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16 Nov 2018, 05:28 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 09:34 
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Also Michael what model citation do you have and what are some of the basic performance specs (speed, FF, range)? If your info checks out there might be a nicely maintained 425 on the market very soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 11:30 
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Just got off the phone with the DOM of Signature Technicair. He said no chance ever you could maintain an old citation for $12K per year average. I missed the phase 5 when looking at the Sierra menu but that is $20K and due every 3 years. Technicair's prices for the base inspections are about the same. So base inspections alone over years will be about $31K or just over $10K per year. Then he said you have additional random phases just like the Conquest. The last phase 1-5 that he did on a citation (base inspection $25K) went out the door at $60K. He just did a thrust reverser indicator switch (all it does is turn on a light on the panel) and it was $5K. Engine gauges are all expensive, etc. etc. Oh well, jet dreams will have to wait...

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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 11:54 
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Username Protected wrote:
Just got off the phone with the DOM of Signature Technicair. He said no chance ever you could maintain an old citation for $12K per year average. I missed the phase 5 when looking at the Sierra menu but that is $20K and due every 3 years. Technicair's prices for the base inspections are about the same. So base inspections alone over years will be about $31K or just over $10K per year. Then he said you have additional random phases just like the Conquest. The last phase 1-5 that he did on a citation (base inspection $25K) went out the door at $60K. He just did a thrust reverser indicator switch (all it does is turn on a light on the panel) and it was $5K. Engine gauges are all expensive, etc. etc. Oh well, jet dreams will have to wait...


Information from other threads: If the aircraft meets a few qualifications and the local FSDO doesn't give you a problem, the Bacon Low Utilization program doubles the time between phase inspections if you don't fly a lot ( I think it's <100hrs/yr). Costs about $10K fee to get on the program and a corrosion inspection is required (which you'd do anyway pre-buy.)

Beyond that, I don't think Signature is the "local independent" place offering the lowest prices.

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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 14:38 
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From the Bacon web site...
http://www.baconaviation.com/citation-luip.html


200 hours per year or less of anticipated usage
Aircraft must be hangared at its base of operations
Aircraft must pass a non-invasive initial corrosion inspection


>Aircraft must be hangared at its base of operations
That one kills it for me. A citation sized hanger at my home base would be $2800/mo.


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 21:21 
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If you take a long term view of your ownership costs, you simply can not deny that a TPE331 plane will end up costing you much less over its lifespan. Yes, you can get in to a 501 and run it for a few years, but when the engines come up, you're toast - she goes to the scrapper. Same goes for PT6's, when that day comes on an older airframe (and you can delay it a long time by running over TBO, of course), you face a bill that will most likely make you scrap her, too.

You simply can't beat $250K for 5400-7000hr TBO overhauls. And that means that these airframes that have them, have longer term values. That's where the rubber meets the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 22:40 
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Username Protected wrote:
If you take a long term view of your ownership costs, you simply can not deny that a TPE331 plane will end up costing you much less over its lifespan. Yes, you can get in to a 501 and run it for a few years, but when the engines come up, you're toast - she goes to the scrapper. Same goes for PT6's, when that day comes on an older airframe (and you can delay it a long time by running over TBO, of course), you face a bill that will most likely make you scrap her, too.

You simply can't beat $250K for 5400-7000hr TBO overhauls. And that means that these airframes that have them, have longer term values. That's where the rubber meets the road.



So Adam - I am curious (genuinely curious, I don't mean this in any way other than information seeking) - Why do you say that about PT-6's? The overhaul costs no more than $250k and 8000 hrs is a number nobody has had any trouble achieving (MORE program or not). I have heard some shops talk about increasing costs and decreasing reliability of Garretts (which may be complete B.S. - the shops I have heard this from are Pratt shops). The impression I have is that PT-6's, especially smaller ones (-11,20,21,28) are not great for fuel efficiency, are are dead reliable and predictable and will last a long long long time.

I love the fuel economy on my Merlin.... great speed and low fuel burn on such a big cabin - so I am a Garrett fan too. For now, operating a low-utilization personal turboprop, the simplicity and ruggedness of the PT-6 is very comforting. Every shop I've spoken with says even at 8,000 SMOH the engine cores still have decent value (appropriate to time of course).


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 22:43 
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Username Protected wrote:
Just got off the phone with the DOM of Signature Technicair. He said no chance ever you could maintain an old citation for $12K per year average. I missed the phase 5 when looking at the Sierra menu but that is $20K and due every 3 years. Technicair's prices for the base inspections are about the same. So base inspections alone over years will be about $31K or just over $10K per year. Then he said you have additional random phases just like the Conquest. The last phase 1-5 that he did on a citation (base inspection $25K) went out the door at $60K. He just did a thrust reverser indicator switch (all it does is turn on a light on the panel) and it was $5K. Engine gauges are all expensive, etc. etc. Oh well, jet dreams will have to wait...


Scott, I avoid Signature anything like the plague. I just paid $7.50 for 100LL today at one; yuck! I think that's the possible issue with pondering maintenance costs of your Conquest or a Citation. They are 3-4X the cost of more reasonable places. Signature is out for themselves and not you; anything they say on 501 maintenance I'd take with a grain of salt. Signature will extort every cent they can from you. If you read any of my other threads; I have never claimed that you can drop these things off at Citation service centers or Signatures and squeak by on the cheap. Taking an old airplane (Conquest or Citation) to a fancy shop is like taking your 20 year old Mercedes to the dealer; it's going to hurt.

Used parts and smart independent people you trust is the only way to own these. This is not something for everyone but is something that for the right guy, is both achievable and successful.


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 22:47 
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Aircraft: Piper Cheyenne II
Username Protected wrote:
CheyenneII best bang for the buck 255 kts abt 500k simple systems no reoccurring inspections



I have to second this..... I think the Cheyenne market is an incredible value proposition right now. An incredibly capable, simple, rugged airplane that is surprisingly economic to own and fly. I have to admit I am loving it. It is not an MU2 or a Commander in capability, but you can buy a good one for about half to a quarter of what one of those birds are fetching these days.

I fly a King Air 90 a little too, and it's definitely a bigger more substantial airplane, but that guy spends about double what I am spending to maintain it (not knocking it, it has a noticeably bigger cabin).


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 22:48 
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Username Protected wrote:
If you take a long term view of your ownership costs, you simply can not deny that a TPE331 plane will end up costing you much less over its lifespan. Yes, you can get in to a 501 and run it for a few years, but when the engines come up, you're toast - she goes to the scrapper. Same goes for PT6's, when that day comes on an older airframe (and you can delay it a long time by running over TBO, of course), you face a bill that will most likely make you scrap her, too.

You simply can't beat $250K for 5400-7000hr TBO overhauls. And that means that these airframes that have them, have longer term values. That's where the rubber meets the road.



So Adam - I am curious (genuinely curious, I don't mean this in any way other than information seeking) - Why do you say that about PT-6's? The overhaul costs no more than $250k and 8000 hrs is a number nobody has had any trouble achieving (MORE program or not). I have heard some shops talk about increasing costs and decreasing reliability of Garretts (which may be complete B.S. - the shops I have heard this from are Pratt shops). The impression I have is that PT-6's, especially smaller ones (-11,20,21,28) are not great for fuel efficiency, are are dead reliable and predictable and will last a long long long time.

I love the fuel economy on my Merlin.... great speed and low fuel burn on such a big cabin - so I am a Garrett fan too. For now, operating a low-utilization personal turboprop, the simplicity and ruggedness of the PT-6 is very comforting. Every shop I've spoken with says even at 8,000 SMOH the engine cores still have decent value (appropriate to time of course).



No one I am aware of is overhauling ANY motor on any old turboprop or Jet. All of these aircraft we are discussing are going to the junkyard when the fire is out and you can't find a used replacement motor. That's how I approach this entire conversation. Go as fast as possible, as safely as possible, for as long as possible, as cheaply as possible. It's a fun math equation. I'm enjoying this conversation.

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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 23:08 
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Controller has this:
https://www.controller.com/listings/air ... tation-jet

So If I understand correctly the FJ44 burns a log less Jet-A, but you have to have them on
program... at $133 per hour per engine....

So with Jet Fuel at 3.50 gal does the FJ44 burn 76 Gph less than the origional?


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 23:17 
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Username Protected wrote:
Controller has this:
https://www.controller.com/listings/air ... tation-jet

So If I understand correctly the FJ44 burns a log less Jet-A, but you have to have them on
program... at $133 per hour per engine....

So with Jet Fuel at 3.50 gal does the FJ44 burn 76 Gph less than the origional?


Williams goes a little faster, say 365-375 vs 340-350. The Pratts burn 115-120GPH at altitude versus 105-110. I don't think they represent a win on the value barometer versus what they cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2018, 02:36 
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Scott, I avoid Signature anything like the plague.

When it comes to FBO services, I am right there with you and my shop is for sure in it to make money. But in the case of Technicair, it's a bit different. Corporate Air Fresno was once the big Cessna distributor and has been working on (and at the time selling) Conquests since they were rolling out of the factory. The DOM has been there since the 80s. Then they became Technicair, and then Technicair was bought by BBA who also owns Signature, hence the name. Their labor rate is $113/hr which is not unreasonable particularly in CA. Their flat rate cost for a citation phase 1-5 today is the same as Sierra's menu from 2013. So I don't think they are obviously a lot more expensive. Sure, there is some fluff built into every bill but not a lot. I know what their markup is on parts and there is one, but it's not robbery. Maybe 20% or so. What I do know for sure is they have literally tens of thousands of dollars worth of tooling: big, high power GPUs, AC service units, huffer carts, lots and lots of specialized P&W and Cessna tools, a shit ton of avionics test equipment, and a couple of admin folks who order parts, do admin stuff, etc. In other words all that overhead (serious overhead) has to come out of the margin they make at $113/hour and the margin on parts sales. To be honest, I don't know how they make money. I run a small business and I look around and see all the tooling which costs money to procure and maintain, the admin staff, the HUGE hangar they have to rent, the insurance premium (my God what that must cost), the HUGE stock of Conquest specific spares they have right on the shelf and I think how can they cover all that by charging by the hour and a bit on parts sales?? Could I save a little by having a smaller shop do the work? Probably yes. But how much have I saved by having a guy that literally has seen every possible problem on a Conquest 1000 times over the last 35 years? Enough to offset the premium I think. And a side benefit, the airplane is ALWAYS done on time. For a 2,3,D (the big one) it's quoted as 2 weeks. During my last one I had a bad cabin window, a bad fuel controller, a bad LG shuttle valve (obscure part that needed to be ordered), a bad heater duct (had to be ordered), a bad aileron cable and how did that affect the schedule? It didn't. Still ready on Friday afternoon, washed, as originally quoted. So I don't think my "top shop" is the primary reason for why the plane costs what it does to maintain, or why they say a citation costs a lot more than $12K per year. How about your side? What citation do you have and what has your MX experience been?

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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2018, 08:36 
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So Adam - I am curious (genuinely curious, I don't mean this in any way other than information seeking) - Why do you say that about PT-6's? The overhaul costs no more than $250k and 8000 hrs is a number nobody has had any trouble achieving (MORE program or not). I have heard some shops talk about increasing costs and decreasing reliability of Garretts (which may be complete B.S. - the shops I have heard this from are Pratt shops). The impression I have is that PT-6's, especially smaller ones (-11,20,21,28) are not great for fuel efficiency, are are dead reliable and predictable and will last a long long long time.

I love the fuel economy on my Merlin.... great speed and low fuel burn on such a big cabin - so I am a Garrett fan too. For now, operating a low-utilization personal turboprop, the simplicity and ruggedness of the PT-6 is very comforting. Every shop I've spoken with says even at 8,000 SMOH the engine cores still have decent value (appropriate to time of course).


You're right, actually. The MORE program does make them very inexpensive to run for the majority of PT6's. I should have taken that into account. I suppose I was talking about the ones that can't be put on that program (-66's, -67's) and the kind of nebulous overhaul costs that come with Pratt. There's been a lot of threads here on BT about the fact that big bore PT6 overhaul costs seem to fall into two major categories:

1. The one where the owners are so shell shocked they don't talk about it.
2. Or the one where it differs from quote by $100K+.

In either case, it's hard to get good estimates beforehand, it seems. With a TPE, the estimates are pretty much dead on.

Down the road, I'm thinking about the older TBM's. The early 700 airframes are now creeping down towards $700K. But an overhaul on that is a $500K deal (almost, I have this firsthand from an owner) and they can not be put on MORE. How many years before that kind overhaul cost at 3600hrs will make these airframes be in the 501 price range?

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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2018, 09:18 
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Username Protected wrote:

No one I am aware of is overhauling ANY motor on any old turboprop or Jet. All of these aircraft we are discussing are going to the junkyard when the fire is out and you can't find a used replacement motor. That's how I approach this entire conversation. Go as fast as possible, as safely as possible, for as long as possible, as cheaply as possible. It's a fun math equation. I'm enjoying this conversation.


I am with you on that one Michael. The math for me worked in buying an airplane with PT-6's that have 4500 hours left to go until the 8000 MORE limit. That's more personal flying than I probably have in my remaining days.

By the time these engines run out the airframe will probably be unsupportable. I am curiously watching the new stuff being sold now to guess what I might fly in 20 years when they are depreciated a bit!


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 Post subject: Re: Best T-prop <600K MU2, Commander, Merlin....???
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2018, 09:34 
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Adam, There was some discussion on the Aerostar board from a previous TBM700 owner.
The air frame maintenance on the TBM was outrageous. Everything was single sourced from the factory in France and things like:

replacement fuel gauge was 15K.
Mandatory window head resistance test, came in 2% low, 30K for a windshield.
Torque Gauge 9K etc.. etc...


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