I move heaven and earth to read your articles. The Comanche was a pleasant airplane to use and when the fuel supply was increased from 60 to 90 gallons it became a true long-range airplane. It was pretty standard, though, to add a few quarts of oil and then check it before further flight. Two were operated by the Princeton Flight Research Laboratory, headed by my old friend Dave Ellis, and they were modified to be variable stability airplanes. I always wondered if O&N had benefit from the work Cessna had done but could never get anyone to comment on this. Currently Piper builds a few Arrows on special order for training institutions. That was available as an option in 1947 but almost nobody flew IFR then so there was little demand for a full set of gyro instruments. More ice started forming. The forward cabin doors are identical as are most of the windows. Cessna actually did the same thing, built two airplanes that would have been the Cessna 250 if produced, and then the bottom fell out of the market. If there was another child, she could ride in the back, by her mother. I have several very pleasant memories of the 210. • When the supercharger worked it was awesome. It is always great to get your long term perspective on these things. I put several thousand hours on a P210 and found it to be both dependable and economical (relatively). North American Rockwell badly wanted to be in this business and bought the Meyers 200, a mostly hand-built four-place airplane with a 285 hp Continental. Beech did like to promote its airplanes and some of the flashiest early Bonanza promotions included long distance record flights. Now I know why the Beech V-tail and 33/36 models are so famous and popular. Do that and there is no doubt about which airplanes is fastest. We can’t get enough! The design was sold and another company put a turboprop engine on it but not much came of this. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. SAVE Last Update: 10/25/2020. Like the Mooney, the airframe was expensive to build and what little tooling they got with the purchase was not of much help. I flew both airplanes and they were nice to fly but with a difference. While quite a performer down low, it was no faster than a standard P210 above 20,000 and really needed a higher pressure differential since it was quite an ear popper. This was a great article not because I agree that the bonanza was the best GA aircraft ever (although it may have been), but because he identified what there was to love about all the other aircraft. The good people of Kerrville, Texas, have stood by Mooney through thick and thin and renewed activity at the airport would be well deserved. I flew a lot of different Mooneys over the years and rented a turbocharged 252 for a month while my P210 was in for an engine overhaul. They used to change the letter designation every year, A35 to V35 for example, and some models were changed a lot and others a little. Honestly, I liked the way the Colt got right off the ground, better. If I had money and time on my hands, I’d be tempted to mate a 350-hp diesel to a Rockwell 114 airframe, for use as a personal airplane. Then, in 1958, Beech upped the ante by sponsoring a 6,856 statute mile flight from Manila to Pendleton, Oregon. That was way too much engine for the airplane and the prop size dictated by ground clearance was far from ideal. Before you do "anything" PLEASE make a back up of whatever you replace! I vividly recall the first time I saw a T-250. It still rolls off the assembly line, 67 years later, having shattered the dreams and fortunes of many others. In the 1950s we didn’t think a lot about that and CG was not even covered on the 25 true-false question private pilot written. I flew the ILS to a long runway (9) at Memphis, left the flaps up, landed hot, and taxied a well-iced Comanche to the Memphis Aero ramp. One advantage was the prop being farther off the ground so they could have a larger prop to take proper advantage of the horsepower. Unfortunatley they have been out of production for several years. Marvin showed us the airplane in its hangar. It was not a particularly pleasant airplane to fly. New to Air Facts? I will say that it was a lot of fun to fly and explore these airplanes when they were new and writing about them now kindles fond memories. When I was flying 58V some of the other pilots avoided it because it was a “light-wing Bonanza.” Those original airplanes did have some wing problems but all were modified and the wings looked just fine to a 20-year old Bonanza captain. While I still think Bonanza’s are the top of the line I truly love my Comanche. Except I love my TR182. Mr. Collins, what would be the one single engine piston that you would recommend as a substitute to the T210R 1985? It just looks so cool! My old Mark21 was traded for a C310 followed by an A36, which met my needs for 15 wonderful years.The Bo’s classic flying qualities still fill my daydreams. I thought of many airplanes as “fads” because they burst on the scene and fizzled. Copyright 2011-2020, Sportsman's Market, Inc. “Pass a bonanza? The FLYING blurb on an Eagle story: “A Resin in the Sun.” Barf. Piper built 148 Comanches with an eight-cylinder, 400 hp engine up front. It has to do with an angle. The Navion was a great flying airplane but, using the same engine, its performance was quite far behind the Bonanza. Plus, if you have the best name going, why give it up? It’s like they’re flying even before take-off. Mooney 301 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Loved it as did my family. That meant moving a portly one to the front and putting a skinny one in the back. I don’t know that Cessna actually had anything to do with these records. The airplane was never a big success and the design has been sold several times and there have been good-faith efforts to revive it. A lot of basic shapes remained the same but few if any parts were likely interchangeable. The other lesson learned came in one of the few substantial icing encounters I had in 57 years of flying. Great writing as always Mr. Collins. AC11 COMMANDER 114 FSX/P3D $ 29.95. Round robin travel time on the Commander is 2.5 hours, including a stop in St. Louis, versus 4.8 hours on the airlines. Maybe you and John can coax Harry Clements into doing a story about that duo. That made little difference to the people inside. Whoa, time to just fly straight and level. As far as I know the EA-400 never could attract the capital required for production and the airplane is pretty much in limbo. I became curious about the Flying magazine article you mentioned, where 3 versions of the 210 are compared, so I´d like to ask you if you know where I can find that article for consultation. Commander 114 Series Aircraft Information. With over 20,000 hours of real world experience, much of it in Cessna 172s and P210s, Collins wrote about safety, weather and air traffic control from first-hand experience. Shortly after that, he did it again in a modified T210 (more horsepower) by climbing to 43,699 feet. Beech did build another retractable but it was definitely not a competitor for the Bonanza. When watching the movie Jet Pilot with John Wayne, I could imagine it was me instead of Yeager because I knew how to extend and retract the landing gear. It's completely free, and we will not share your information with anyone. Got my CPL in a Sierra with outward retracting gear, like the B-24 Liberator that you mentioned. Mooney resurfaced after World War Two and I have heard many wonderful tales about how it wound up in Kerrville, Texas. I think they had Unicom at Mount Pocono but there was nobody there where we left. “You still are America’s GA treasure.”. At the time (somewhere around 1972) North American Rockwell remained true to its military contract experience and built big airplane touches into the small Commanders. of its shoes. April 12, 2007. John Frank, president of the Cessna Pilot’s Association – who was also a Bonanza test pilot – will tell you if he didn’t own a T210 he would own a Cessna TR182. The very first production Comanches were late 1957 models and the 180 Comanche was joined by the 250 Comanche in 1958. Yes,it does cost more for Insurance and maintenance, but not by a whole lot. He and the airplane came to rest at the bottom of the Pacific, leaving the record unbroken, for the time being. Another lesson was learned in Midland, Texas, where I once flew the Windecker Eagle, the first “composite” general aviation airplane. A few Eagles, nine, were built but like so many others, this airplane could never attract enough capital to become a competitor in the marketplace. The more popular of those single-engine retractables accounted for tens of thousands of sales over the years. Increasing the horsepower does all manner of things to screw up the pitch stability of an airplane and the things that have to be done to offset that often result in degraded handling qualities. Maybe that helped or maybe it just made him feel better. Otherwise the Comanche that was produced looked just like the prototype except the gear was electrically operated and the main gear used oleo struts. The same airplane, the fourth Model 35 built, was used for both flights. Among retracts I have flown Bonanzas, Commanches, Mooneys, 210s, Cardinals and an Epic. Sure brought back fond memories… and it was still a beautiful plane. I had a one-on-one weather briefing at Nashville that suggested there would be ice-free altitudes all the way to a stop at Little Rock. Beechcraft Bonanza N2014F Repaint for Payware Model. And, as usual, I do have some comment. This was a time when most of us didn’t care whether the airplane had a tailwheel or a nosewheel. The pressurized composite Extra EA-400 used a liquid-cooled Continental that was barely used elsewhere (on a Cessna twin conversion) and everything else about it appeared unconventional. I climbed to the assigned altitude and knew that it would be a safe altitude in the direction I was flying. Suncoast Aviation. Did you know that most of the articles at Air Facts are written by readers like you? I knew the people who designed, built and sold those airplanes and the combination of the people and the airplanes resulted in what I came to consider a personality. And of course Japanese anime always has spaceship with landing gear that came up and went down. So far, each has reached a conclusion that did not include producing airplanes on a regular basis. He may have special clearance, but I love when he is “Inspecting”, it is like a Military Air Show. Did have a ’64 Mooney M-20C. I well recall Beech learning that lesson years later with the unconventional Starship composite turboprop twin. Despite my giving him quite a few hours of dual, my buddy never managed to get used to planning and managing letdowns in the -400, so he sold it and bought the -260, which was a natural transition from his faithful Arrow III. Where Beech had enlisted experienced professionals for their long-distance flights, Piper took a different tack. A total of 9,240 were built so while it was a good competitor for the Bonanza, and outsold it when both were on the market, it fell far short of Bonanza total production. I had to get a clearance on the phone and so armed I launched into low clouds. The Bellanca Viking was neither pleasant nor unpleasant to fly. There were quite a few of us who were active IFR pilots in the late forties and early fifties. Rockwell discontinued production of the single engine line by 1980. I got together with it and a beautifully restored 1947 Model 35 on a fine day to fly and enjoy both airplanes. Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the … It was probably about the same speed as a Bonanza but the cabin was far from being as comfortable. Windecker was working to modify this but give the company credit for dealing with a bureaucracy that was gun-shy about certifying anything new especially a construction method. No two were alike so I just always chose to believe the one I liked best. In 1950, Olive Ann Beech took the reins after her husband Walter Beech died. On the first flight home from Norfolk, VA., ATC asked us to verify what kind of a Comanche we were flying, as he pointed out the traffic that we were overtaking below us – a Baron 55. Always enjoy reading the history of aviation and aircraft. Sign up for our free email newsletter, packed with tips, tricks and news for pilots. I guess I needed more lumber – I never managed to get more that 120 knots in level flight. If the Jacobs had a weakness it was the tendency to “swarm,” as we used to call a catastrophic engine failure. New Power to the Commander. Back in April of this year I bought into a partnership on a Comanche 260B. There was always interest in making it into something more powerful. I well remember your dad promoting IFR flight at the big Reading Pa. flyin! One thing that never changed was the flying qualities that most pilots dearly loved. Over 17,000 have been built. Although it never saw production, the Mooney 301 did eventually lead to the Socata TBM series of big single-engine retractables, which like the Bonanza, the PA-46, and the big Pilatus birds, still are in production. Computers would drive all manner of different control surfaces to make them fly like anything the computer told them to fly like. Hi Tom: The Mooney 301 bore little similarity to the TBM. I’ll just have to save a lot to get the best. jim. It has a roomy cockpit and is a excellent flying machines, If you want to travel inconspicuously, this is not the airplane for you. I have personally flown more 195s with 245s than 300s. Have been flying the same 1986-C210R, and have tried to ‘upgrade’ to something newer, only to recognise it´s the most versatile platform in existence, either used or new, as far as my flying needs are concerned. Dick you missed the composite retractable the Pipistrel Panthera. The difference was that the 35 flew in miles per hour and the B36TC in knots. The drain was clogged so a copious amount of water had dripped on the aft-mounted remote power supplies of the Mark V radios. No, a Piper Comanche didn’t look like Mr. Piper but they did share personality traits because in those days folks created airplanes in their own image. Smaller jets and most turboprops still use boots, because they…, I believe in educating and encouraging young people who have the desire to fly. Most jet aircraft and particularly airline aircraft use hot bleed air anti-ice systems on the airfoil leading edges, not boots. I am having a very hard time justifying a change to any as it would mean a compromise in either useful load, operating expense or cruising speed. Mainly the 35 flew like the lighter airplane that it is. It was a handsome airplane. The only accurate answer would be “a lot.”. I was working for Central Flying Service in Little Rock, a Beech dealer, and most of our charter flights were within the State of Arkansas simply because most businesses then were intrastate. The 252 was a capable airplane that I enjoyed flying but I always thought the 180 hp Mooney with the manually-retractable gear was the most enjoyable to fly. Knowing the toll density altitude would take on lesser craft, I was (and am still) amazed that we were soaring so high over the Rockies that it did not seem necessary to learn mountain flying. Designed and built by Rockwell International in the 1970s, the Commander 114 is a variant of the Rockwell Commander 112 which is an American four seat cabin, single piston engine monoplane. A good friend and experienced pilot was with me but he was apparently as discombobulated as I was. More Info. The mod was for C35 and subsequent models which had wider chord tail surfaces. It wasn’t a bad airplane but, hey, more horsepower is better so the 250 outsold it by a lot from the start. It was simply not a competitor for the Bonanza. As I was reading this, I kept thinking “what a great article – I’m going to have to leave a comment thanking the author for putting this together.” Then I looked to see wrote it. An example used in the marketing program is a company located in Peoria, Illinois, with meetings scheduled in Decatur and Chicago. The first Comanche flew with a 180 horsepower Lycoming where the Bonanza G35 of that year had a 225 Continental. Look at the picture of an EA-400 and make your own decision about the appearance of the airplane. Some suggested that without the V-tail, no airplane should be called a Bonanza. I’m impressed that you were able to get 130 knots out of a Sierra, using a big stick. I own 2 airplanes, one is a 1982 A-36 and the other is a 1974 Bellanca Super Viking. Private Flying - Rent a Bonanza / Commander 114 in UK - Is there anywhere in the uk (preferably Northern UK) to rent either a Bonanza or a Commander To me, it is amazing how many components of the earliest and the latest are actually identical other than the gauge of metal used to stamp out the piece. Flew a lot of IFR. Retractable singles: I owned a Socata Trinidad TB-20. Simple math. Cessna never went for distance records with the 210 but the airplane was used to set notable records. He started his career working with his father, Leighton Collins, at the original Air Facts magazine. The clouds came to an end and the radios started working, sort of. When I mounted the old 35, N3307V, I thought back to an airplane that I flew a lot on charter flights, N3358V. On top of that the nav needles, while alive, were flopping about aimlessly. A lot of other companies tried to compete in the retractable single market and Mooney probably tried harder than anyone else. Maybe Mr. Lopresti’s work at Piper carried over. It was not until 1955 or so that the Feds forced us to get an ADF for what had been DF approaches. I wonder if Dick made up that joke or that’s one that regularly makes the rounds in Arkansas. It carries 40 in the mains, 20 in a auxiliary.
The Rockwell Commander 114 was itself a more powerful development of the Commander 112 of 1970, one of only two new GA designs from Rockwell. Most of the fuselage skins are identical other than in the thickness of the metal used. It’s really a four. If you want the Cotton Bowl score from that year, it was Duke 7, Arkansas 6. For example, I doubt I’d ever heard that Max Conrad liked square dancing. Cessna was apparently not serious about it as a product because they only flew it for a while and then put it back into the original configuration. Mr. Pipers Comanche 400 was for sale in California a couple of years ago. The round engine dictated a bigger fuselage to follow it around and the result was a spacious cabin for four or five (three across in back). I was headed southwest, actually en route to the Cotton Bowl that I mentioned earlier. Yes, it has changed but the fact is that the Bonanza has been in production longer than any other airplane. The only one I could see was the little rod that props the door open.”. The media has led me to believe that, soon, a Two place + Luggage Quadricopter will land in my yard and take wife and I to O’Hare Field. Right from the beginning the company had earned great reputation thanks to the quality The B36TC of 50 years later was unquestionably an entirely different airplane than the 35, including a longer fuselage and better CG range. Over those years a number of airplanes impressed me as being “good” airplanes. It felt like I was in one those V-8 commercials. To check a pilot out, we’d get some muscle, put the M18 up on saw horses, and show anyone who wanted to fly it how to retract and extend the landing gear. While I still think Bonanza’s are the top of the line I truly love my Comanche. The gear and flaps extension speeds on the old airplane were almost ridiculously low at 100 mph. I actually still have a paper clip and just tried to do this but all these years later I couldn’t remember how. Heck, I don’t care if retractable landing gear caused a decrease in speed, the increase in coolness was worth it.
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