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bjorn14
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Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:31 pm

I am working on a proposal for an upstart flight academy in the Middle East. I was wondering what A.netters thought the best startup plane was? C172, C182, etc. Best ME piston, Best ME turbo? Best jet trainer? For arguments sake lets say money is no object. Thanks for the input.
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Gonzalo
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:09 pm

I like the Cirrus for the rookies... always good to have a parachute !!!!  

The Cessna product is also one of the best options IMHO.

About a Jet trainer, that's another story. I always like the Learjet instrumentation and stability, but that could be very subjective. There are very good versions of Citation and if you have the money, maybe you can try a brand new Embraer Legacy jet, and use it for training AND for VIP transport or leasing.

Just my humble two cents.

Best of Luck !!!!

Rgds.

G.

[Edited 2011-02-09 15:13:14]
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alwaysontherun
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:36 pm

Hello,

whilst money is no object (lucky you), I still see nothing wrong with acquiring some of these so called "basic" planes!



Power 5 of these with the Rotax 914 Turbo, bang some Dynon screens in, and off you go go.
Those (nearly) out-perform a Cessna 152!!!

Just stick your infinite recourses in a 1500 meter paved runway, a nice club house, fueling facilities……….and of course a swimming pool!! Try to get some booze down for the club bar…….that will soon change the "money is no object" situation, in some of those countries!!

###"I´m always on the Run"###
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Mir
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:16 am

A C172 or PA28 would do nicely as a primary trainer. I have a slight preference for the Piper, but that's just me.

As for a ME piston, either a PA44 or a DA42. The DA42 can be had in either avgas or diesel (i.e. Jet-A) versions. If you're in someplace where Jet-A is a lot cheaper than avgas, that's a good advantage cost-wise. On the other hand, the PA44 is a more proven design that's used everywhere and was designed to be a training aircraft.

-Mir
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KELPkid
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:21 am

Quoting alwaysontherun (Reply 2):
Power 5 of these with the Rotax 914 Turbo

I can see why you don't run a flight school. Putting a turbocharged engine in the hands of basic flight students is a really bad idea   

What is the TBO on the Rotax 912 these days? As I recall, it still a bit lower than the 2,000 hours that you can get out of a Lycoming O-320 or O-235. I also know that Rotax has been making incremental improvements on their 4 stroke aviation engines to make the TBO higher....
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:49 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 4):
What is the TBO on the Rotax 912 these days? As I recall, it still a bit lower than the 2,000 hours that you can get out of a Lycoming O-320 or O-235. I also know that Rotax has been making incremental improvements on their 4 stroke aviation engines to make the TBO higher....


It's up to 2000 hours on a Rotax 912. That said, a 914 (a turbo'd 912) is only at 1400 hours, IIRC. Quite honestly, there is no need for the Rotax 914, unless you are 1) in the mountains all the time or 2) are needing something with a little more power to pull your seaplane out of the water a bit quicker. Also, when you compare the Rotax 912 to the other common LSA engine, the O-200D, they have similar TBO's of 2000 hours. If and when Lycoming gets the IO-233 on the market, it's going to be rated at 2400 hour TBO

That said, I'd probably look into the Diamond aircraft line. DA-20 for basic training, DA-40 for instrument and advanced training. DA42 for multi engine training, and then down the road when the D-Jet is finally certificated, you can use it as a basic jet transition course.

-DiamondFlyer

[Edited 2011-02-09 22:52:38]
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swiftski
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:44 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
As for a ME piston, either a PA44 or a DA42.

We have a number of DA42's. They are a terrible trainer.
 
71Zulu
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:10 pm

PIPER has everything you need... well except for the Jet.

Warrior Cadet for primary

Arrow for complex/retracts

Seminole for ME trainer

Seneca for turbo ME
 
oly720man
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:37 pm

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 7):
well except for the Jet

They do have a jet

http://www.piper.com/pages/PiperJetAltaire.cfm


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alwaysontherun
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:54 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 4):
I can see why you don't run a flight school. Putting a turbocharged engine in the hands of basic flight students is a really bad idea   

Could you please elaborate as to why?
My experience with the 914 / 912 tells me that the performance is similar but that the 914 has more grunt on high altitudes--> not a bad thing to have for students, is it??

Aaah, and the real reason why I don't actually run a flight school is the temptation of the mentioned pool / bar.

Cheers,

###"I'm always on the Run"###
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:40 pm

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 7):
PIPER has everything you need... well except for the Jet.

Assuming they don't kill production again on the PA28 series, like they had for a few years. Quite simply, I don't believe you'll ever see Piper single engine training planes built again in large numbers. Cessna and more recently Diamond have filled that void. Piper didn't keep up with the times and they're paying for it now.

Quoting alwaysontherun (Reply 9):
Could you please elaborate as to why?
My experience with the 914 / 912 tells me that the performance is similar but that the 914 has more grunt on high altitudes--> not a bad thing to have for students, is it??

It comes down to the very marginal gain you get by having a Rotax 914 over the 912. Sure, you pick up some power, but you increase fuel burn, increase purchase cost, and the engine only lasts 70% as long as the Rotax 912. So in short, it financially doesn't make a lick of sense to run a school with Rotax 914's.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
desertjets
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:31 pm

If the Aerospatile/Socata planes were still in production they would be worth looking at. IIRC at one point ERAU had a large fleet of TB-9s. I used to drool over the TB20/21 GT in the flying mags when I was younger.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
alwaysontherun
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:56 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 10):
It comes down to the very marginal gain you get by having a Rotax 914 over the 912. Sure, you pick up some power, but you increase fuel burn, increase purchase cost, and the engine only lasts 70% as long as the Rotax 912. So in short, it financially doesn't make a lick of sense to run a school with Rotax 914's.

Money was no object………hahahaha!

I see what you´re saying………..I´m in a mountainous area where the 914 "rules", but fair is fair--> the O.P did mention the Middle East.

Does a 914 really last only 70% compared to the 912?

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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:02 pm

Quoting alwaysontherun (Reply 12):
Does a 914 really last only 70% compared to the 912?

You know what, I went and looked it up, and it turns out the Rotax 914 only has a TBO of 1200 hours. So its really only 60%. Sorry I didn't get it right the first time.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:46 pm

Well, I'm surprised yet glad nobody mentioned a the C150. I hate them. They're claustrophobic, slow as hell, and useless outside of the airport's traffic pattern. Yes it gets the job done but there's much better planes out there. Also IMO LSAs are not the best for training either.

C172 is a no brainer, great all arounder.

PA-44 a pretty solid and forgiving twin. Though it has a very annoying dutch roll tendency, but it only get tiring in long XC flights.

I know they're rarely used for training but pretty much any Mooney IMO makes an excellent high performance/complex/hard IFR trainer, if I had my way, I'd use them for turbine transition training as they are very slippery and aerodynamic planes, there's a reason most have speed brakes.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 1):
always good to have a parachute !!!!

It creates a false sense of security. There have been more than a few incidents where idiotic pilots decided it would be a good idea to fly through a raging thunderstorm or severe icing. Those pilots (which tend to be your wealthy lawyer/Dr. types) think having a parachute gives them an excuse to fly in more dangerous situations, yet its sole purpose is to be an absolute last resort life saver.

[Edited 2011-02-10 10:58:51]
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 14):
It creates a false sense of security. There have been more than a few incidents where idiotic pilots decided it would be a good idea to fly through a raging thunderstorm or severe icing. Those pilots (which tend to be your wealthy lawyer/Dr. types) think having a parachute gives them an excuse to fly in more dangerous situations, yet its sole purpose is to be an absolute last resort life saver.

I totally agree with you... that's why I put the "silly" smiley at the end of the sentence.
In any case, If you look the things from the instructor's point of view, precisely because there are a lot of morons that want to be a pilot with 2 hours of training, maybe is a good idea to have a parachute.... ( but only In the instructor's BACK !!   )


Rgds.

G.
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KELPkid
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:49 pm

Quoting alwaysontherun (Reply 9):
Could you please elaborate as to why?
My experience with the 914 / 912 tells me that the performance is similar but that the 914 has more grunt on high altitudes--> not a bad thing to have for students, is it??

Turbochargers and turbocharged engines are also notoriously finicky, and with the abuse that the engines in flight school planes already take, they don't need 20 hour throttle jockeys to destroy them well before the engine's TBO limit  
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etherealsky
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:30 pm

Quoting swiftski (Reply 6):
We have a number of DA42's. They are a terrible trainer.

How so?
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MrChips
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:16 pm

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 17):
How so?

In a word, engines.

The diesel-powered TwinStars have been nothing short of a fiasco. The original Thielert engines never even came close to living up to maintenance and reliability expectations, which is one of the reasons why Thielert themselves went out of business (the other big one is that Mercedes discontinued the auto engine on which Thielert based their product on - there is a big lesson to be learned here). Diamond has started their own engine company (Austro), making a replacement engine of similar specifications (also based on a Mercedes auto engine), but their handling of the situation with the owners has been less than stellar as well.

There is a Continental-powered version of the TwinStar, but it possesses few of the promised advantages of the diesel-powered aircraft.
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pilotpip
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:56 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 11):
If the Aerospatile/Socata planes were still in production they would be worth looking at. IIRC at one point ERAU had a large fleet of TB-9s. I used to drool over the TB20/21 GT in the flying mags when I was younger.

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Tampico. I have about 400 hours in them. I soloed, took my private, instrument and Comm S/E add on in them as well as instructing.

Having said that, it's the last aircraft I'd equip a training fleet with. They were next to impossible to get parts for, in fact my school bought a number of the riddle planes for parts. When we saw the spar corosion on the Daytona birds they were esentially scrapped. For the last 4 or 5 years we had them Socata provided no support. While comfortable, they were slow, inefficient and had some nasty stall characteristics. Our school got the tampicos at a time that no other single engine trainers were being built. They did a good job. That said, there are far better options out there now.

172s are good because there are about a million of them flying around. Everyone is familiar with them. There have been few changes to them in the last 50 years because it was a good design to begin with. A stable, reliable trainer if there ever was one. Having the ability to put another student in the back seat to observe is also a nice tool.

The DA-20 is a modern aircraft with very good flying charateristics. Between the horn and pronounced buffet, you have to be an idiot to not know it's about to stall. It's very efficient and just slippery enough to teach a student the importance of proper control in the pattern. It's built well enough to handle the abuse of a student pilot. It's quick enough to go somewhere on a cross country and efficient enough to not burn a ton of very expensive 100LL on the way. It's drawbacks? Two seats that are very uncomfortable if you're taller than 5'10" or flying in summer weather. Difficult to control at slow speeds because of the castoring nose wheel and the continential equipped ones can be a bear to start when cold.

While I understand the "family" concept when it comes to a trainer fleet I'm not sure if I'd say it's the best approach. There's a lot to be gained from flying a variety of aircraft throughout your training. In terms of airmanship I feel I learned the most while ferrying aircraft or flying something I didn't have a lot of experience in. I think familiarity breeds a bit of complacency as well.
DMI
 
cerretaman
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:56 pm

I did my private and CFII and parts of my commercial and CFI in the Piper Warrior. Really easy, forgiving airplane to fly. Handles easily and stalls are nothing. Easy to land too! I think it's an excellent training aircraft for the new flight student.
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etherealsky
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:02 pm

Quoting MrChips (Reply 18):
The diesel-powered TwinStars have been nothing short of a fiasco.

I've got to agree with you there, but thankfully I think the Thielert days are almost behind us now (unless some people are still stuck with the Centurions?). I've flown the Lycoming-powered model (I assume that's what you meant) and while it certainly doesn't have the legs or the fuel economy as its diesel siblings, Diamond has still done a great job adapting the platform to the IO-360... considering the fact that it was originally designed for something completely different (and for a multi-trainer, range and useful load are not really top priorities anyway). On our DA-42-L360s we did have some initial weight and balance issues that seriously limited the plane's capability as it was very easy to load aft of CG, but with the nose ballast kit that's come out since then, that situation is greatly improved.

Ultimately, though, I don't think a plane should be judged on its suitability as a flight trainer based on fuel economy alone (which, unless I'm forgetting something, is really the only advantage of a diesel... aside from the problem of avgas availability overseas--but if we assume that this hypothetical school is going to have other avgas-powered aircraft, that point's moot...) because we must also remember that diesels use FADEC, which is certainly not a benefit for flight training.
So, if we consider all light twins and not just those powered by diesel engines, what other options can solidly beat the DA-42-L360's ~20GPH in cruise? Isn't that about what they all drink? Plus, the Twinstar's G1000 also makes it a great trainer; a new Seminole only comes with a G500.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:12 pm

Quoting MrChips (Reply 18):
There is a Continental-powered version of the TwinStar, but it possesses few of the promised advantages of the diesel-powered aircraft.

It's actually Lycoming powered, as its an IO-360, very similar to those put on the 172 and Diamond DA40. Yet another reason why the DA42 is a good choice in the DA42-L360, is the less diverse engines you have in the fleet, the easier maintenance should be.

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 21):
So, if we consider all light twins and not just those powered by diesel engines, what other options can solidly beat the DA-42-L360's ~20GPH in cruise?

Tecnam P2006T. Burns about 10 GPH @ 75% or 12 GPH wide open throttle of either 100LL or MoGas. Cruises at 140 knots @ 75% power, available with the Garmin G1000. Cheaper than both the DA42 and PA44.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
bjorn14
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:10 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 22):
available with the Garmin G1000

Should students learn in a glass cockpit environment or the steam gauge way?
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:59 pm

For my money it's hard to beat the C-172; very stable, forgiving, and easy to fly. It also has enough performance to really fly and not just linger in the air. In addition, there are plenty of them out there and every mechanic knows them. They are also very easy to maintain and not prone to unexpected problems.

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 23):
Should students learn in a glass cockpit environment or the steam gauge way?

It does depend on what the student intends to do. If he/she is headed for the airlines, there probably is no need to learn steam guages, as I expect they are all pretty much glass now. But for anyone else, I think it is good to learn steam guages first; I think it is easier to transition to glass from steam rather than the reverse. I do think any student who intends to fly GA should be taught both, as there are a lot of planes still out there with steam guages, and will be for many years to come.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
Mir
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:44 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 23):
Should students learn in a glass cockpit environment or the steam gauge way?

IMO, steam during private and instrument training, then transition to glass.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:08 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 24):

It does depend on what the student intends to do. If he/she is headed for the airlines, there probably is no need to learn steam guages, as I expect they are all pretty much glass now.

I'd do it this way regardless:

Quoting Mir (Reply 25):
IMO, steam during private and instrument training, then transition to glass.

Better to make it hard on them first. Transitioning to glass is cake after a few hundred hours with steam.

Also, I flown with several young pilots from the glass generation and that did their whole primary training and even instrument with glass. They are no way nearly as proficient for instrument procedures, especially when the displays go wrong, as those of us with steam gauge time.
 
Mir
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:04 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 26):
Better to make it hard on them first.

Not just that, but I believe that a glass cockpit is distracting when one is trying to learn how to fly an airplane.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
71Zulu
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:08 pm

Quoting oly720man (Reply 8):
They do have a jet

They will have a jet if it ever gets built. Not due out now til mid-2013.

Quoting cerretaman (Reply 20):
I did my private and CFII and parts of my commercial and CFI in the Piper Warrior. Really easy, forgiving airplane to fly. Handles easily and stalls are nothing. Easy to land too! I think it's an excellent training aircraft for the new flight student.

  
The Warrior is a great plane and much prefer it over the 172.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:10 pm

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 28):
The Warrior is a great plane and much prefer it over the 172.

I think it depends on what you learn in. I learned in a Cessna; my college roommate learned in a Piper. He prefers Piper (he has owned a Cherokee for many years), I prefer Cessnas and owned half of a 182 for many years. I have flown Pipers, but my preference remains with Cessnas. Cessnas are slightly more efficient; they will carry more and fly faster with the same power, and I like the way they fly better. But it is largely a matter of personal preference; they are both very reliable, predictable, and forgiving planes.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
MD-90
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:47 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 5):
Quite honestly, there is no need for the Rotax 914, unless you are 1) in the mountains all the time or 2) are needing something with a little more power to pull your seaplane out of the water a bit quicker.

When the 912 had only 80hp I could understand Searey builders using the 115hp 914 in their aircraft but once the 912S came out I really wondered why people were finishing Seareys with 914s. Who wants a SEAPLANE with a turbo engine, unless you're going to be flying the mountains to mountain lakes/rivers? 15 extra hp doesn't seem to be a very good tradeoff for the substantial higher cost.



In the Middle East I have to ask about heat. One advantage of high wing planes is that they tend to be a bit cooler, and they're certainly better than bubble-canopied Diamonds. If avgas has limited availability then a fleet of diesel-powered DA40s and DA42s may be the way to go. Otherwise I say 172 and 162.
 
alwaysontherun
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:27 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 13):

You know what, I went and looked it up, and it turns out the Rotax 914 only has a TBO of 1200 hours. So its really only 60%. Sorry I didn't get it right the first time.

Good thing I went for the 912S!!
For me, money IS an object!!

###"I´m always on the Run"###
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pilotpip
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:58 pm

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 21):
Ultimately, though, I don't think a plane should be judged on its suitability as a flight trainer based on fuel economy alone (which, unless I'm forgetting something, is really the only advantage of a diesel... aside from the problem of avgas availability overseas--but if we assume that this hypothetical school is going to have other avgas-powered aircraft, that point's moot...) because we must also remember that diesels use FADEC, which is certainly not a benefit for flight training.
So, if we consider all light twins and not just those powered by diesel engines, what other options can solidly beat the DA-42-L360's ~20GPH in cruise? Isn't that about what they all drink? Plus, the Twinstar's G1000 also makes it a great trainer; a new Seminole only comes with a G500.

I disagree completely. Fuel costs should be a huge consideration because they are the the single largest expense. Avgas is $5.50 in my area currently and we've traditionally had a lower cost than many regions in the US. If you can save 2-3 gph with a different model aircraft that cost savings can add up quickly and help growth when you pass that along to your students. Fuel savings is such an important issue that the school I went to changed its policies from the time I was a student there to while I was instructing and got very agressive about leaning the mixture. When they updated their fleet they went with DA-20s as their primary trainer because of the significantly lower fuel costs.

Why is FADEC bad but more advanced avionics good? The protections granted by FADEC systems are huge and they can also translate into a cost savings. Like many other things about GA, it's severely behind the power curve in this field as airliners, and other machines using internal combustion engines have been utilizing this technology for decades and proven its reliablitity.
DMI
 
etherealsky
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RE: Best Planes To Start A Flight Academy?

Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:50 am

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 32):

No doubt about that; I agree that fuel economy is still a big deal, hence the reason for saying that a plane shouldn't be judged on fuel economy alone - but my original point was that an avgas-powered airplane shouldn't be called a poor trainer because it is not as efficient as a diesel-powered equivalent.

(Besides, OP mentioned "let's say money is no object")

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 32):
Why is FADEC bad but more advanced avionics good?

I believe FADEC is a disadvantage in a trainer because it doesn't require students to learn powerplant management with respect to conventional constant-speed propeller systems. When all you need to do is set a percentage, it takes a lot of the work (and thinking) out of things. Also, in many places (like the US) I doubt that many students will go on to fly a FADEC-powered airplane for their first commercial multi jobs.

Advanced avionics are good (for instrument and commercial students) because of the wealth of information they expose the student to- they reinforce the need to learn effective multitasking and prioritizing. Sure, they make things easier and lazier if the most advanced thing you do with them is use the auto-frequency tuning function, but for someone training to be a commercial pilot it's imperative to learn to be able to (effectively) use all the resources at your disposal.
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Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos