I owned a 200hp Musketeer (A23-24) for 5 years and I now have about 20 hours in my 1975 Sierra (B24R). Many people have asked me, what is the difference? Well, I think I can comment on those differences now.At first glance, the planes are very similar. They handle very much the same in the landing configuration, both are very positive and stable. That being said, they are also very, very different.

The Sierra is much more powerful on the takeoff roll and the initial climb. I think this is due to the constant speed prop (the Mouse had a fixed pitch). The difference is rather noticeable to me, I would say 15% or perhaps as high as 20%, it is significant.

The rate of climb in the Sierra can be maintained at 1000 fpm. The Mouse could not do that, it was about 600 or so. Again, I think this is due to the prop primarily.

Cruise is about 15 knots faster in the Sierra. When “everything was perfect” in the Mouse, I would see 118-120Kts over the ground. The Sierra seems to be 135-140Kts. Again, this is under ideal conditions (meaning a little wind behind you). With regular conditions, the Sierra is right around 120Kts, the Mouse was about 108-110.

I have a second door in the Sierra, which is nice. Also a large baggage door which again is nice. The Sierra also has a lot of gadgets, IFR, Autopilot, JPI, etc., which have taken (and will take more) time to learn how to use.

The Sierra is heavier, about 1,800 pounds empty compared to 1,400 in the Mouse. Useful load in the Mouse was just over 1,100 pounds, Sierra just about 950.

Landing the two machines is almost identical. It is important to point out that when the gear drops in the Sierra, you slow down in a hurry. If you try to descend with the gear out, it is pretty slippery. Gear comes down and you get thrown forward in your seat a little bit, which could be due to the nose gear rotating 90 degrees, it is an airbrake when it comes out.

There are other little differences in the two machines which I will not go into great detail on. Sufficed to say, it is clearly a transition between the two, at least it is for me. I have to remember that they are different airplanes and fly them accordingly.

Was the Sierra worth the money? For me, absolutely, no question about it.

Braden Messenger,

Director – International Region

Beech Aero Club

1975 Beechcraft B24R C-GMBW


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