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Topic-icon Flying an Apache

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05 Oct 2021 01:25 #3187



Right front passenger seat slides back further like it should now!

Today was just a work day but it went great. First we got a slow start but that's ok because I got some other needed work done at home. Then out to the airport to work on the Apache. First we finished replacing a few washers on the nacelle screws as they were gold in color and we wanted all silver.

Once that was done we dived into the right engine. It was taking more "cranking" to start than the left engine. Typically I had the left engine going with one try after just a few blades. But the right usually didn't want to start until the second try. Not good enough! I suspected the idle mixture was a bit rich. So my buddy had me running the engine while he worked on it until I was getting it going on the first try. So hopefully the right engine will become as easy to start as the left.

Finally we worked on the front passenger seat. It would not slide back far enough to let the pilots get in comfortably. There was plenty of space for the passengers in the back seats but the front seat passengers had to bend and fold too much. So we adjusted the seat to slide back 4 more inches and that made a HUGE difference.

Finally, we actually did some work on the golf cart and reinforced a weak area on the overhead shelf and then put a tool chest in the back of the cart for portability. Overall a good day!

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Last edit: 05 Oct 2021 01:31 by Eric Parks.

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04 Oct 2021 15:03 #3185

Which original version of these planes had the lowest stall speed in landing configuration (VS0)? Please note these are the “official” numbers from the Apache POH or as listed on Rising Up Aviation (risingup.com) and are from the POH for these planes. Remember this is the first model of these planes so later versions don’t count!

1. Cessna 182
2. Piper Comanche 180
3. Piper Cherokee 235
4. Piper Apache 150

If you guessed Piper Apache, the only twin engine in the group, you are correct!
1. Cessna 182 VS0 54 kts
2. Piper Comanche 180 VS0 53 kts
3. Piper Cherokee 235 VS0 52 kts
4. Piper Apache 150 VS0 51 kts

Now, which plane has the best rate-of-climb (standard conditions)?

If you guessed Piper Apache you are correct again!
1. Cessna 182 1120 fpm
2. Piper Comanche 180 910 fpm
3. Piper Cherokee 235 825 fpm
4. Piper Apache 150 1250 fpm (note: POH lists 1350 fpm but chart says 1250)

Now let’s look at cruise speeds. Which has the fastest normal cruise speed? Remember these are the “official” cruise speeds as listed on Rising Up Aviation.

Surprise! Piper Apache again. In this case I doubt the numbers are accurate but this is what is listed.
1. Cessna 182 135 kts
2. Cherokee 235 136 kts
3. Comanche 180 139 kts
4. Apache 150 148 kts

So, what’s the point? The Apache competes very well when compared to planes that are well regarded single engine planes. A “slow” Apache actually has some good points when compared to some popular single engine models that are more in it's price range. Besides the “numbers” the Apache has the widest cabin, a huge baggage hold and a rugged gear with big tires for good grass field work. Of course, on the downside the Apache also has the highest fuel burn, the most cylinders and two props instead of one. But those reliable Lycoming 4 cylinder 0-320 engines help balance that out.

Only comparing the Apache to other much faster and more powerful twins may be missing the whole point of the Apache. I like that I get real twin engine redundancy but don't have to pay the big bills some other twin drivers pay. Also, the Apache mixes in with other GA traffic very well and can handle smaller airstrips as well as larger airports pretty easily. That big, fat wing that makes it so "slow" also gives it great handling and makes it easy to get great landings. It's a great fun VFR plane but also a good IFR platform. Sometimes less is more!

Last edit: 19 May 2022 00:46 by Eric Parks.

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28 Sep 2021 02:02 #3181


Climbing out of AVL at dusk on a smooth and cool September evening.
Wifey and I did the $200 enchilada run to Asheville, NC this evening. Got my First Class medical done (yea!!) and then we headed out to the airport. Jumped in the Apache and flew the rest of the way to KAVL. Then got a Lyft ride to an old favorite restaurant. Then just reversed the whole process. It was such a nice day I wanted to get to enjoy it by flying. The climb out over the hills south of Asheville was just at dusk and the wife got a great pic I wanted to share.

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25 Sep 2021 23:57 #3180


My friend Brent came along with me. He is also building a Bearhawk with me that we hope to have flying soon.

We got to park right next to the flight line

Brent found his favorite, a P-40 he hoped to see. He is building a P-40 (yes, another story!).
A highly modified Franklin 220 hp powered Geronimo Apache parked one plane over from us.
It was a great day with perfect weather

We finally got to Triple Tree and the wait was worth it! The weather that on Monday had shut us out was now gorgeous. Also, we had more time to work with since my friend Brent is off work on Saturday. We met at my house and drove over to Shelby. We loaded up and I preflighted and gassed the mains on the Apache. Then off we went for the short flight. I had never flown myself into a fly-in before so this was a first although I had gone with my father in the past. So it was a great "first" for the two of us to enjoy together. Shortly after landing I noticed another Apache arriving and it parked only one plane over from us. It was a highly modified Geronimo and has 220 hp Franklin engines. There can't be very many of those around!

The Apache seemed totally "in it's element" at Triple Tree and was a great plane to enjoy for the trip!

Last edit: 17 Oct 2021 01:48 by Eric Parks.

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21 Sep 2021 01:56 #3176



Putting the Apache back in the hangar.

Today was going to be a fun day to fly to Triple Tree. However, early low ceilings and later rain put a damper on that. So my buddy Brent that is going to Triple Tree with me agreed to put it off until Saturday. We think that will be a better day anyway. Originally I wasn't able to go on Saturday but that has opened up.

So.... Since I couldn't go to the fly-in at Triple Tree I got to work with my mechanic on the plane today. We got the final parts put in for the nacelle screws as there had been a few that needed attention. Then we put our attention on the fuel gauge switch. After adjusting it we think we have cured the "flaky" gauge. The microswitch needed adjustment. Also, the right fuel tank selector lever was very stiff. After playing with it we decided it was the cable itself that was dragging. So we lubricated it and worked it a bit. So far that seems to help so we will wait and see how it goes for now but it looks like that is taken care of. HOWEVER, in digging into the underneath of the plane we found the aileron cables are starting to touch on the sheet metal that forms the rear of the footwell. No issue yet but that is not something to ignore. So that will get attention very soon. I am always careful to do my control checks and I will be extra attentive to them for now. But I don't see any issue right now.

We got in a few trips around the pattern just "because" and the plane is flying well. We have moved to the "optional" part of improvement for 89P and we now get to do more "fun" stuff. I have quite a bit planned yet so hopefully we will get to do all that in the coming months.

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Last edit: 21 Sep 2021 15:19 by Eric Parks.

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16 Sep 2021 19:47 #3174

Steve, the tool worked great about 3 times and then fell apart in his hands. I think he said it cost $75 and when he called them on warranty they said it was out by a week or two. So he wasn't too impressed with the cheap quality. So he needs to find one that works as well but doesn't fall apart!

Update: he has bought another tool for bleeding brakes so we will see how well that one works.

Last edit: 19 Sep 2021 23:59 by Eric Parks.

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