Commuter Aircraft Ideas

mikecweb

Third Generation Arizonan
Imagine you needed to commute about 25nm back and forth each day for work. What aircraft would you be looking at? In this scenario you would only use the aircraft for the commute - no need to carry pax.

Interested in people's thoughts.
How far do you have to drive on either end of the flight? No way does this save time.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
The opportunity didn't end up shaking out. Was thinking SPG to SRQ. As Gonzo mentioned, it wasn't to save time, but rather stress. Except it would save time when the bridge was closed or there was an accident.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
The opportunity didn't end up shaking out. Was thinking SPG to SRQ. As Gonzo mentioned, it wasn't to save time, but rather stress. Except it would save time when the bridge was closed or there was an accident.
Yeah. Because you'd either be stuck on University, 301 or 41 in SRQ. Head-'splodey traffic no matter what.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
It was a real question - was talking with some friends at another airport nearby.

My first instinct was the 150/152 as well, but I didn't realize how much they've gone up in price. Used to be you could get a good early 70s model for less than $20k. Not anymore it seems.
Even only going 25 miles, a 152 is going to feel really slow, really quickly. I would be thinking about a Vans RV-3, or maybe an RV-6 if you would ever use it for something else. If you don't want a homebuilt, Diamond DA20. I would also assume it would be VFR only - because if the weather is bad enough you need to file, it is going to be faster to drive anyway.
 

Nark

Sheepdog
How far do you have to drive on either end of the flight? No way does this save time.
I fly to my Army unit all the time. As you alluded to, I arrive about the same time as I would have if I just drove. However the time saving is on the back end, when I usually don't have to wait for engine warm and run-up etc...

To say it's a time saver is laughable. I've been able to fly my bird, a Blackhawk, then a few hours later after a nap, an Airbus. Not bad day.

First rule of buying an airplane, identify the mission you want to do with it. Second rule: don't add up the bills it takes to keep it airworthy.
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
A small plane is only faster on such a short distance if you have the thing preflighted, fueled, engine warmed and more or less sitting at the hold short line ready to climb in and go when you get to the airport. With the driving to the airport on both ends and getting the plane ready to go, you'd be there before you took off.

I did a flight last year that I was sure would save time. 19.4nm straight line distance(airplane did about 100kts), over a body of water that you otherwise have to drive around. Driving distance is 86sm. Ground of friends drove in an SUV, we flew. They arrived at the final destination first.

Then you throw in waiting for weather, mechanicals that just don't happen in modern cars. The general rule is, if you have time to spare, go by air. Unless it's a really large distance. In which case, get on an airliner. It's faster and cheaper.

The only exceptions I've found are if A)there are no roads and you cannot drive there or B) the roads are down right awful and you have to drive 25-30mph and/or they are incredibly indirect.
 

Alchemy

Partner, Ally, Friend
Enstrom 280fx shark or Robinson 22. It's pretty much what the R22 was designed for, granted they do have a tendency to chop themselves apart in turbulence. Maybe a robinson 44 if you're sort of wealthy. Bell 407 or AW109 type stuff if you're wealthy.
 

Crop Duster

E pluribus unum
It was a real question - was talking with some friends at another airport nearby.

My first instinct was the 150/152 as well, but I didn't realize how much they've gone up in price. Used to be you could get a good early 70s model for less than $20k. Not anymore it seems.
Selling the 162 Skycatcher was one of Cessa's more, er, unelightened moments. They should have just updated the 152 to make it lighter, more efficient, and possessed of greater utility; They would have sold thousands of them. And...They would have been real, certified airplanes... while still meeting the completely arbitrary and rather ridiculous limitations of "light sport". But they didn't; They went with the China toy. ... And by so doing created probably the best thing ever to happen to the 152 after market.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
The Cessna 150 is called the Cessna Commuter. The RV series is popular for this sort of trip. It doesn’t get much better for being solo and efficient. A friend was running a RV6 for a trip a little longer than this mission and was doing better than 25mpg in cruise.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
Selling the 162 Skycatcher was one of Cessa's more, er, unelightened moments. They should have just updated the 152 to make it lighter, more efficient, and possessed of greater utility; They would have sold thousands of them. And...They would have been real, certified airplanes... while still meeting the completely arbitrary and rather ridiculous limitations of "light sport". But they didn't; They went with the China toy. ... And by so doing created probably the best thing ever to happen to the 152 after market.
It wouldn't have sold any more than the skycatcher did. Not when you can pick up any number of 150's for 18000$


Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
The Cessna 150 is called the Cessna Commuter. The RV series is popular for this sort of trip. It doesn’t get much better for being solo and efficient. A friend was running a RV6 for a trip a little longer than this mission and was doing better than 25mpg in cruise.
If you stuck a constant speed prop on a RV12 I bet you could double that efficiency.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
There's hardly a cheaper way to own an airplane.

Throw the checklist away, go fly around with the windows open ;)

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
I'd give it STRONG consideration if I could be guaranteed passage through IAD on the East Side transition consistently to get from VKX to JYO. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense....as a commuter.
 

WacoFan

Bigly
Piper Tomahawk. Just look at it as a sunk cost and throw it away when it's bad (12,000 life limit on wings I think). Like a car. I actually prefer them to C-150's in terms of comfort, flying qualities, etc.
 

Nark

Sheepdog
Indeed. There are two listed at my local field for that price. I am resisting the urge...
Why not? Best way to waste your hard earned $$$.

I just came from the hangar. Lost about 7 lbs of sweat, blood and an occasional tear, trying to keep the shine in the polish. Loved every second of it.
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
The things I've seen on RV's make me.never ever want to buy a used one.

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RV12's if S-LSA certified, are factory built.
I've seen a lot of dumb stuff on experimentals. But I've seen as much equally dumb stuff on car 3 and far 23 airplanes. The biggest difference is you're allowed to fix the problem with the former.
 
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