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View Full Version : What's the best commuter plane under $75k



lacofdfireman
02-16-2007, 19:50
Just wondering what your opinion would be for a good commuter plane for under $75k. I currently commute from St. George, UT to Southern California 360miles each way for work. Flying should cut my commute in half and make it alot better. Flying would be all VFR flights only. If I couldn't make VFR due to weather I would jump in the car and drive it. As far as planes go I would like something that could at least do 120kts and not burn a ton of fuel per hour, and reliable. Also I weight around 250lbs and would like a 4 seater. I have really been interested in the Van's Kit planes but they are mostly 2 seaters for the price range that I have. What would you use for commuting.

HIGHwing
02-16-2007, 20:40
Based on budget, etc. I'd probably look a little harder at the experimental aircraft, but if you really want a certified 4-seater you might be best served by an older 182.

dkalwishky
02-16-2007, 20:53
I'd either look at an older Cessna 182 or a CEssna 172 with a 180 hp engine.

I own a 182 and love it.

Dave

lacofdfireman
02-16-2007, 21:35
Just curious on the cruise speed of a 182 and how much fuel per hour they burn. Any ideas? Thanks.

WesJones
02-16-2007, 21:50
Originally posted by HIGHwing
Based on budget, etc. I'd probably look a little harder at the experimental aircraft, but if you really want a certified 4-seater you might be best served by an older 182.

Or an older Mooney F model. 150 kts on about 10 gal/hr. Not a roomy plane though but it is technically a four place. They can be had in your price range but I'd definitely get a good prebuy - they've been known to have a well understood set of problems that are very fixable - fuel tank leaks come immediately to mind.

Wes

luma
02-17-2007, 01:16
Arrows aren't bad either. You can easily get a decent Arrow II for 75K, and it will move you along at 140+ kts on 10 gph. Plus, they are fairly roomy and have a pretty good useful load.

smoothflyin88
02-17-2007, 01:36
Grumman Tiger will do 120-135 while sipping 9-10 GPH.

Feedboy
02-17-2007, 02:20
This is like asking what's the best STD to have. There really is no right or wrong answer.

dkalwishky
02-17-2007, 08:30
Originally posted by lacofdfireman
Just curious on the cruise speed of a 182 and how much fuel per hour they burn. Any ideas? Thanks.

130 kts, 11.5 gph at altitude.

Dave

HIGHwing
02-17-2007, 16:44
Originally posted by dkalwishky
130 kts, 11.5 gph at altitude.

Dave Based on his figures and yours, he'd be over $250 per round trip in gas money. Yikes! Rethinking this, you might just as well get a 2 seat airplane to fit your mission like a Katana, and then rent the extra seats to include the family.

hydroguy2
02-17-2007, 17:46
Originally posted by dkalwishky
130 kts, 11.5 gph at altitude.

Dave

note: these are pre-P ponk conversion numbers;)

dkalwishky
02-17-2007, 20:11
Originally posted by hydroguy2
note: these are pre-P ponk conversion numbers;)

You are correct, post PPONK I will see 145 - 150 kts and 14 gph.

Dave

Vreracing
02-17-2007, 22:10
Bellanca Vikings are often overlooked.

Look at my picture.

160kts at about 15gph.

CarZin
02-21-2007, 11:50
I have a share in a Piper Arrow II. I fly numerous 300+ NM trips a year. I normally have 4 people and baggage in the airplane (I am fortunate to be skinny and have skinny friends). It is very comfortable. Burns 10 gallons an hour around 135 knots. Useful load is 1000 pounds and carries 48 gallons of fuel.

BKMirage
02-21-2007, 12:00
Another vote here for the Arrow. Looks to be a good fit for your mission and requirements.

PaulThomas
02-21-2007, 13:22
How often are you going to be commuting with 4 in the airplane? If you're not, why 4 places?

It seems to me you've not defined you mission acurately and thus the advice you're getting here is flawed. 360nm is far enough for speed to start to matter, but even if you were to lose 20knts, it would only add ~30 mins to the trip which is not bad on a 3hr trip (not counting preflight, drive to airport and all that extra time).

I think you're looking to fly to work cheaply. The four seat demands comes from wanting to take occasional trips with the familly. If that's the case, I'd look for an RV-3 which can be had cheaply and then join a partnership for another aircraft to fly the familly in.
This way I have a backup aircraft for when the RV3 is down, cheaper to operate and a lot more fun.

bravodelta79
02-21-2007, 13:33
Originally posted by PaulThomas
If that's the case, I'd look for an RV-3 which can be had cheaply and then join a partnership for another aircraft to fly the familly in.
This way I have a backup aircraft for when the RV3 is down, cheaper to operate and a lot more fun.

A 250# person in an RV-3? Are you joking?

PaulThomas
02-21-2007, 15:35
Originally posted by ohiopilot
A 250# person in an RV-3? Are you joking?
Whoops, forgot about that. However, it's been done before... it all depends on what kind of 250# you are. I think I read 275 is the "real" upper limit due to CG considerations.

bravodelta79
02-21-2007, 15:44
Originally posted by PaulThomas
Whoops, forgot about that. However, it's been done before... it all depends on what kind of 250# you are. I think I read 275 is the "real" upper limit due to CG considerations.

When I bought that RV-4, I was 240#. Trust me - any kind of 250# in an RV-3 is very near a "no way".

I'm just saying...

However, now that I'm 204#, I wish I had that RV-4 again. LOL