How much faster is a 172?

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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Cluemeister
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Cluemeister » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:57 am

I know the 172 is the very popular, but I would have a hard time justifying one over an LSA. Other than useful load, not a big advantage. Higher cost to get a late model, and higher fuel consumption.

Now the 182 is intriguing. Now you pick up speed and useful load. Is 140 knots a realistic cruising speed in a vanilla 182?

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Nomore767 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:32 am

Cluemeister wrote:I know the 172 is the very popular, but I would have a hard time justifying one over an LSA. Other than useful load, not a big advantage. Higher cost to get a late model, and higher fuel consumption.

Now the 182 is intriguing. Now you pick up speed and useful load. Is 140 knots a realistic cruising speed in a vanilla 182?


In your search for an airplane I would suggest that you step away from the airplane itself for a moment.

I personally acquired an LSA, in fact an SLSA. First off, I chose SLSA because I opted not to become a builder. I wouldn't mind assisting and there are courses but I needed the space, the tools and the time. I decided to go SLSA and fly instead of spend time building. A hangar neighbor has been building an RV-12 for 6 years and it's still not finished. He's acquired a lot of tools and though he's only able to work on weekends he's done well. This is not where I wanted to be however.

If you buy an LSA and it has a Rotax engine you'll need to have reasonable access to a Rotax service shop. Not everyone is trained. I've seen shop that 'kinda' figures out how to work on an LSA and frankly it wasn't encouraging. My guy is 30 minutes flying time and would fly to me if I was grounded, at additional cost. He's fully trained in all things Rotax and so I'm lucky. There are a few guys out there and there are a couple of Vans Service Centers in the Southeast, one in GA and Lockwood at Sebring FL. Not that great for me.

I chose Vans because its a US company and I've been able to contact them easily by phone if there is an issue and believe me even with a factory new RV-12 SLSA things come up up which need an answer. That was my personal choice.
The purchase process was very easy. $5k down and delivery six weeks later fully painted and with all the latest options installed. I was able to get transition training as part of the price in Oregon and I flew the airplane home to SC myself.
I bring this up in light of current issues with a company like Flight Design. Nothing wrong with the airplane itself, but the other side of dealing with FD and the delivery issues is certainly something to get your attention.

You would be wise to think ahead and find a hangar for your new plane. Again, it can take months/years to work your way up the list to get a fully enclosed hangar so you need to look into it asap. I had to put my brand new plane in a nice, but open, large shade hangar and even with covers I spent more time cleaning the plane than flying. Then I lucked out and found a really nice fully enclosed hangar a bit farther away for $165 month.

Because it's a Rotax, fuel selection is definitely something to consider over the long term. I flew the airplane back from OR on 100LL with decline and used that for the first couple of months. After some research I found a couple of local gas stations that have 93 non-ethanol auto-gas at the pump and so have used that exclusively for the last 18months. There are also a few airports not far away that also have 93 non-ethanol at the pump and I use them to ry and get them to keep providing it.

These are just a few things to consider when you contemplate an LSA versus say a 172.

The 172 is known everywhere and any shop can work on it and parts are easily available. So the considerations I mentioned above are not applicable to a 172. Its an alternative view.

My RV-12 SLSA burns 4.4 mph based on fuel used/loaded and I plan on 4.5 mph with a 1hour reserve. I personally schlep the 93 autogas from the gas station to the airport and self-fuel. Not all airports allow this so its another thing to consider. Versus most every airport having a pump with 100LL albeit more expensive than the autos I get myself.
If I fly out of my region I know I'll have to use 100LL and add Decalin. If I use 100LL all the time I can face extra maintenance costs due to the effects of lead on the Rotax, and if I used auto gas with ethanol the ethan 'can' potentially 'harm' the Rotax even though manufacturers, including mine, approve the use of 91E10 autogas.

I would check what the insurance companies say about some of the models you are considering, as well as their requirements for flight training and experience levels.
Some states also charge a property tax for an airplane as well as sales tax. In SC the sales tax is a max $300 (yea!) but the annual property tax costs me $1350 which is not chump change. Other states are different.

I guess I'm just trying to point out that choosing the plane based on what you like, what looks good, and is exciting and new is just part of the buying process. A wise buyer would also spend some time looking at the other aspects of ownership. Its not as exciting but when the day arrives that you have a gripe with your Rotax, or model of LSA, it can be hugely frustrating sitting at the hangar trying to call someone who may be able to help, especially when the local A/P is scratching his head .

Just saying, and just my own opinion.

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MrMorden
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby MrMorden » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:53 am

It's also smart to start with the "mission" rather than the airplane. What kind of flying do you want to do? If you want to do bush flying and landing in grass fields, a Cub or Cub clone is a great choice, but a Mooney is a terrible choice no matter how much you like them.

Do you *need* four seats? if not, a 182 is going to penalize you with higher cost of ownership to lug those rarely-filled extra seats through the air.

Speed is nice, and yes I think that 140kt is doable with a 182. BUT, what does that buy you? A 400nm flight at 140kt only saves you about 30 minutes over the same flight at 115kt (LSA speed). Instead of burning 5gph of mogas for the LSA, the 182 will burn 12gph+ of 100LL. the cost/benefit starts going downhill rapidly. For short hamburger runs there is literally no benefit at all.

Don't get me wrong, if you need the 182's ability to haul people and stuff, it's a great airplane and the extra speed is a nice bonus. But for most of us that are solo or have one passenger 95% of the time, the extra expense is not justified. Again, define the mission, then find an airplane that fits it.
Andy Walker
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Cluemeister » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:16 am

I am definitely going light sport, and the odds of going straight to ppl is very, very low.

The thought of upgrading to a 182 is just more of a mental what if in the future exercise. I enjoy hearing other people's thoughts on why they chose what they did, and the path that took them there.

Under the current plan, having more than 2 people in the plane at a time is highly unlikely. As Andy says, those extra seats are just weight to lug around. But I do like the storage. There was an LSA bragging at the Expo about being able to carry golf clubs in your plane. Can't remember which one.

My needs are simple. An LSA that goes 150 knots on 4 gph with a 700 lb useful load. Oh, and it sells for less than $100k new and can be serviced at the local Toyota garage.

Is that too much to ask? :)

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby drseti » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:31 am

A lot of people claim to be looking for the same thing, Clue. I suspect that, if it actually did materialize, most would still find some excuse not to buy it. :evil:
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby drseti » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:35 am

Oh, and don't forget, it has to run on avgas, mogas, kerosene, alcohol, mineral spirits, solvent, paint thinner, windex, or acetone.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Cluemeister » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:37 am

I really like the RV12 Nomore. Vans has a big winner there with a price/performance/company support combination.

I just wish the parachute was an option. I'm guessing it would have to sit next to the fuel tank, and that might not work out too well in a chute pull situation!

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Cluemeister » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:38 am

drseti wrote:Oh, and don't forget, it has to run on avgas, mogas, kerosene, alcohol, mineral spirits, solvent, paint thinner, windex, or acetone.


What, no apple juice option?

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby FastEddieB » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:47 am

Cluemeister wrote:The thought of upgrading to a 182 is just more of a mental what if in the future exercise. I enjoy hearing other people's thoughts on why they chose what they did, and the path that took them there.


As long as you're dreaming...

A Grumman Tiger goes about 132 kts on about 10 gph. Rear seat folds flat and holds a voluminous amount of stuff - you can get 2 full-sized bikes in the back, for instance.

Plus they handle like sports cars, yet are pretty stable as an instrument platform.

I loved mine:

Image

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Cluemeister » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:15 pm

Eddie, I've heard you speak fondly of this plane before. Is it a wistful walk down memory lane, a chapter of your past that will never be reopened, or is there a chance of a Grumman in your future?

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby MrMorden » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:44 pm

drseti wrote:Oh, and don't forget, it has to run on avgas, mogas, kerosene, alcohol, mineral spirits, solvent, paint thinner, windex, or acetone.


My engine runs on all of those fuels...for very short periods. :lol:
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MrMorden
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby MrMorden » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:46 pm

Cluemeister wrote:I really like the RV12 Nomore. Vans has a big winner there with a price/performance/company support combination.

I just wish the parachute was an option. I'm guessing it would have to sit next to the fuel tank, and that might not work out too well in a chute pull situation!


You can always buy an ELSA version, or convert an SLSA to ELSA, and work up your own BRS install.

Personally I am in love with BRS, not sure I'd buy another plane without one. Do like the RV-12 a lot though!
Andy Walker
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby SportPilot » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:51 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Nomore767 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:39 pm

Cluemeister wrote:I really like the RV12 Nomore. Vans has a big winner there with a price/performance/company support combination.

I just wish the parachute was an option. I'm guessing it would have to sit next to the fuel tank, and that might not work out too well in a chute pull situation!


When I figured out my 'mission' and had a look at a few LSAs, and did demo rides, I figured the RV-12 SLSA gave me the 'most' options to meet my 'mission'. If the BRS chute had been an option I might have considered it.

When I asked Vans about the chute option they told me they considered it but the weight increase turned them off. The option adds to the cost also.
The chute has to be checked periodically and I believe the rocket has to be replaced at some point. In several LSAs I flew with CFIs the use of the chute was never really addressed despite my asking.
I think if it was an option it would be good to have a training program to optimize the situations and scenarios when the chute would be pulled. For example, if it WAS in an RV-12 if the situation, to me, was so dire that I'm going to die unless I pulled, having the fuel tank behind the copilot seat is not going to sway my decision to pull.

Like anything, you never get all you want. With the RV-12, for example, I'd prefer to have the option NOT to have removable wings and instead have 2 wing tanks of 12 gals each increasing the fuel capacity to 24 gals. The resulting increase in baggage area space could allow for the installation of a chute. I don't believe Vans are going to consider this option. The RANS S-19 is more like this and looks a lot like the RV-12.
This isn't huge for me...I much prefer the 765b empty weight which allows me to completely fill my sport flying 'mission'.

If I were contemplating the chute option, I'd sit down with a CFI or an experienced LSA guy and discuss the whens and wheres of when you would actually pull the chute. Figure if you ever did the airplane is likely a write-off but who cares if you survive? On the other hand there have been accidents, forced landings etc in chute equipped airplanes where the chute wasn't pulled and it makes you wonder exactly WHEN the pilot would have pulled it. Otherwise are they just lugging around the extra weight and paying for it....just to make them feel better or please their wife?

I would have probably added the chute if it was an option, but it wasn't and I didn't. I'm still very happy with the RV-12.
Last edited by Nomore767 on Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Jack Tyler » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:36 am

Clue, I hope you are taking notes. There is a lot of valuable & experience-based wisdom being dispensed in this thread.

My impression is that, while you claim to hold pretty firm views on your training and a/c ownership plan - SPL and LSA, all the way - you are also trying pretty hard to fill the (large) void of information you have in a/c alternatives and their practical implications. Good for you and I'd encourage you to keep priming the pump, altho' it strikes me your curiosity belies your fairly absolute views on the license and a/c choice you prefer. And you haven't yet focused much of your inquiry - which is very understandable - on the practical limits and benefits of the kind of that license. (See some of Sport PIlot's comments in that regard).

FWIW and until Eddie replies to your Q, I ended up with the Grumman Tiger he mentioned - after much mulling about the latest mission and accepting the RV-12 wasn't close to meeting it - and it's a good example IMO of the much larger utility a PPL and Part 23 choice can provide. But only IF that utility ends up being relevant to you. (Similar to Eddie's numbers, I flight plan for 130 kts and average 9.8 gph at ~70% power. It's more modern construction is generally less trouble prone than the conventional aluminum+rivet method and it's cockpit 'capsule' is far safer in an off-airport landing. There's also never been a reported wing failure in the AA5 series despite some harrowing episodes in convective weather).

But of course anyone in your shoes will find it hard to judge just how much of that utility will prove valuable to you a few years from now. You just can't know what you don't yet know. E.g. it never occurred to me I'd want to fly a little plane in IMC. Because I a) didn't understand how challenging and fulfilling an instrument rating and instrument flying can be, and b) I didn't appreciate how much safer a pilot it made me for my family, as well as c) I quickly learned weekend flying plans could be skunked by only marginal wx issues. So from my perspective, the greatest benefit of opting for a PPL and a more utilitarian Part 23 a/c choice is the wider envelope of options it leaves one as they grow their aviation involvement.

BUT...that's not what you've apparently decided, and that's just fine. It's more important to start flying and, as your first goal, find out if you even like it. Some don't.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org


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