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Thread: 180 or 185 ?

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    Default 180 or 185 ?

    Thought I'd ask this here first. I know almost nothing about airplanes.
    I have chartered a 180 on wheel/skis into my camp that is on a small lake, with enough room to take off with a small load.
    Does a 185 need more, or less room to take off ?

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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    TYPICALLY less.
    Pilot and airplane configuration will make the most difference though.

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    I have had both. The 180 is a very nicely balanced aircraft to fly, the 185 is exactly what it was designed for: A heavy hauler with a lot of power and consequently torque. It is harder to fly but it is one of the few planes that can haul more than it's weight in payload. In the right hands the 185 will easily outperform the 180.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonanza View Post
    Thought I'd ask this here first. I know almost nothing about airplanes.
    I have chartered a 180 on wheel/skis into my camp that is on a small lake, with enough room to take off with a small load.
    Does a 185 need more, or less room to take off ?
    Mounted on wheels, both will handle 500' of usable space, both during takeoffs and landings. MOST light aircraft performance falls back on the abilities and experience of the pilot. The heavier loads should be left to the 185s, but the 180s will handle those 500' spots with the pilot plus three passengers and a little baggage or freight.

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    Many if not most 180s have big motors and big props. The performance question gets blurry. An average 185 on tires can carry about 1450# of useful load with an aircraft empty weight of around 1900#. The average 180 will weigh less and can carry less legally. Gross in a 180 ranges between 2550 and 3190 so don't characterize all 180s as the same. If both have similar horsepower and similar operating weights they'll be dead nuts equal. Over 3000# they fly like turds. The wing determines that and they share the same wing. Any airplane works better with less weight. To operate heavy reduces performance and adds length to the LZ. At average weights both will impress. Tough LZ? Pack light. That's true for 180s and 185s.

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    I have both a 180 & 185 but don't know enough about the 185 to comment as its new to me. What Mr.Pid said is spot on with 180's though,my 56' 180 is a 2550 GW with a 82" prop, stock wings and won't handle a load like Mort said in 500', but a mod'ed out 180 would suprise you at the performance.

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    Thanks for all the input folks. Logical thing now is get ahold of the pilot.

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    Bonanza,

    Are you Anchorage based? I know a guy who flies air taxi in a 180 who's one of the best short field operators you'll find. He fills a niche in between the Cubs and the 206s very nicely. He's my first choice when I need to charter a plane on tires or skis. Of course his plane has a big engine and extended wings but it suits his mission well. Truth is it's getting hard to find air taxis with 185s. They prefer 206s for most ops. Depending on your camp strip a 206 on skis may be appropriate. Trail Ridge, Regal, Rusts, etc all run 206s on skis. You have options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    I have both a 180 & 185 but don't know enough about the 185 to comment as its new to me. What Mr.Pid said is spot on with 180's though,my 56' 180 is a 2550 GW with a 82" prop, stock wings and won't handle a load like Mort said in 500', but a mod'ed out 180 would suprise you at the performance.
    I shouldn't say this, but yes it will. And it will climb out on full flaps with the airspeed indicator stuck on the needle . . . Beyond edge of stated performance? Certainly.

    Visit the large-rock gravel bar about 100-yards above the outlet of Margerita Creek where it flows into the King Salmon River. Measured at 510-feet, with the water at the western end and a 20-foot high bank at the eastern end, that "strip" was continuously used by two older C-180s with pilot, three passengers, and full fishing gear. The takeoffs were only made toward the high bank. Hard on tail wheels and horizontal stabilizers, but a perfectly usable strip.

  10. #10

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Bonanza,

    Are you Anchorage based? I know a guy who flies air taxi in a 180 who's one of the best short field operators you'll find. He fills a niche in between the Cubs and the 206s very nicely. He's my first choice when I need to charter a plane on tires or skis. Of course his plane has a big engine and extended wings but it suits his mission well. Truth is it's getting hard to find air taxis with 185s. They prefer 206s for most ops. Depending on your camp strip a 206 on skis may be appropriate. Trail Ridge, Regal, Rusts, etc all run 206s on skis. You have options.
    The lake is about 1000-1100 feet long with 75 foot white spruce on one end, and low black spruce on the other. Been useing a great guy out of Fbks (180) for a few years, but it's a 200 mile flight and gets spendy. Plan is to stay at camp a long time this year and I may need a fuel supply/run. There's an outfit that advertises a 185 on wheel/skis from a village about 110 miles away,so I plan to look into that.
    Anch is too far. Talkeetna may be an option.
    Thanks for the info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonanza View Post
    The lake is about 1000-1100 feet long with 75 foot white spruce on one end, and low black spruce on the other. Been useing a great guy out of Fbks (180) for a few years, but it's a 200 mile flight and gets spendy. Plan is to stay at camp a long time this year and I may need a fuel supply/run. There's an outfit that advertises a 185 on wheel/skis from a village about 110 miles away,so I plan to look into that.
    Anch is too far. Talkeetna may be an option.
    Thanks for the info.
    I think Todd Rust runs C-185s on wheel/skis out of Talkeetna.

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    Todd and Suzanne Rust's K2 Aviation operating out of Talkeetna does indeed operate Cessna 185s on wheel skis.

    http://www.flyk2.com

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    Yep, so does Talkeetna Air Taxi and Sheldon Air Service.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonanza View Post
    The lake is about 1000-1100 feet long with 75 foot white spruce on one end, and low black spruce on the other. Been useing a great guy out of Fbks (180) for a few years, but it's a 200 mile flight and gets spendy. Plan is to stay at camp a long time this year and I may need a fuel supply/run. There's an outfit that advertises a 185 on wheel/skis from a village about 110 miles away,so I plan to look into that.
    Anch is too far. Talkeetna may be an option.
    Thanks for the info.
    Keep in mind that any airplane will perform better on straight skis than on wheel skis, too. You may have more weight allowance on straights. Ask the operators. Have a good stay.

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    Mort, My plane has ruffly 850lbs usefull load, I'm 240 dressed the average guy today is 200 , fishermen with gear(waders etc.) add 15-20 lbs ea. thats aprox. 900lbs. add half fuel 180 lbs. You can come up and give it a try, I'll watch , but please bring a $75,000 cash deposit and your own passengers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    Mort, My plane has ruffly 850lbs usefull load, I'm 240 dressed the average guy today is 200 , fishermen with gear(waders etc.) add 15-20 lbs ea. thats aprox. 900lbs. add half fuel 180 lbs. You can come up and give it a try, I'll watch , but please bring a $75,000 cash deposit and your own passengers.
    I weighed about 160, three passengers frequently averaged above 190, and I used that 510-foot gravel bar scores of times while flying with Painter Creeke Lodge. You can probably verify that with Jon, the currrent lodge owner (two brown bears recently destroyed the lodge and two cabins there, closing it down). As I'm sure you know, overloads were almost a constant fact in flying the outback. It wasn't wise, and it wasn't recommended, but it was, and probably still is, a fact.

    I once took a standard C0-206 floatplane off Big Lake with 15-sled dogs, their owner, a handler, two wire dog crates, several bundles of dried salmon, two tarps, a dog sled tied to the right float, and full fuel. I admit to using almost the full eight-miles of water to get airborn, and we teetered on the edge of an oscillating stall for another two miles or so. Overloaded? To be sure it was. Still, I was flying more than 15-hours every week at that time, and knew quite well what my airplanes - - - and I - - - could do. I hasten to tell you that I don't recommend that kind of flying to anyone. I'm not telling you what the POH might have said, I'm only telling you what was done.

    Finally, with the standard, wheel-mounted C-206, loaded with three 55-gallon drums of fuel oil, one passenger, and 432-lbs of fuel in the wing tanks, I would frequently use an ice strip for supply runs at our High Lake Lodge. That strip, made by a snow blower, was 12-feet wide (the gear was 8'-1" wide) and 970-feet long. The blower left three-foot high banks on both sides and at each end. I used the vertical snow bank on the left side to rub the left main gear against it to aid in slowing the landing roll. Sounds nuts? I guess so. Doug Geeting used the same ice strip with Cliff Hudson's C-185 for supply flights, too. Son Jay Hudson was prohibited from using the strip because it was considered too small. Verify that with Doug Geeting . . . . .

    I nno longer fly enough to be safe with edge-of-performance flying, otherwise I'd take you up on your offer. It would be nice to fly a C-180 again. I've always considered that, and the ol' P-51K, to be the best planes God ever invented.

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    While not a pilot I've spent a lot of time flying in small aircraft with various loads, people, pilots. I would say that 185 is the better plane, loaded up the 180 would have much longer take-offs and as someone else said it flew like a turd. For small stuff the supercub is king in my mind, next level up would be the 185, and if I need bigger stuff moved there's no replacing the Beaver as the absolute workhorse of small planes.

    Although the most impressive plane I've flown in to date was the turbine Otter on floats that Ward Air operates here in Juneau.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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