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06 Dec 2019, 03:48 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 10:56 
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Joined: 02/14/19
Posts: 5
Company: Blue Horseshoe, LLC
Location: Nashville, TN
Aircraft: Sierra C24
I am a newer pilot that is looking to upgrade to a 6-pax after I finish my IFR certification. I have read many of the previous posts on this topic (and realize I am in biased company on this forum), and the common consensus is that the A36 is better built, and handles better - a "pilots plane".

I currently own and fly a Beech Sierra, and also have experience in a Piper Arrow. In the 4-pax category, I am very happy with my decision, as the Sierra is roomier, has pilot, passenger and baggage doors, and has big solid trailing link landing gear. Flight wise, I didn't distinguish a whole lot of difference between Piper and Beech, other than the Piper feels a little easier to land.

In looking to upgrade for speed, passengers and useful load, both the A36 and Saratoga will fit my mission. I'm partial to the A36 for speed, looks, and build quality, but the Saratoga has better useful load, is roomier, and for similar price can get newer plane or better equipped avionics wise. Having no experience in either, I'm trying to understand what people mean by "better handling" on the Beech vs Piper? By contrast, I've read the Saratoga "feels" more stable in IFR weather. Can anyone with experience in both types help me understand this handling issue, and what I would be giving up in upgrading to the Piper? Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 11:00 
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Joined: 05/13/14
Posts: 5034
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Location: Central Texas (KTPL)
Aircraft: '78 Bonanza A36
Marty, I've never flown a Saratoga, but I have flown a bit in a similar size Cherokee 6. I went through the exact same analysis a few years ago and I chose the A36, mainly for speed, but also resale.

I don't think you can go wrong with a Saratoga, if you can accept the speed penalty (talking normally aspirated here). The cabin is bigger, with bag storage in the cabin and also behind the engine.


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 11:06 
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Joined: 06/07/12
Posts: 239
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Company: Yardi Systems
Location: Addison, TX
My passengers always commented about the roominess of the Saratoga.

I never had any of them say something about the A36.

As the pilot, I always preferred the A36.

You're the pilot. It's your money.

Buy the bonanza.

The passengers won't know what they're missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 11:06 
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Company: TTM Development Co LLC
Location: Tannhäuser Gate
Aircraft: Piper PA28/140
Username Protected wrote:
Marty, I've never flown a Saratoga, but I have flown a bit in a similar size Cherokee 6. I went through the exact same analysis a few years ago and I chose the A36, mainly for speed, but also resale.

I don't think you can go wrong with a Saratoga, if you can accept the speed penalty (talking normally aspirated here). The cabin is bigger, with bag storage in the cabin and also behind the engine.

How much speed are we talking about here, and what's the reliability Conti vs Lycoming?

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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 11:09 
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Joined: 03/23/11
Posts: 6053
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Location: Frederick, MD
Aircraft: V35A TC
We don't have enough information to help you out.

I've owned a PA32 and now have a V35A (similar to the 36). The Beech models are slightly beefier and sportier....but the Piper will carry more with more internal space and a better engine IMHO. The front baggage compartment is a winner.

If your trips are less than 400-500 miles....I'd lean more towards the Toga.

If you're payload is on the light side for those six people.....and you are traveling more than 500 miles.....Beech is the winner.

I sold my Six because I didn't need to haul and wanted to downsize.

The Beech is more sportier.....don't get too caught up in the speed differential. It's nice....but it's not all that.

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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 11:15 
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Joined: 05/13/14
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Location: Central Texas (KTPL)
Aircraft: '78 Bonanza A36
Username Protected wrote:
Marty, I've never flown a Saratoga, but I have flown a bit in a similar size Cherokee 6. I went through the exact same analysis a few years ago and I chose the A36, mainly for speed, but also resale.

I don't think you can go wrong with a Saratoga, if you can accept the speed penalty (talking normally aspirated here). The cabin is bigger, with bag storage in the cabin and also behind the engine.

How much speed are we talking about here, and what's the reliability Conti vs Lycoming?

Not totally sure as it largely depends on the individual ships being compared, but I estimated while shopping that the Saratoga would be 12-15 knots slower. Yes, over an X mile trip that's only minutes, but I wanted speed.

I bet the Lyc is more reliable, but I love the IO-550.

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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 11:53 
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Joined: 11/27/12
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Location: KGAI
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Just wanted to point out that when you step up to a high performance a/c, it may seem like you’re always flying into 25-30 kt headwinds both ways on trips.

In that scenario, starting out 10-15 kts slower can leave you with a very unimpressive GS.

If you need to the UL, you may not care.

Good luck

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 12:00 
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Location: Brunswick, Ga
Aircraft: PA32RT-300T
Having made this same choice, I chose the PA32 albeit a Lance. The toga and Bo will be so close in speed, it really should not be the largest factor.

Take your people, add bags, and try to get that into each plane. Pay close attention to the W&B on the Bo. Can you be in balance wheels up to wheels down? The nose baggage on the PA32 is a huge game changer to me. Makes our family trips doable. I was unable to get the Bo in balance without leaving someone or bags on the ground.

The 80-85 Togas are the sweet spot before the reboot PA32s gained a lot of weight.


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 12:05 
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If you are really serious about 6 pax, normal sized adults, as much as I love Beechcraft products, it won’t work.
However, and this is a big one, how often will you really, really really carry six?????

Buy the 90% solution plane. The 100% solution plane does t exist unless you are e remedy wealthy.

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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 13:27 
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Location: Kingston, NY (20N)
Aircraft: 1985 Bonanza F33A
Username Protected wrote:
Having made this same choice, I chose the PA32 albeit a Lance. The toga and Bo will be so close in speed, it really should not be the largest factor.

Take your people, add bags, and try to get that into each plane. Pay close attention to the W&B on the Bo. Can you be in balance wheels up to wheels down? The nose baggage on the PA32 is a huge game changer to me. Makes our family trips doable. I was unable to get the Bo in balance without leaving someone or bags on the ground.

The 80-85 Togas are the sweet spot before the reboot PA32s gained a lot of weight.


The two really are not comparable in speed. The older Saratoga I flew (1988) was an honest 155kt ROP airplane and the 2001 was an honest 165kt ROP airplane. The Saratoga is a nice wise useful cabin, but the forward visibility is not as good as the Bonanza, and it flies more like a Cessna, heavy on the controls than a Bonanza. A good 79-90s Bonanza should be a 170kt airplane LOP.


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 13:42 
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Aircraft: MU-2, G44
Both nice airplanes. I'd say the Bonanza is 15kts faster. I like the Toga Lycoming a lot better than the Continental. Useful load extremely bad on the newer Togas and probably the A36 too. Both fly nice with maybe a slightly more sporty feel to the Bonanza. Toga is more comfortable and roomy. Newer pipers very well made; older ones, not so much compared to a similar vintage Bonanza. I don't like the Fiberglass cowl/wingtips on the Toga. Toga burns a little more gas but also holds more gas.

Regardless, get air conditioning.


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 13:47 
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Location: Seeley Lake, MT (23S)
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Username Protected wrote:
The older Saratoga I flew (1988) was an honest 155kt ROP airplane and the 2001 was an honest 165kt ROP airplane.



"Honest". Fascinating use of that word. Are there dishonest speeds?

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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 14:36 
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Joined: 04/11/11
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Location: Lake Placid, FL
Aircraft: A36, B737 at work
Marty,

I had a PA32 for a while, wife loved it, she never had to ask "can I bring...." so much baggage space! W&B never an issue with the forward baggage you could always find a way to balance it out.

Kids got older, didn't need as much space for cribs, strollers, etc. so sold it and went into a V-Tail. Kids now in the teens and always want to bring friends, so back into a 6 place. Wife loved the V-tail, single yoke, stowable rudder pedals, so she felt more spacious in the front seat. So she wanted another Bonanza, as she says she's a Beech Girl now! The A36 offers more speed, beefier airframe, smoother ride. However we both miss the luggage carrying ability of the PA32.

I installed the aft baggage mod on our 74' A36 and that made a big difference, 1978 and later already have the aft baggage area.

Would I go back to a PA32, no, I love my A36. It's extremly rare I need the luggage capacity of the PA32. I'm getting 165KTAS LOP on my IO-520 RamCam'd A36 at 11GPH, that makes me happy.

Best of luck,

Russell


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 14:59 
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I can add some data points as I routinely fly the 73 A36 that I own and a friend's 07 Saratoga. As a pilot it's night and day how much better the Bonanza flies. Here are some pros and cons:

A36- (with IO550 conversion and aft baggage mod)
Pros
- 10-12kts faster (170 vs 160 ROP)
-excellent useful load 1370lbs (almost 1000 with full fuel)- older lighter plane
- good short field, soft field, you name it
- controls feel solid and responsive
-excellent baggage space with aft baggage mod and between 1st two rows of seats when in club configuration

Cons
-smaller cabin especially in 3rd row

Saratoga- (2007 with Air Conditioning and TKS)
Pros
-Larger more comfortable cabin
-forward baggage compartment (not too big)
-better creature comforts, nicer seats, A/C (newer plane)

Cons
-Slower by 10-12 knots on same fuel burn
-heavier plane - useful load 1150, (under 600 pounds full fuel)
-runway hog especially hot and heavy
-controls feel dull and heavy

Both great planes, but as an owner pilot- A36 all day


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 Post subject: Re: Saratoga vs A36 - Handling Characteristics
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2019, 18:56 
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Joined: 05/05/09
Posts: 3412
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Aircraft: MU-2, G44
I flew an Garmin G1000 Turbo Toga for a friend a few years ago and it really liked the runway and had a 300lb full fuel payload. I don't think these are very good airplanes.


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