
Anyway, what I do then is reduce rpm to 2,500 (though you can use settings as low as 2,200 or 2,300 — but who wants to go slower?), close the cowl flaps, and start leaning. Once again, you have to eyeball the EDM-800 very closely, because you're aiming to lean the engine to 50 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit lean of peak TIT. Tornado Alley's George Braly makes this process relatively easy by recommending that you simply (and slowly, from three to five seconds) pull back on the mixture knob until you reach a fuel flow of 15 gph or so. This quickly puts you on the lean side of peak.
Now it's time to watch the EDM-800's TIT display. From the lean side of peak, enrichen the mixture and watch the digital TIT readout's numbers climb. They should peak anywhere from 1,540 to 1,640 degrees; exact peak TIT varies from engine to engine. Now that you've identified peak TIT, the Tornado Alley-recommended procedure is to dial the mixture back until you see TITs drop by 50 to 100 degrees. Now you're ready to cruise.
Mind you, you're operating at a lean-of-peak mixture setting, and cooling the engine with air. Rich of peak, the traditional way of setting mixture, cools e engine with fuel. You can lean N2001B with precision because its cylinders are equipped with turbo GAMIjectors — finely tuned fuel injectors that meter fuel so that each cylinder receives the same fuel-air mixture. The EDM-800 lets you fine-tune TITs to a fare-thee-well, because it reads in increments of one degree!
�hrottle? It stays at the wide-open throttle (WOT) position. At WOT, the wastegate of Tornado Alley's turbocharger is set to reach a maximum of 27 to 30 inches of manifold pressure, not 32 or 36 or even 41 inches, like the turbochargers on some other airplanes. That's why the sweepstakes Bonanza's turbo system is called a turbonormalizer. This lets the airplane maintain sea-level manifold pressures at altitudes as high as 18,000 feet — and often higher.
A glance at the EDM-800 will reveal cruise fuel flows anywhere from 14.5 to 18.5 gph, depending on the outside air temperature, altitude, and propeller rpm. The warmer the air, the less fuel you'll use.
A word about the EDM-800 is in order. This fantastic instrument can be set up to show any number of engine and other variables. I mean, there's almost nothing that it doesn't show! It's all there: bus voltage, outside air temperature, induction air temperature (the temperature of the air coming out of the induction system's intercooler), compressor discharge temperature (the air temperature going into the intercooler), the difference between hottest and coldest cylinders' EGTs, all cylinders' EGTs and CHTs, TIT, oil temperature, and a feature that warns of cylinder shock cooling. On top of all this, the instrument maintains a 20-hour history of most of these variables. You can download them and make graphs and spreadsheets, showing trends and letting you identify trouble spots. N2001B's engine data were plotted out, and we learned that the engine is working like a top in all departments (though high OATs have kept oil temperatures a tad high) — and all cylinders peak at the same EGT, a great testament to the fectiveness of the turboGAMIjectors.
So what kind of speed can the owner of our Bonanza expect? You can get an idea from the flight from Oshkosh to Batavia, Ohio's Clermont County Airport. This was a delivery flight to Air Mod, the company that will fit the Bonanza out with a new interior. Here are the numbers:
- 9,500 feet pressure altitude
- 30 inches manifold pressure
- 2,500 rpm
- 16.1 gph (50 degrees F lean of peak TIT)
- 22 degrees Celsius OAT
- 1,501 degrees F TIT
- 1,410 to 1,420 F EGTs
- 344 to 380 degrees F CHTs (the number-six cylinder is the hottest)
- 153 KIAS
- 186 KTAS
Tornado Alley claims that true airspeeds can be as high as 220 kt in the 25,000 to-30,000-foot range. At those altitudes, you can more or less count on 200-kt-plus true airspeeds, Tornado Alley says. Even without a tailwind, you're in King Air country. The fastest groundspeed I've seen has been 230 kt. It's a traveling machine, all right, and all the more so with full tip tanks. This raises the airplane's total fuel capacity to 114 gallons.
Descents are performed by reducing propeller rpm, then adjusting the mixture to keep TIT and EGTs from plunging and shock cooling the engine. Manifold pressure can be reduced to keep your airspeed under control. You have to watch your airspeed in slam-dunk descents because the Bonanza is slippery and will build energy fast once you head downhill. Approach redline and the P2 Inc. audio landing gear and overspeed warning system kicks in. A woman's voice comes over your headphones with a gentle "overspeed, overspeed" reminder of your impending violation. Not that I've ever heard it, of course.
You get to come off full throttle when nearing the airport. Then a 15- to 20-inch manifold pressure setting is a good ballpark value. On final, things return to normal in that you adjust power to stay on the target airspeed and a proper glide path, and move the propeller and mixture controls full forward. Cross the threshold decelerating from the 70-kt, full-flap approach speed, enjoy the aileron responsiveness afforded by the Beryl D'Shannon vortex generators as you battle any crosswinds, and grease it on with minimal fuss. Like all Bonanzas, ours/ yours yields face-saving landings time after time. But with cruise speeds 30 or more kt faster than the rest of the breed, this Bonanza is quite unlike any other.
It just may be the fastest Bonanza ever, bar none.
E-mail the author at email@example.com.
AOPA would like to thank the following companies that are donating or discounting their products and services to refurbish AOPA's 2001 Bonanza Sweepstakes project or are otherwise assisting with the project.
Engine compartment paint
Ada Aircraft Painting LLC, 2800 Airport Rd, Hangar D, Ada, Oklahoma 74820; telephone 580/332-6086; fax 580/332-4547; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fuel cells (bladders)
Aero-Tech Services, Inc., 8354 Secura Way, Santa Fe Springs, California 90670; telephone 562/696-1128; fax 562/945-1328.
Inertia reels, seat belts, and shoulder harnesses
Aircraft Belts, Inc., 200 Anders Lane, Kemah, Texas 77565; telephone 281/334-3004; fax 281/538-2225; www.aircraftbelts.com.
Medeco door locks
Aircraft Security and Alert, 3863 Royal Lane, Dallas, Texas 75229; telephone 214/956-9563; fax 214/956-9960; www.aircraftsecurityalert.com.
Air Mod, 2025 Sporty's Drive, Clermont County Airport, Batavia, Ohio 45103; telephone 513/732-6688; www.airmod.com.
Alpha Coatings, Inc., 310 West 12th St., Washington, Missouri 63090; telephone 800 875-3903; fax 636 390-3906; www.alphacoatings.com.
Technical guidance and one-year free membership for winner
American Bonanza Society, P.O. Box 12888, Wichita, Kansas 67277; telephone 316/945-1700; fax 316/945-1710; www.bonanza.org.
AM/FM radio with CD player
Avionics Innovations, Inc., 2450 Montecito Rd., Ramona, California 92065; telephone 760/788 2602; fax 760/789 7098; www.avionicsinnovations.com.
Ayers, Inc., 2006 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, California 92008; telephone 760/431-7600; fax 760/431-2848.
Standby alternator system
B&C Specialty Products, Inc., 123 East 4th, Newton, Kansas 67114; telephone 316/283-8000; www.bandcspecialty.com.
Sloped windshield, windows, vortex generators, aileron and flap gap seals
Beryl D'Shannon Aviation Specialties, Inc., P.O. Box 27966, Golden Valley, Minnesota 55427; telephone 800/328-4629 or 763/535-0505; fax 763/535-3759; www.beryldshannon.com.
Proficiency course for winner and spouse
Bonanza/Baron Pilot Proficiency Program, Inc., Mid-Continent Airport, P.O. Box 12888, Wichita, Kansas 67277; telephone 970/377-1877; fax 970/377-1512; e-mail email@example.com; www.bppp.org.
Prepurchase inspection assistance
Coastal Valley Aviation, Inc., 3119 Liberator St., Santa Maria, California 93455; telephone 805/928-7701; fax 805/928-4427; www.coastalvalleyaviation.com.
Concorde Battery Corporation, 2009 San Bernardino Road, West Covina, California 91792; telephone 626-813-1234; fax 626-813-1235; www.concordebattery.com.
Dual control yoke and control wheels
Cygnet Aerospace Corporation, , P.O. Box 6603, Los Osos, California 93412; telephone 805/528-2376; fax 805/528 2377; www.cygnet-aero.com.
Engine oil analysis kits
Engine Oil Analysis, 7820 South 70th East Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133; telephone/fax 918/492-5844; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants, 7400 Beaufont Springs Drive, Suite 410, Richmond, Virginia 23225; telephone 804-743-5762; fax: 804-743-5784; www.exxon.com/exxon_lubes/aviation_fr.html.
Avionics suite (including audio panel / marker beacon / intercom, transponder, and dual nav / com / GPS units)
Garmin International, 1200 East 151st St., Olathe, Kansas 66062; telephone 913/397-8200; fax 913/397-8282; www.garmin.com.
Precision matched fuel injection nozzles
General Aviation Modifications, Inc., 2800 Airport Rd., Hangar A, Ada, Oklahoma 74820; telephone 888-FLY-GAMI, 580/436-4833; fax 580/436-6622; www.gami.com.
Tires and tubes
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, 1144 E. Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44316; telephone 330/796-6323; fax 330/796-6535; www.goodyear.com.
Avionics and instrument panel installation
J. A. Air Center, DuPage Airport, 3N060 Powis Rd., West Chicago, Illinois 60185; telephone 800/323-5966 or 630/584-3200; fax 630/584-7883; www.jaair.com.
Wing tip fuel tank system
J. L. Osborne, Inc.,, 18173 Osborne Rd., Victorville, California 92392; telephone 800/963 8477, 760/245 8477; fax 760/245 5735; www.jlosborne.com.
J.P. Instruments Inc., 3185-B Airway Ave., Costa Mesa, California 92626; telephone 800/345-4574, 714/557-3805; fax 714/557-9840; www.jpinstruments.com.
Beryl D'Shannon upgrade and modification installations
Therese and Doug Kelly, Rt 2, Box R45, Military Highway, Mercedes, Texas; telephone 888/787-0689.
McCauley Propeller Systems, 3535 McCauley Drive, Vandalia, Ohio 45377; telephone 800/621-PROP or 937/890-5246; fax 937/890-6001; www.mccauley.textron.com.
MAGIC EFIS display system
Meggitt Avionics, Inc., 10 Ammon Drive, Manchester, New Hampshire 03103; telephone 603/669-0940; fax 603/669-0931; www.meggittavi.com.
Four-place oxygen system with Electronic Delivery System (EDS)
Mountain High E & S Company, 625 S.E. Salmon Avenue, Redmond, Oregon 97756-8696; telephone 800/468-8185, 541/923-4100; fax 541/923-4141; www.mhoxygen.com.
Murmer Aircraft Services, Houston SW Airport, 503 McKeever Rd. #1504, Arcola, Texas 77583; telephone 281/431 3030; fax 281/431 3031; www.murmerair.com.
Rebuilt seat back assist cylinders
G. Nichols & Co., 1923 Jackson Street, St. Clair, Michigan 48079; telephone 810/329-7083.
Audio landing gear and overspeed (Vne) warning system
P2, Inc., P.O. Box 26, Mound, Minnesota 55364-0026; telephone 888/921-8359, 952/472-2577; fax 952/472-7071; www.p2inc.com.
Landing gear retraction boot set
Performance Aero, East Kansas City Airport, Hangar L-1, Grain Valley, Missouri 64029; telephone 800/200-3141 or 816/847-5588; fax 816/847-5599; www.bonanza.org/performance/.
San Diego Aircraft Sales, Gillespie Field, 1987 N. Marshall Ave., Ste. 110, El Cajon, California 92020; telephone 619/562-0990; fax 619/562-0121; www.sandiegoac.com.
Scheme Designers, 277 Tom Hunter Road, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024, 201-947-5889; www.schemedesigners.com.
SIRS Product Services, 25422 Trabuco Rd. #105, PMB 436, Lake Forest, California 92630 telephone 310/325-3422; fax 949/951-0778; www.sirsproducts.com.
Cabin sound suppression kit
Skandia Inc., 5002 North Highway 251, Davis Junction, Illinois 61020; telephone 815/393-4600; fax 815/393-4814; www.skandia-inc.com.
Camloc cowling fasteners
Skybolt Aerospace Fasteners, 9000 Airport Road, Leesburg Municipal Airport, Leesburg, Florida 34788; telephone 352/326-0001; fax 352/326-0011; www.skybolt.com.
Autopilot and EFIS certification
S-Tec Corporation, One S-Tec Way, Municipal Airport, Mineral Wells, Texas 76067; telephone 940/325-9406; fax 940/325-3904; www.s-tec.com.
Superior Air Parts, Inc., 14280 Gillis Rd, Dallas, Texas 75244; telephone 972/233-4433; fax 972/233-8809; www.superiorairparts.com.
Airframe anti-ice system
TKS Ice Protection Systems, 3213 Arnold Ave., Salina, Kansas 67401; telephone 888/865-5511 or 785/493-0946; fax 785/493-0959; www.weepingwings.com.
Turbonormalizer system and annual inspection
Tornado Alley Turbo, Inc., 300 Airport Rd, Ada, Oklahoma 74820; telephone 877/359-8284 or 580/332-3510; fax 580/332-4577; www.taturbo.com.
Engine buildup and test
Western Skyways, Inc., 1865 Launa Dr., Montrose, Colorado 81401; telephone 800/575-9929 or 970/249-0232; fax 970/249-4155; www.westernskyways.com.
Whelen Engineering Co., Route 145, Winthrop Road, Chester, Connecticut 06412-0684; telephone 860/526-9504; fax 860/526-4078; www.whelen.com.