News: Added Links For Twin Commander and Facebook Pages

Login  |  Register

Author Topic: The perfect Commander (for me)  (Read 16122 times)

Willis

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • Retired: Engineer; PE, PhD, Professor Emeritus
The perfect Commander (for me)
« on: October 08, 2015, 08:09:05 pm »
Ive been lurking and lusting over Twin Commanders for most of my life.  The time and opportunity has come that I can now fullfill that desire and Im seriously considering a 500B, and would like comments from those that have or have flown them.

My Geographic boundries are the American West;  I live in California but have family and friends from Seattle to Houston and many parts in between.

My interests.  While I must like flying, I also do a lot of hiking and camping, which means carrying lots of gear and supplies.  it also means I'd like my AC to get into some places others cannot.  It must be comfortable on grass and dirt strips and certainly under 3000' at SL.

Turbo/not.  I have my opinions on turbocharging.  So far there are few than have done it well. The early geared/superchargers were problematic and being clockwork drivenl; prone to maintenance.  MY personal favorite turbocharing system would be a manual wastegate that lets me decide what altitude the manifold thinks its working.  But thats another arguement.

So,  Im looking and hoping to pull the pin next year (after new years).  Id appreciate your comments and insights.

Thanks.

-Bud

ghancock

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1152
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 09:23:34 pm »
Well, I share your desires and needs and I opted for a 680FP which allowed me to also get higher.  After flying my non turbo charged Cessna 310Q out west a few times I decided that I needed something with more output at high elevations.  The 680 has superchargers and from everything I've read about them they are pretty solid systems.  I hope this proves to be true.

From my research the plane you're looking at would fit your needs perfectly but not sure where I would stand on supercharger if I was flying out west all the time.  I can't offer any advise on actually flying the planes yet as I have owned one that hasn't gotten out of the shop for 3 months now.  It seems close (hopefully in next week) so hopefully can say more soon. :0-)

There are plenty of others that I'm sure can pipe in on the plane you're looking at.

Good luck and hope you find the plane you're looking for as it would be great having you around.

Glenn
--glenn
You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Adam Frisch

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
    • Adam Frisch FSF
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 12:16:22 am »
Can't go wrong with a 500B. They pretty much had it nailed down by then and the aircraft is a great performer and almost perfect in all regards. If you need some extra performance, the Merlyn 350hp converted ones are great. Dave Phifer flies his Merlyn conversion out of his personal grass strip that's seriously short.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeoJiu7or_M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw0mBZqpRZQ
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

ghancock

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1152
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 07:47:01 am »
Awesome videos.  I hope to post a few of my 680FP going in and out of our 2900' strip soon.  Because of the latest delays its looking like I won't get the plane for a couple more weeks. :-(

Glenn
--glenn
You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Adam Frisch

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
    • Adam Frisch FSF
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 10:53:37 pm »
Although heavy, the 680FP has great power and should be a good short field performer.

Jim Metzger taught me how to do short field takeoffs in the 520, and it was a real eye opener what can be done with Commanders if you need to. 2/3 flaps, yoke in your stomach and the 520 started climbing out at around 45kts. It was insane. A 680FP probably a bit higher, but once you get comfortable with it, you should try and see what numbers you might get. Think you will be surprised. BTW, none of this was published stuff from the POH, it was just Jim's experience.

Remember, the stall speed power on is significantly different from the stall speed power off. On the 520 the power on stall speed was an insane 35kts. Can't remember the stall speed dirty, but it was quite a bit higher, probably around 49kts. So if yours has a stall speed of, let's say, 60kts dirty, I bet it's around 50kts power on, which is what you'd use for a short field takeoff.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 10:57:40 pm by Adam Frisch »
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

ghancock

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1152
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2015, 08:48:17 am »
Thanks for the info.  I know all about nothing being published in the POH though as it is almost totally useless.  I don't think I've seen a worse excuse for a POH but I'm sure they are out there. :-)

Glenn
--glenn
You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Adam Frisch

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
    • Adam Frisch FSF
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 11:00:41 am »
I know - the 520 POH was literally 5 stenciled pages together!
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

donv

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2908
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2015, 07:28:34 pm »
Swede used to call that a "fishing takeoff." Full power, hold the brakes, push the flap lever down, release the brakes, full back on the yoke, once in the air push the flap lever back up, accelerate, and raise the gear.

At least, that's how I think it went-- it was sort of one smooth motion all at once.


Jim Metzger taught me how to do short field takeoffs in the 520, and it was a real eye opener what can be done with Commanders if you need to. 2/3 flaps, yoke in your stomach and the 520 started climbing out at around 45kts. It was insane. A 680FP probably a bit higher, but once you get comfortable with it, you should try and see what numbers you might get. Think you will be surprised. BTW, none of this was published stuff from the POH, it was just Jim's experience.


Dhavillandpilot

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2015, 03:15:16 am »
Great technique, but how long will you live.

Just image rotating at 45kts dirty and bingo a failed engine, you'll be on your back before you could possibly respond.

For pity sake fly the aircraft like it is supposed to be flown by the numbers and stay alive.

My first twin I owned and trained on was a Lockheed 12A, and my trainer was an airline pilot. Result I'm still alive despite in my flying career a total disintegration of a Citation engine on rotate, a blade parting company on a twin Comanche and a total engine failure and dead stick landing over a built up area in a chipmunk

ghancock

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1152
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 08:15:56 am »
I agree.  I fly out of short fields all the time in my 310 and will be in the Commander (if I ever get it back).  I'm perfectly ok counting leaves at the end of the runway as long as I've got the speed to comfortably recover from an engine failure.  I never lift off just for the sake of getting off the ground and always sit beside the runway until I get above blue line.  The fact is, all airplanes can get off the ground quicker than people take them with the right application of force.  But what's the point?

Glenn
--glenn
You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Adam Frisch

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
    • Adam Frisch FSF
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 09:50:38 am »
No, that's all good procedure and I do the same. If I have the runway, I'll use most of it and try to rotate at blue line. But sometimes you have no choice. And the point of owning a Commander is that they can get into airfields no other twin can get into. It's part of the charm of owning them.
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

ghancock

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1152
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 10:01:31 am »
I guess that is another way to look at it.   I just don't HAVE to get into those fields.  To be clear I'm not one of those guys that fly's only out of 5k strips.  But I also try to be as safe as I can.  It is nice to know it can do it though if needed. :-)

Glenn
--glenn
You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Adam Frisch

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
    • Adam Frisch FSF
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 02:33:51 pm »
Did I ever post the link to my short takeoff in the 520? Forgive me if a I did. The thing is off in 600ft, and I'm sure it could be shortened even a bit more with less fuel and a better pilot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zEhHJkUERE
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

ghancock

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1152
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2015, 08:17:24 pm »
Nope, haven't seen that one but nice.
--glenn
You can't win an argument with an ignorant person,  they'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Willis

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • Retired: Engineer; PE, PhD, Professor Emeritus
Re: The perfect Commander (for me)
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2015, 11:28:28 pm »
Indeed!

Ive watched it a dozen times.  Never gets old.

I noticed a newly posted ad for a  500B in NY,NY

http://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/1394815/1963-aero-commander-500b

It seems to have been a commuter airliner, 14k hours.  For a part 91 guy, this could be a good bird.  {provided all the ususal prebuy/analysis caveats}

-Bud