>Probably the biggest speed boost available for the Musketeers is the
>Powerflow exhaust for the carburated Lyc's.  The "Speed Spats" from
>Robin Thomas (Laminar Flow Systems
>http://www.laminarflowsystems.com/ ) for the fixed gear
>airplanes is up there too.  How much speed with both? 
>Robin has that answer.

Most all the "baby Beech" are flying around at or ahead of the forward CG
limit. There is real performance to be gained by properly loading the
plane. And it is FREE. Other speed mods burn more fuel (PowerFlow
increases HP, and that requires higher fuel flow to get those ponies) or
cost thousands for some bits of fiberglass that sell to homebuilders for
$100 each.

Carefully work the W&B for your plane and see where the CG is for your
standard 2 people in the front run for pancakes or hamburgers. Now
calculate how much weight in the baggage compartment is needed to move the
CG HALF WAY to the aft limit. Load with jugs of water, strapped down so
they can't shift. Go fly and see what you have. Be prepared for the plane
to rotate easier on lift-off and during the flare to land. Once you are
comfortable with the changed handling, and have documented the speed
increase, return to base and load the CG further aft, to say 1" ahead of
the aft limit. Fly again.

You have just improved the top speed and cruise speed 7-10 knots, and spent
essentially ZERO dollars.

Your mod can be undone at any time should you need to load more people or
baggage, just dump the appropriate amount of water on the ramp and stow the
empty bottles for the next leg when the rear load is not carried.

To get the same 7-10 knots improvement with a PF and some wheel fairings,
you'll spend close to $10,000 in purchase and installation costs. And the
plane will burn more fuel to do it, since you have done nothing about the
trim drag, just upped the HP and cleaned up the gear.

If you want to spend the $10K AFTER you have gotten the free speed, be my
guest. At today's prices, $10K is about 2000 gallons of 100LL.

How long can you fly on 2000 gallons? At least 200 hours for most
Sundowners and even more for the Musketeers.

Bob Steward, A&P IA
Birmingham, AL


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