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Thread: 77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer

  1. #1

    77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer

    >
    > I am a brand new member and brand new student pilot. I joined
    > because I have narrowed my search for a plane down to a Beech
    > Musketeer 1966 with 200 HP engine and a 1977 Beech Sundowner with
    > 180 HP. The 66 is roughly $15,000 less and is faster and can carry
    > more but I don't mind spending more if the 77 is a much improved
    > airplane. I would assume beech made improvements on the plane when
    > they renamed it. Can anyone tell me the improvements and their
    > opinion of whether they would buy the Musketeer over the Sundowner
    > and i don't mean to start a civil war in the organization. Thanks.
    >
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  2. #2
    Orbiting Earth Orbiting Earth corcoran's Avatar
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    77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer

    John Lamb,

    I have owned both a Musketeer (69) and a Sundowner (7. Each has excellent reasons to own it.

    My Musketeer had 180hp and outperformed the Sundowner (also 180hp) as the Sundowner is 150 lbs heavier. The Sundowner is a little slower with 850 useful weight. The Musketeer had 998 useful. My Sundowner has more toys (autopilot, Garmin 430 etc).

    If you want to drill holes in the sky and get in and out of short grass strips the 200hp Musketer is for you. If you travel a long distance and want confort, the Sundowner with the wider cabin, but 6 kts slower, is for you.

    The Sundowner has almost no AD's and is a much improved plane over the Musketeer. Choose the Musketeer if you fly a lot alone. Choose the Sundowner for family comfort. Check useful load of each and that may sway you.

    Each plane is a good buy and better than a C or P model.

    Good flying.

    Tom Corcoran
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Soon to be back in Boston

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Lamb, John <JLamb@Courts.sp.state.az.us>
    To: 'bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org' <bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org>
    Sent: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 16:23:40 -0700
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] FW: 77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer








    >
    > I am a brand new member and brand new student pilot. I joined
    > because I have narrowed my search for a plane down to a Beech
    > Musketeer 1966 with 200 HP engine and a 1977 Beech Sundowner with
    > 180 HP. The 66 is roughly $15,000 less and is faster and can carry
    > more but I don't mind spending more if the 77 is a much improved
    > airplane. I would assume beech made improvements on the plane when
    > they renamed it. Can anyone tell me the improvements and their
    > opinion of whether they would buy the Musketeer over the Sundowner
    > and i don't mean to start a civil war in the organization. Thanks.
    >
    _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail
    _______________________________________________
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    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

  3. #3

    77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer

    John,

    I fly a 1963 160 hp Mouse so either plane would be a step up for me.

    If I knew what I know now when I bought my plane I think I'd have looked
    for a 2 door Super (200hp Musketeer). Then I'd have the best of both
    worlds, more power and two doors. The Sundowner is I think 4 inches wider
    but the Musketeer is roomier than most planes in the class.

    I think you'd be happy with either one. You didn't mention time on the
    engine or avionics. I wouldn't worry about the older plane if it's in
    good shape. If it is I think I'd lean toward putting the $15K in my
    pocket for future toys, unless the Sundowner already has them.

    Everything I read says buy the plane with the goodies you want already in
    it and let the previous owner(s) take the hit. I'd like to have an IFR
    GPS in my plane and I know that if if and when I put one in I'll probably
    only be able to recover about half the cost. I'd pay more attention to
    time on the engine and the avionics that are in the plane than the year of
    the airframe.

    Cloyd Van Hook
    President, BAC
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  4. #4

    77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer

    John; I too formerly owned a '63, and it was a reliable, reasonably comfortable plane of modest performance. Whoops! wife tooting horn! Going to Drs! Lee Robinson W. Palm Bch, FL
    >
    > From: cloydvanhook@imtt.com
    > Date: 2005/08/18 Thu AM 09:46:18 EDT
    > To: bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org
    > Subject: [BAC-Mail] 77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer
    >
    > John,
    >
    > I fly a 1963 160 hp Mouse so either plane would be a step up for me.
    >
    > If I knew what I know now when I bought my plane I think I'd have looked
    > for a 2 door Super (200hp Musketeer). Then I'd have the best of both
    > worlds, more power and two doors. The Sundowner is I think 4 inches wider
    > but the Musketeer is roomier than most planes in the class.
    >
    > I think you'd be happy with either one. You didn't mention time on the
    > engine or avionics. I wouldn't worry about the older plane if it's in
    > good shape. If it is I think I'd lean toward putting the $15K in my
    > pocket for future toys, unless the Sundowner already has them.
    >
    > Everything I read says buy the plane with the goodies you want already in
    > it and let the previous owner(s) take the hit. I'd like to have an IFR
    > GPS in my plane and I know that if if and when I put one in I'll probably
    > only be able to recover about half the cost. I'd pay more attention to
    > time on the engine and the avionics that are in the plane than the year of
    > the airframe.
    >
    > Cloyd Van Hook
    > President, BAC
    > _______________________________________________
    > BAC-Mail mailing list
    > BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    > http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail
    >

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  5. #5

    77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer

    John, you have received several brief answers, all containing valid information. I'll try to list some bullet items and suggestions. Keep in mind that there are few significant differences in things like the landing gear, flight controls, flaps, wing and tail structure, etc.

    1. Look at the Links section and Downloads section, and read all the articles on the aircraft history and flight reviews. These will tell you a lot about the evolution.

    2. The TLC it has received, the hours on the plane, and whether it has been outside or hangared, will mean more than its model year. If it has lived outside, the climate and flight frequency can determine corrosion risk. Any damage history needs to be checked out to confirm effective repairs.

    3. Check out all the ADs that applied to the earliest planes, the fixes for which were incorporated on the later production. Make sure you understand the significance of any remaining recurring ADs. These planes are quite free of ADs compared to other makes, and as a rule, the later models have fewer ADs than the early models. Check out the engine and prop status. When were they last overhauled? How many times? What is their condition and remaining life? An earlier engine that is facing its third Major Overhaul may need some serious parts (crankshaft, etc.).

    4. The aircraft's equipment list and avionics can make or break the deal. If you need IFR capability, want panel-mounted GPS (VFR or IFR), and want an autopilot (even just a simple one), make darn sure these things are already in the plane you buy. It can cost half or more of the airframe's value to add them later. Adding a standalone intercom or some slide-in digital flip-flop radios later isn't quite as costly as major panel upgrades. Later models will generally have better avionics, unless an earlier model has been upgraded.

    5. Check out the cabin ventilation, cabin doors, baggage area access, and seat belts/shoulder harnesses on the planes you are comparing, so you will understand the differences. For example, trying to add shoulder harnesses can become very expensive. Make sure you like the different way that the panel is laid out, and the different engine control layout. Try to avoid a plane that still has the old BF Goodrich brakes. Most have been converted to Clevelands by now.

    6. As of about 1970, the planes were widened by four inches, especially the back seat. The nose bowl and engine cowling was changed; the new design enabled easier (therefore cheaper) engine access, and the streamlining supposedly increased speed a bit. The later sloped nose looks a bit nicer to many people (though certainly not to all people). Also be aware that there are aerobatic versions of these planes, if that might be of interest to you.

    7. Keep in mind that the A23-24 is a 200 HP Stormin' Norman, compared to the later 180 HP versions. It is like the difference between the 150-160 HP Cherokees-Warriors, versus the 180 HP Archer. Between the lighter empty weight and higher horsepower, the Super will significantly outperform the later 180 HP Sundowner (as well as all the earlier 23's). The Super also has the advantages of fuel injection; and with the right instrumentation, can actually be leaned to burn less fuel than the Sundowner. If you will usually be flying solo for fun and burgers, or you will be visiting short or soft grass strips (at high density altitudes), the Super would likely be a better choice. If you will usually be operating off 2,000+ feet of pavement at low density altitudes, and want to regularly carry a family on vacation in comfort, the Sundowner would likely be better.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Lamb, John
    To: 'bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org'
    Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 7:23 PM
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] FW: 77 sundowner v. 66 Musketeer
    I am a brand new member and brand new student pilot. I joined because I have narrowed my search for a plane down to a Beech Musketeer 1966 with 200 HP engine and a 1977 Beech Sundowner with 180 HP. The 66 is roughly $15,000 less and is faster and can carry more but I don't mind spending more if the 77 is a much improved airplane. I would assume Beech made improvements on the plane when they renamed it. Can anyone tell me the improvements and their opinion of whether they would buy the Musketeer over the Sundowner, and I don't mean to start a civil war in the organization. Thanks.
    _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

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