should I upgrade to a turbo prop


#1

i, presently own a 421c, and am looking to upgrade to a turbo prop. I like the 421 but would like a larger cabin for 6-7 adults and would like more speed, at least 250- 275 true kts. my concern is i don’t know if it makes financial sense. i burn 40 gph. which at current fuel prices is very expensive, what can i get that won’t double my cost of flying , for a little more speed and confort ? my budget is $600,00 - 800,000


#2

For 600K-800K, Probably nothing, look at rundown C425 or C441’s. Your 421 is already as good as the king air 90.


#3

In the 421, the Vne is 238 knts, Max is 278 MPH. The 441’s max is 339 MPH. not sure what the relative fuel burn is , but only a 50 MPH difference doesnt seem worth it to me…


#4

I remember getting 230Ktas, high teen to low flight levels burning 45gph in 421’s.
The 441 w/-10’s did 320ktas at FL300 burning 75 gph. The 441 conquest with one engine out will climb as well as the 421 with both running. VNE is an IAS limit and means nothing in reference to actual cruise performance.

To illustrate the performance difference between a 421 & a 441, I’ll relate the following.
I flew 8 PAX in a Citation 550 (CitationII) from SLC to Florida. The trip required one fuel stop and due to weight limits all the PAX bags went in the company’s Conquest (441). The Conquest pilot took full fuel and made it nonstop beating me and the PAX.


#5

I, know the conquest are amazing but the pricing starts at 1,5000,000. ive been looking at merlins and cheyenne III but its hard to justify. although the merlin III are reasonable , roomy and they do 300 knots om 90 gph.


#6

Conquests are pretty awesome, however i HATE being around them when they are running. Those Garret engines are sooooo annoying!!


#7

I can only pass along what a couple of friends who flew Merlins said.
They were very glad when they stopped flying the Merlin. I don’t recall exactly what they did not like only because the list was so long. Neither of them like the type. If you are worried about fuel flows in a 421 then a turbo prop is not for you. Not only are the fuel flows higher but the cost of maint goes up once turbine fuel gets involved. For most types you can get on a “power by the hour” program to help even out the costs but they are still high.

With all that said, buy a King Air 200. Proven design, still in production, bullet proof engines.


#8

I can only pass along what a couple of friends who flew Merlins said.
They were very glad when they stopped flying the Merlin. I don’t recall exactly what they did not like only because the list was so long. Neither of them like the type. If you are worried about fuel flows in a 421 then a turbo prop is not for you. Not only are the fuel flows higher but the cost of maint goes up once turbine fuel gets involved. For most types you can get on a “power by the hour” program to help even out the costs but they are still high.

With all that said, buy a King Air 200. Proven design, still in production, bullet proof engines.


#9

I’m curious about the list of gripes for the merlin. More info?


#10

I know this thread has been focusing on twins, but is there something wrong with a turbine single like the Pilatus? 270 cruise, 9 pax, approx 50 gph, half the operating cost.


#11

You won’t find one for anywhere near the OP’s budget.

Cheapest one I’ve seen on Controller.com lately was a 1995 model for $2.5Mill!


#12

No question, a real good plane. But I’m not sure if one can be found for $800K & under.

Edit: JHEM just barely beat me to it lol


#13

Good point. What about a Meridian. A little slower, maybe a little on the high end of the budget, but a little more in acquisition will save much more in operating costs.


#14

Or even a JetProp conversion Malibu.


#15

Good call! JetProp conversion is about $450K + a used Malibu ($200k-$900k).


#16

Hmmmmmm Super Duper King Air 200 for $600,000-$800,000 ??? Blasphemy!


#17

They exist! Search controller.com for straight 200’s. I see three listed around or just under $900k and those prices are 20% high in a good market. Also the ones I saw had mid life engines. Put them on a M.O.R.E. program and get a partner and that’d be a sweet and cost effective ride. The most active King Airs in my town only fly 150 hours per year and they return to home base on almost every flight. So if the plane were owner operated it might only fly 50-100 hours per year.


#18

Yes, these are turbine and quite efficient, but they won’t quite hold 6-7 adults (especially if any of them are real tall). I’d say the PC12 is quite the plane albeit quite expensive. Maybe you would want to check out the Turbo Commander–maintenance may or may not be an issue, depending on where the closest service center is positioned with regards to your home base. Also, there is the MU-2, but this is a plane you’d want to be flying regularly and be real competent in. A buddy flies one and says you don’t want to touch anything (including throttles, gear, flaps, etc.) unless you are wings level.


#19

the meridian only has a usefull load of 1350 lbs., so thats too lite. the cheyenne 's are reasonable, any thoughts on them


#20

does anyone have any experience with the merlins II and III, they seem very roomy and fast , i don’t know the drawbacks