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  1. #1

    (no subject)

    Members, thank you for helping me with my choice of the musketeer or
    sundowner. I hate to admit it but the musketeer sold and so the choice is
    now moot. However, the insights will be helpful as I continue my search.
    Since writing to you I have discovered that the 77 sundowner which had
    2400ttaf and 590 smoh, had its overhaul in 1983. This concerned my mechanic
    who says that Lycoming engine should be overhauled every 12 years
    regardless. and he says the plane may have been sitting for periods of time
    which also could be a concern.

    Another plane that I like is an 1982 sundowner with 6300 hours on the frame
    and 590 smoh and the owner says he flies it often and keeps it up. But then
    my mechanic says that must have been a trainer to have those hours. The
    owner says it was an executive flyer for Beech--which I am not sure what
    that means--and was maintained every 50 hours. Mechanic says that is alot
    of wear on the frame.

    So here he tells me low hours could signal--not flown and problems. And
    high hours is not good either. What is a man to do? Any thoughts?
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  2. #2

    (no subject)

    Hey guys. A mechanic just told me not to get a sundowner b/c of my
    altitude--5200 and sometimes i go to a home in Flagstaff at around 7200 he
    says that if 80 degrees out I would be a fool to have more than two people
    in sundowner and try to take off. I have my heart set on a sundowner. I
    have flown cessna 172 with no problem up here. Please tell me sundowner can
    get off the ground in high altitude.
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  3. #3

    (no subject)

    I fly a 78 Sundowner from a 5670' field. My son and I often fly
    together (~340 lbs) with full tanks and 90 lbs in the back with no
    problems - climb rate not stellar but certainly safe. We've had 41 days
    of 90 deg F or higher this summer. I'm sure I flew on many of them.
    Two people, 30-40 gals of fuel on board and still no problems.

    FWIW.
    -Rick Koch
    78 Sundowner
    Denver



    -----Original Message-----
    From: bac-mail-bounces@beechaeroclub.org
    [mailto:bac-mail-bounces@beechaeroclub.org] On Behalf Of Lamb, John
    Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 10:59 AM
    To: 'bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org'
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] (no subject)


    Hey guys. A mechanic just told me not to get a sundowner b/c of my
    altitude--5200 and sometimes i go to a home in Flagstaff at around 7200
    he says that if 80 degrees out I would be a fool to have more than two
    people in sundowner and try to take off. I have my heart set on a
    sundowner. I have flown cessna 172 with no problem up here. Please
    tell me sundowner can get off the ground in high altitude.
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  4. #4

    (no subject)

    All the similar-age planes in this class met the same certification requirements for minimum rate of climb. In most cases, the max gross weight was determined by the demonstrated minimum climb rate, and not by structural limitations. While there will be some differences (the 172 will slightly differ from the Sundowner), ALL the planes in this class require care when calculating performance at high density altitudes. Loading any of them to max gross for an 8,000' DA takeoff is begging for trouble. I used to load the Sierra 100-200 pounds light when over 6,000' DA, just for the safety margin. When I needed to reduce the safety margin due to a long route segment, I made sure I was doing it out of a field with a very long runway. We practiced reduced-performance takeoffs before heading out that way (partial-power takeoffs from long runways), so we would be familiar with the sensation and long takeoff distances.

    One of the frequently overlooked factors with our planes, particularly to the uninformed (who include most pilots and mechanics), is the higher fuel capacity; we can typically carry ten to twenty gallons more fuel than other planes in our class. While cutting down on an excess fuel load can improve cruise speeds, it can get much more important when you are trying to get off the ground at 7,000' DA. It's inconsistent to compare a 172 with 2 occupants and 40 gallons, to a Sundowner carrying two people and 60 gallons. While the fuel burn of the 180 HP will be higher than that of the 160 HP during takeoff and initial climb, in properly-leaned cruise the fuel burn should be whatever is required to develop the horsepower to haul the load. Doesn't matter which plane it is in, other than any small differences in drag related to the larger (nicer) cabin of the Sundowner. If you fly around full rich all the time, you'll burn more fuel in the Sundowner than in the 172. I suspect most folks are smart enough not to do that, especially at high density altitudes.

    I can't address it from direct experience, but I'd be surprised if there was a full gallon per hour difference between a similarly-loaded Sundowner and Skyhawk, in leaned cruise. And with the Sundowner you have the option of carrying more fuel when the cabin payload is light. That can be a real plus in many places out West, where you often have to calculate a bingo-fuel point on planned long flights via valleys and passes. Mountain-wave variable headwinds can create groundspeed surprises; and fuel-available airports are far less frequent than in the Eastern lowlands. We've been on many flights when we were mighty glad to have that 60-gallon option; and on at least three occasions it made the difference between being able to continue versus turning around.

    Having said all the above, I also need to say this. If the only question is which plane will require the longest takeoff roll for a given cabin and fuel payload, I have to say that the Sundowner will stay on the ground longer. That only comes into play under very limited circumstances, and the Sundowner has a lot of other factors in its favor. Like any other plane, you take advantage of its strengths and act to minimize its limitations. With Rick operating a 790 pound payload in DA's well over 6,000', the Sundowner is certainly capable. And he is wisely reducing the fuel load when the DA's get into the 9,000' range.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Rick
    To: 'Lamb, John' ; bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org
    Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 2:46 PM
    Subject: RE: [BAC-Mail] (no subject)


    I fly a 78 Sundowner from a 5670' field. My son and I often fly
    together (~340 lbs) with full tanks and 90 lbs in the back with no
    problems - climb rate not stellar but certainly safe. We've had 41 days
    of 90 deg F or higher this summer. I'm sure I flew on many of them.
    Two people, 30-40 gals of fuel on board and still no problems.

    FWIW.
    -Rick Koch
    78 Sundowner
    Denver



    -----Original Message-----
    From: bac-mail-bounces@beechaeroclub.org
    [mailto:bac-mail-bounces@beechaeroclub.org] On Behalf Of Lamb, John
    Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 10:59 AM
    To: 'bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org'
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] (no subject)

    Hey guys. A mechanic just told me not to get a sundowner b/c of my
    altitude--5200 and sometimes i go to a home in Flagstaff at around 7200
    he says that if 80 degrees out I would be a fool to have more than two
    people in sundowner and try to take off. I have my heart set on a
    sundowner. I have flown cessna 172 with no problem up here. Please
    tell me sundowner can get off the ground in high altitude.
    _______________________________________________
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    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

  5. #5
    wwf3730 at gmail.com
    Guest

    (no subject)

    I don"t hav a Sundowner but I have a 63 Musketeer M-373. And for the last
    two years have flown out of Rapid City KRAP to Laramie, WY LAR. Rapid is
    3250' and Laramie is 7200'. Last summer the daughter called from college.
    Her TV blew up and she was home sick.
    40 gallons of fuel, medium TV in the Cargo Compartment, 50 lb dog in the
    backseat, wife and I (390 lbs.) in the front seat in and out of Laramie (74
    degrees landing and 62 degrees takeoff). No problems at any time of year if
    you don't try to musle the airplane off the ground , just fly her the way
    the book says she will fly just fine.
    Bill Franklin
    N2309Q
    On 8/26/05, Lamb, John <JLamb@courts.sp.state.az.us> wrote:
    >
    > Hey guys. A mechanic just told me not to get a sundowner b/c of my
    > altitude--5200 and sometimes i go to a home in Flagstaff at around 7200 he
    > says that if 80 degrees out I would be a fool to have more than two people
    > in sundowner and try to take off. I have my heart set on a sundowner. I
    > have flown cessna 172 with no problem up here. Please tell me sundowner
    > can
    > get off the ground in high altitude.
    > _______________________________________________
    > BAC-Mail mailing list
    > BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    > http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail
    >
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  6. #6

    (no subject)

    Thanks for all your help so far. The advice I have received is well worth
    the membership fee for several years. I have read all I could find on the
    sundowner and the consensus is that the sundowner is "downright vicious on
    landings". This does not persuade me not to buy the sundowner but for a guy
    that can't even get the landings down on the Cessna I am training on now it
    does sound scary. But i am still pressing onward. I am writing to ask if
    you agree with two of the recommendations made in the articles to help make
    landing better. They are as follows:

    1. replace the 6.00 x 600 tire with a smaller-diameter 5.00 x 500 tire to
    help reduce the possibility of nosewheel-first arrival which is apparently a
    big problem.

    2. Add the Beech spin kit which adds strakes to the nose and stabilator
    along with a ventral fin to the rear fuselage. This according to one
    beechcraft dealer helps tame the aircraft's landing characteristics.

    What do you folks think?
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  7. #7

    (no subject)

    John,

    You should probably go with what you're most comfortable and confident
    in...

    but I must say that I did my primary training in a Cessna 152 and it
    took me longer than I would have liked to get my landings down pat as
    well. Nine months after I got my license, I finally got my 1978
    Sundowner. I can't tell you how much I love that airplane but I can tell
    you that landings are pretty much a non-issue. I find the Sundowner
    every bit as "easy" to land as a 152. It's a lot heavier, to be sure,
    and works better if you're:
    - focused (like anyone should be, in any plane, on any landing)
    - reasonably close to book numbers/configs, and
    - properly trimmed.

    I'm quite certain the cause of the ugly landings I've experienced are a
    direct result of one or all of the above (whether C-152 or C-23). A very
    experienced friend of mine says, "consider landing an aborted
    go-around." He happens to be a Sundowner driver but I think that speaks
    more to landings in general than Sundowner specific.

    I certainly would not throw out the Sundowner choice based on reports of
    landing difficulties. I personally have no reason to believe them. My
    guess is they're more likely pilot issues.

    I don't have modified tire sizes or a spin kit or anything else that
    wasn't standard issue... and have no problems with landings. Perhaps
    once you're confident landing the Cessna you might feel differently
    about it all.

    The bottom line is to try to get a ride in a Sundowner and see what you
    think. You might be pleasantly surprised!

    FWIW.
    -Rick
    N2010A
    KBJC - Denver


    -----Original Message-----
    From: bac-mail-bounces@beechaeroclub.org
    [mailto:bac-mail-bounces@beechaeroclub.org] On Behalf Of Lamb, John
    Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 12:22 PM
    To: 'bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org'
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] (no subject)


    Thanks for all your help so far. The advice I have received is well
    worth the membership fee for several years. I have read all I could
    find on the sundowner and the consensus is that the sundowner is
    "downright vicious on landings". This does not persuade me not to buy
    the sundowner but for a guy that can't even get the landings down on the
    Cessna I am training on now it does sound scary. But i am still
    pressing onward. I am writing to ask if you agree with two of the
    recommendations made in the articles to help make landing better. They
    are as follows:

    1. replace the 6.00 x 600 tire with a smaller-diameter 5.00 x 500 tire
    to help reduce the possibility of nosewheel-first arrival which is
    apparently a big problem.

    2. Add the Beech spin kit which adds strakes to the nose and stabilator
    along with a ventral fin to the rear fuselage. This according to one
    beechcraft dealer helps tame the aircraft's landing characteristics.

    What do you folks think? _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

    _______________________________________________
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  8. #8
    av8tor8770m at sbcglobal.
    Guest

    (no subject)

    Hi John, You read all that bad news in a magazine, right? The mouse series
    of aircraft have two things that make them a little different to land. One
    is the forward CG so that you really have to work at getting an aft CG for
    landing after you burn off most of the fuel. So, with a green instructor at
    200 plus and a green student at 200 plus with full tanks, you will have a
    hard time avoiding a 3 pointer if you do a landing within the 1st hour. A
    lot of the old timers have worked out some sort of ballast in the baggage
    compartment, water cans , etc.
    Another thing is the power of the stabilater, get a high time guy
    (believable) with no stabilater experience, he will pull the landing into a
    bunch of porpoise manuevers and of course, he says the airplane has
    "viscious" landing characteristics.
    Fly the airplane by the numbers and with confidence, no yanking on the yoke
    on short final, and you will find it a docile bird.
    The 6:00 tire gives you better ground clearance on any landing anywhere, if
    you have it, leave it there. It is a little more draggy, but arn't we all.
    The spin kit? Not sure about that, but again, fly it right and you wont have
    any problems.
    See ya
    Al Todd B24R 9321S
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Lamb, John" <JLamb@Courts.sp.state.az.us>
    To: <bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org>
    Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 3:22 PM
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] (no subject)


    > Thanks for all your help so far. The advice I have received is well worth
    > the membership fee for several years. I have read all I could find on the
    > sundowner and the consensus is that the sundowner is "downright vicious on
    > landings". This does not persuade me not to buy the sundowner but for a
    guy
    > that can't even get the landings down on the Cessna I am training on now
    it
    > does sound scary. But i am still pressing onward. I am writing to ask if
    > you agree with two of the recommendations made in the articles to help
    make
    > landing better. They are as follows:
    >
    > 1. replace the 6.00 x 600 tire with a smaller-diameter 5.00 x 500 tire to
    > help reduce the possibility of nosewheel-first arrival which is apparently
    a
    > big problem.
    >
    > 2. Add the Beech spin kit which adds strakes to the nose and stabilator
    > along with a ventral fin to the rear fuselage. This according to one
    > beechcraft dealer helps tame the aircraft's landing characteristics.
    >
    > What do you folks think?
    > _______________________________________________
    > BAC-Mail mailing list
    > BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    > http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail


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  9. #9

    (no subject)

    You can not add the spin kit later. Your plane comes
    with it or it doesn't (it really is that simple).

    Landings: a) Fly with a green instructor who is sure
    he knows everything, and you will have some bad
    landings. b) Fly it like a cessna and you will have
    some bad landings.

    getting a smaller nose tire doesn't make the problem
    go away, it only improves your chances of having to
    buy an engine if you let it get away from you.

    Remember to fly by the numbers. Get the mental
    picture in your head of what it should look like when
    you get to the ground. If you are nose heavy, it
    won't float. That is where the difference comes in,
    you think if you keep pulling back it will float, so
    you don't pull back. If you are not nose heavy, it is
    like every other aircraft when it comes to floating.
    So it is really pilotage on the landings, and they are
    nothing to be scared of.

    Jay Bruce

    --- "Lamb, John" <JLamb@Courts.sp.state.az.us> wrote:

    > Thanks for all your help so far. The advice I have
    > received is well worth
    > the membership fee for several years. I have read
    > all I could find on the
    > sundowner and the consensus is that the sundowner is
    > "downright vicious on
    > landings". This does not persuade me not to buy the
    > sundowner but for a guy
    > that can't even get the landings down on the Cessna
    > I am training on now it
    > does sound scary. But i am still pressing onward.
    > I am writing to ask if
    > you agree with two of the recommendations made in
    > the articles to help make
    > landing better. They are as follows:
    >
    > 1. replace the 6.00 x 600 tire with a
    > smaller-diameter 5.00 x 500 tire to
    > help reduce the possibility of nosewheel-first
    > arrival which is apparently a
    > big problem.
    >
    > 2. Add the Beech spin kit which adds strakes to the
    > nose and stabilator
    > along with a ventral fin to the rear fuselage. This
    > according to one
    > beechcraft dealer helps tame the aircraft's landing
    > characteristics.
    >
    > What do you folks think?
    > _______________________________________________
    > BAC-Mail mailing list
    > BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    >
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail
    >





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  10. #10

    (no subject)

    John,

    Installing a 15x600x6 nose gear tire and using 600x6 main gear tires
    gives an equivalent of one degree of additional nose-up on landing. I
    don't know about the landing characteristics of the spin kit. The key to
    good landings is nailing the approach speed in a stabilized approach.
    The only time the Sundowner is vicious on landings is if you hit the
    nose wheel first and don't apply power to re-stabilize the plane on the
    first bounce. Out of about 250 landings, I bounced twice. One time I was
    getting used to the plane and landed without flaps, the second time I
    hit a significant downdraft around the runway threshold that caught me
    by surprise, even though the tower controller warned of reports of
    unusual winds near the end of the runway. A three-point landing is not a
    good thing. The Musketeer nose wheel uses a stack of rubber donuts that
    absorbs the landing force and then releases the stored energy like a
    spring. This contrasts with most nose wheel shock absorbers that
    actually absorb and dissipate the landing shock. The rubber donut and
    trailing-link suspension design is less susceptible to damage on dirt
    runways.

    Carl Foster Sundowner 9761L Tucson AZ

    Lamb, John wrote:

    >Thanks for all your help so far. The advice I have received is well worth
    >the membership fee for several years. I have read all I could find on the
    >sundowner and the consensus is that the sundowner is "downright vicious on
    >landings". ...
    >

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