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TB20 / Twin Commanche / Sportcruiser ?

Currently in a PA28 group which I need to get out of. My flying is (has been) increasingly to “go places”, rather than just going flying for the sake of it ie the burger run etc. I have IMCR, NR, around 250 hours total. Would like to do an IR at some stage but never had the aircraft to do it yet. Options I have are:

1. Try to coerce the group to pay some extra cash (I would let them borrow some cash if need be) to upgrade to an older TB20 (similar to the one recently referred to on a recent thread, which I think was a 1982). Chances are, the group won’t go for it, various reasons for this but I haven’t tried it.

2. Join a newly forming Twin Commanche group (would be 6 members I think), everything newly done, zero timed engines and prop, decent avionics, AP etc. etc. Would need to do an MEP and would allow me to fly more “going places” trips – and I’d do an IR in it too. Likely to be more expensive / hr than a TB20 though.

3. Other option is to look at the other end of the scale and say I haven’t done much flying recently, perhaps this is down to the cost of the current aircraft and its imcompatibility with my main mission to go places – and also wouldn’t really use it for burger runs / the to and fro of small airfields. However, if the hourly rate was significantly cheaper ie Sportcruiser cheap, then I might fly more and it wouldn’t exclude all “going places” trips? I would probably buy something like this with another 1, or 2 people? (As an aside, I’ve been trawling through the web to find reference to the current CAA experiment of LSA to be used at night / IMC – but can’t find anything. Am wondering if a Sportcruiser would qualify if the CAA’s experiment is successful? )

Suggestions? Thoughts?


Not sure where you’re based, but how about a yet-to-be-advertised share in a newly formed Mooney 231 group, based west of London? Sounds like the current members match your profile as well.

Send me a PM if of interest


I wonder why they are against the TB20?

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Michael, it probably would be perfect but just too far away from me. Thanks anyway.

Peter, its nothing against the tb20 which they are against, its more they are against any change at all!

A Twin Comanche is a great plane, but be careful about the lesser parts availability if you could ever be paying to fix it. Piper is not making much of a secret out the fact that they do not wish to support the legacy aircraft. I am a fan of the older planes, but I still consider parts availability and repairability. This is one reason I’m a Cessna fan, as most single Cessnas can be largely repaired with “made” parts, where Pipers are a little more dependent upon specialty parts like extrusions.

Home runway, in central Ontario, Canada, Canada

I’m a twin guy and think they’re ideal for your mission, but have the fortune of sustaining one in the US where costs are just about doable. In Europe, I don’t think I could afford to own one unless I somehow had a paid off Tecnam P2006T or a DA42. Fuel is just a killer for a twin in Europe. But if you can swing it financially, you have a real going places plane. II would want a FIKI plane in Europe with its varying weather.

I think the Twin Com is maybe the only Twin which can be run in Europe with halfways manageable cost. It doesn’t use much more fuel than a big bore single yet still gives quite some speed and the safety of the 2nd engine. I’ve been looking at the ones advertized often and with a certain interest.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

I would add my view that the Twin Comanche is indeed a great plane, with 14 years of ownership just coming up and no intention to sell. There are owners that bought them new in the 60’s and still have them, which must say something.

A couple of words of caution. First, I picked up on the words in the first post “everything newly done”. The list that includes “everything” for a Twin Comanche is not always widely known, and there are a few items that swiftly add up. Second, I would not necessarily think of a Twincom as low cost in terms of ownership. Might be best to think of it as like owning an Aztec, but with lower fuel costs and no Eurocontrol charges (and much lower payload)

In my view, one of the best value going places aircraft is an M20J. I sold my share in one when buying the Twincom …

Sure enough. A Twincom is probably what a Twin Mooney would have been like if they had ever done it.

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Sorry to bang on about Aerostar, but when it comes to fuel it’s actually very frugal. That’s the main reason I bought one – that’s what a tight cross section and a thin wing does. I couldn’t find any other legacy twin that could fly on 20gph/184kts or 25gph/200kts. It’s like the Mooney of twins.

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