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New License, buy a retractable?

It’s a mix of: not being familiar & current on aircraft, getting distracted, putting lot of effort in futile things (e.g. RT), not flying the power & attitude numbers, not using checklists, not flying stable IFR/VFR circuit or approach and ignoring the various warnings…you can miss one of the items above but maybe not two of them !

The other thing, never switch to anyone else technique (e.g. on short final, on downwind check…), even if it’s your mother let alone another pilot or instructor, just use it on top of yours, the more barrieres you have the better things get !

Last Edited by Ibra at 25 Jun 09:08
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

IO390 wrote:

Therefore I would argue that on something like a Cirrus, which is quite a refined and modern design, you would likely not see 10-20kts improvement with retracts.

It depends on the speed you want to achieve.

Flying anywhere far from the maximum cruise speed, the difference between retract / fixed gear will be small. But let’s compare some numbers.

The 2020 SR22T Turbo Cirrus is advertised as a maximum 213 KTAS airplane out of 315 horsepower, at 83% power. The 1970 Turbo Comanche was advertised as a 208 KTAS airplane out of 260 horsepower, (203 KTAS maximum continous cruise at 75% power, don’t know that number for the Cirrus), both in the same altitude of 20.000 feet. The Comanche, at same airspeeds, burns at least 20 % less! And it has up to 6 seats.

The Cirrus has a far superior finish, aerodynamics, just look at the wingtips, the cowling, the tail, all the details…there are 50 years of development in between, with the aid of computer modeling nowadays. It has a bigger engine, more than 20 % more power. And the most obvious difference is, that the Comanche retracts the gear, the Cirrus doesn’t. In the end, they come out equally fast.

Now I’d like to know, why either the Comanche design is so superior, or, what else exists that the Cirrus isn’t much faster? To me this is rather surprising, if it wasn’t for the gear.

Last Edited by UdoR at 25 Jun 09:27

Emir wrote:

A prominent Croatian instructor and examiner (and Airbus captain) recently had his second belly landing while instructing. What do I think about him? I think he’s an idiot.

I suppose it depends on the circumstances. I once knew a guy who had two in the space of a month! But neither were mistakes, in that both were identified as a problem while in the air, with full efforts to diagnose and rectify. In the end he had no choice but to do a controlled gear up landing.

Neither aircraft were owned nor maintained by him (he was an MEP/IR instructor).

But if it’s your guy’s second mistake…..yea, hard to see it any differently that you!

EIKH Kilrush

The Comanche and Twin Commanche is widely regarded as a very efficient design, however it isn’t the same as a Cirrus. Cirrus has considerably larger cabin and a difference of 300+KG in MGW.

United Kingdom

The main factor in deep-subsonic flight is cockpit volume. Like for like, they all do similar speeds.

The next “low hanging fruit” is how much air goes into the cowling to cool the engine. This is poorly optimised in most certified planes. See e.g. here. It’s obviously not difficult but there seems to be tradeoff between doing it properly, and having lots of “bits” under the cowling which hinder engine access – like in a modern car where you have to unscrew a load of plastic to get to the engine. The TB20 is as primitive as it gets under the cowling.

Non-certified are faster for various reasons, mostly to do with dodgy low speed handling If you are not tied to the 60kt Vs and all the other controllability requirements (@pilot_DAR is the expert) then you can go a lot faster for the same fuel flow.

The SR22 is not especially aerodynamic. As I posted previously, the SR22, C400/TTX, TB20 all do the same IAS of 140kt at 11.7 USG/hr I tested that myself, with @fuji_abound and @cobalt. And the DA42 turned out to be very similar, despite having two huge lumps on the wings so presumably it benefits a lot from the much higher compression of a diesel (SFC is proportional to the square root of CR so e.g. 20% more CR gives you 10% more HP, for the same fuel mass flow, IIRC).

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The two aircrafts I come across that delivers highest efficiency & cruise speeds are Eagle (conversion of NA Mooney Ovation) & Encore (conversion Turbo Mooney 252), both are +180KTAS aircrafts with +1100lbs UL, while they are highly optimized for cruise aerodynamics one may end up paying huge bills on climbs & descents or from handling on landing if they are not careful with speed & power, pity they are like hens teeth and one has to give up the “grass option” (they removed that section in new POH )

Most of what you get is a trade-off, if one is flying regularly between long tarmacs on +4h cruise they should get a retract, if one is flying regularly -2h between grass a strong fix gear would be ideal, and it’s not the one you have in Cirrus or Diamond, for occasional use, you can manage it, I have flown Mooney M20J to microlight grass strips: 1pob & 2h endurance while watching ASI speed on approach and touchdown GS on flare like a hawk, but you need ideal conditions and first visit on bushweels

In between, you have vintage retracts in Arrows, Mooneys, Bonanzas where you can do anything you want, but only after 100h on them !

Last Edited by Ibra at 25 Jun 11:14
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

dublinpilot wrote:

I suppose it depends on the circumstances.

Maybe in some other cases but with this guy it was the same: no problems with the aircrafts, just him giving shit to the student, in order to present himself as the greatest pilot ever. He’s known for doing this to his FOs while flying CAT “to train” them. As I said – idiot.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Thank you all for your replies, which as expected are very informative. Sort of eye-opening I’d say :)
I will have a better look at the available aircraft at our local club – a C172 Reims Rocket, and a RV10, besides some training 2-seaters. While I am not satisfied by the selection per se, I will try every single one of them first before proceeding. It dawns on me that maybe we were too much in a hurry to buy an airplane. Indeed, I would really like to sit once in a Mooney or a TB20 before being able to decide which fits better. So, in case one of you guys would be around the LIPB area in the future and willing to show us your plane, I would be very happy to do so. I would pay you well in beer from my brewery if that helps as an incentive


in order to present himself as the greatest pilot ever. He’s known for doing this to his FOs while flying CAT “to train” them

The world is full of them. Those who can’t become pilots become ISO9000 quality managers

I would really like to sit once in a Mooney or a TB20

Think hard about how many doors you want

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Think hard about how many doors you want

As many as possible
By the way, the question is not how many doors I want, we need to reformulate to how many doors my wife/daughters want

Truth be told, the TB20 is truly intriguing, both by it’s appearance and its seemingly spacious interior. Finding a decent one might be the tricky thing

Last Edited by lukepower at 26 Jun 13:36
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