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Thread: Help me pick an economical daily commuter

  1. #1
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    Default Help me pick an economical daily commuter

    I plan to build a house on big lake and need to commute to anchorage daily. I figure a 15 minute flight is way better than an hour in heavy traffic... plus I would like nothing better than to justify an airplane. It has to be efficient and a decent performer. My goal is <5gal/hr and 100+ cruise.
    I was set on a t-craft until my buddy started rattling off other planes I'm not familiar with. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Grizzly 1

    Quote Originally Posted by speed_demon View Post
    I plan to build a house on big lake and need to commute to anchorage daily. I figure a 15 minute flight is way better than an hour in heavy traffic... plus I would like nothing better than to justify an airplane. It has to be efficient and a decent performer. My goal is <5gal/hr and 100+ cruise.
    I was set on a t-craft until my buddy started rattling off other planes I'm not familiar with. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
    Only airplane I personally know that will meet 5-gal per hour and a 100-mph requirement is the old Cessna 140. I reckon there are still several floating around in Alaska these days . . . . .

    Last one I flew was N81098, back in 1957. Burned 4.5 gph and cruiised at about 120-mph. Don't even think of flying the bush with it!

    Mort

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    Pacer, Colt, 150/152, Luscombe.

    Not to burst the bubble, but if you left home in your car to head to town it'd take about 70 minutes, right? If you left home to drive to the airport in Big Lake, pre-flighted the plane, fueled it, warmed it up, taxied for take-off, made the flight, got into the pattern in ANC, landed, taxied to parking, tied down, found you OTHER car and got it started....I'll bet you didn't save any time. Factor winter pre-heat and winter covers? No contest. Driving wins. Factor in the fog we've had hanging around for the past week and all the other weather issues that crop up? Flying to commute doesn't make as much sense as it seemed at first glance. But if you need to rationalize buying an airplane, it never makes sense.

  4. #4
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I lived in the valley for years while I was still working for the State. I sometimes commuted into Los Anchorage with my old J-5 converted to a 125 hp PA-12. (85mph on a good day)

    It really did not save any time. But it helped me justify the plane. Plus I very seldom went straight home. Sometimes I accidentally flew out to Willow, or Talkeetna or at least Skwentna on the way home.....

    Is anyone selling as-gas in Big Lake these days? It used to be a neat place to be home based out of... but all my old buddies are gone now...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  5. #5
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    Default Jabiru aircraft

    I suggest you look at the Jabiru web site, kit build or factory and you can get aircraft that will use as little as 19 litres per hour at around 100 knots or with my J230 from 20 to 25 litres per hour and easy cruise at 120 knots and from as little as $58,000.00 AUD so less for USD of course.

    www.jabiru.net.au

    these aircraft are available all over the world and are as tough as nails.

    Watto

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default My vote is a Pacer

    If you get a Pacer you get a four seater thats give you lift, speed, reasonable burn and can fly into the bush. My 135hp pacer if pulled back to 95mph burns about 6 to 6.5 gph. The maintenance is also reasonable. STC'ed for auto gas also. The Pacer is a good cross between cub and a x/c crusier. 850lb usefull load.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 1 View Post
    Only airplane I personally know that will meet 5-gal per hour and a 100-mph requirement is the old Cessna 140. I reckon there are still several floating around in Alaska these days . . . . .

    Last one I flew was N81098, back in 1957. Burned 4.5 gph and cruiised at about 120-mph. Don't even think of flying the bush with it!

    Mort
    Wow! You've been flying for a long time. How many hours have you logged?
    For the right price I wouldn't mind owning a 140.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by speed_demon View Post
    Wow! You've been flying for a long time. How many hours have you logged?
    For the right price I wouldn't mind owning a 140.
    Yeah you would think a guy with that much experience would write a book or somethin...

  9. #9
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    The C-140 is basicly a C150 on the tail. The first ones had a 85Hp then went to a 90hp. The factory new spec.'s are 91 kts @ 75% pwr.. There are lots of mod.ed 140's around and that would get your speed up but also your burn rates. There is not much one can do to to beat the burn. Its a simple Wt.+hp= money then Wt. + hp + speed = money sq.ed.

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    Of course, if the plane is going to used primarily airport to airport, you could get an old straight tailed C-172 for just a little bit more money (I've seen them for as low as 25-$30,000) A little more fuel burn, but you could haul groceries, and it would be less stressfull in gusty winds....Louis

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