The dream of touring in a turboprop of one’s own is not so far-fetched as it may seem. Words Colin Goodwin and photos Philip Whiteman.
The Cessna Caravan always needed more power, and competition to provide it was established with the supplemental type certificate (STC) awarded in 2013 to Blackhawk Modifications to install the 850-
Piper’s sleek Malibu/Mirage pressurized singles have always been good performers once they get up to altitude. It’s the takeoff and climb phases that leave a little to be desired. JetProp LLC’s DL and DLX conversions solve that with an infusion of an extra few hundred horsepower.Continue reading PT6A-35 Powered JetProp DLX: No Mirage Of Power In This Malibu Conversion
The Ag-Cat is a standout amongst the best reason composed horticultural airship yet assembled and has been in practically constant creation since 1959.
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan two-place advanced trainer was the classroom for most of the Allied pilots who flew in World War II. Called the SNJ by the Navy and the Harvard by the British Royal Air Force, the advanced trainer AT-6 was designed as a transition trainer between basic trainers and first-line tactical aircraft. It was redesignated T-6 in 1948.Continue reading The History of the P&W R-1340 Powered T-6 Texan
With a big, nine-cylinder Pratt & Whitney strapped to the front, this 5,100-pound workhorse boasts a useful load of around 2,000 pounds, and it’s built to operate out of short and rough airstrips.Continue reading The R-985 Powered de Havilland Beaver: Arguably the Best Bush Plane Ever Built
This article first appeared over at AOPA here.
Concurrent with a max takeoff weight increase to 8,600 pounds, Cessna dropped the Corsair moniker and renamed the 425 Conquest I while reassigning the 441 the name Conquest II. Confused yet? The 425 is best described as a 421 Golden Eagle with turbines in place of pistons. Aside from sharing the same basic dimensions, the similarities between the 421 and Conquest I fade quickly. The 425 is substantially beefed up structurally and has more robust systems.
Since it’s based on a piston design, the 425 is easy to fly and an easy step up. In fact, with the easy-to-operate turbines, many would argue that the 425 is less complex than the 421. Cockpit visibility is excellent, as is the instrument panel layout. Cabin seats are comfortable once seated. Cessna’s “wide oval” cabin biases more toward elbow room than headroom, so there will be nothing close to stand-up comfort.
Performance-wise, the Conquest is good for 250 KTAS at typical cruise altitudes in the mid teens to low 20s. As is usual with turbines, the fuel burn drops off the higher you fly. Also typical of turbines, the winds will dictate choice of cruise altitude vs. fuel burn. Owners often figure 500 pounds of Jet-A the first hour and 400 pounds/hour after that. Blackhawk Modifications Inc. offers 425 owners PT6A-135 engines in place of the original -112s. The Blackhawk holds its max power to much higher altitudes than the original engines, resulting in faster time to climb and a 20-knot increase in true airspeed.
Range with tanks full is about 1,200 nm, which leaves about 700 pounds of payload. With six adults on board, range is about 700 nm. The 425 is confident at all weights on 4,000-foot runways at sea level. At lighter weights, 3,000-foot runways are doable.
Vref values a 1981 Conquest I at $625,000 while a 1986 model fetches an average of $875,000. Once an owner swallows the reality of six-figure engine overhauls, higher fuel burn, and other substantial cost increases of owning a turbine, he or she will be impressed with the Conquest’s performance and reliability.
Pete Bedell is a pilot for a major airline and co-owner of a Cessna 172 and Beechcraft Baron D55.
Cessna 425 Conquest I
Powerplants | (2) 450-shp Pratt & Whitney PT6
Length | 35 ft 10 in
Height | 12 ft 7 in
Wingspan | 44 ft 1 in
Seats | 2+6
Max takeoff weight | 8,600 lb
Takeoff distance over 50-ft obstacle | 2,800 ft
Max cruise speed | 264 kt
Landing distance over 50-ft obstacle | 2,482 ft
Range | 1,200 nm
Peter A. Bedell
Pete Bedell is a pilot for a major airline and co-owner of a Cessna 172M and Beechcraft Baron D55.
In December 2017, The Aerotech Group, based in Kent Town, SA Australia, took possession of its new 710P Thrush. The purchase was made through Campbell Briggs of Statewide Aviation, Australia’s Thrush dealer, based in Moree NSW. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6A-67AG engine. This may have seemed an unusual purchase to many, as The Aerotech Group has been buying Air Tractors since the early 1980s and has been a big supporter of the brand. And it still is, currently having 12 Air Tractors in its fleet.
Air Tractor is a leading manufacturer of purpose-built aircraft for agricultural, firefighting and a variety of utility applications. From North, South and Central America, to Australia, Indonesia, and China to Spain, Italy, Croatia and Africa, Air Tractor aircraft can be found in more than 30 countries around the world and are supported by a global network of Air Tractor dealers.
Turbine Mallard is the only aircraft expressly designed for amphibious flight. There are no floats to drag you down — just aerodynamic efficiency at its best.Continue reading A Look at the Twin-PT6A Grumman Mallard