Although twin-engine airplanes have been generally thought of as executives'
vehicles rather than pleasure craft, many private pilots today are discovering
how easy the step up to them has become. And because their horizons are
expanding, many private owners soon seek the greater speed, range and relative
weather immunity that two engines provide. In keeping with the Piper philosophy
of offering a lot for a little, the Apache is the smallest, least expensive of
the twins, but a big performer. More than 40 have flown the Atlantic. Such
reliability and long range make trips through the Caribbean, to Alaska, to
South America routine. Because of its low stalling speed, short landing run,
the Apache is at home on a small airport. It seats four or five in upholstered
comfort; has twin 160-hp Lycoming engines; a service ceiling of 17,000; cruises
at 170 mph for 640 miles; $35,990.
The 310B is a big, slick airplane that bridges the gap between the Apache and
Beechcraft's long-famous line of twins. It costs $24,000 more than the Apache,
and here's what that extra money gives: 43 more miles per hour at cruising, 200
miles more range; 3,500 more feet of ceiling and 400 feet per minute faster
climb. In fine, extra money spent for an airplane buys extra power, performance
and efficiency instead of fishtails and chrome. The 310 is the top plane of
Cessna's fleet, and the Air Force has placed orders for 160 of them in the last
two years. Its single-engine performance is excellent—rate of climb 415 feet
per minute, service ceiling 7,750. Fuel is located in safety tip tanks at the
end of the wings. Because of their big range, automatic pilots are often
installed in the 310 and other twins. The 310 seats five; has two 240-hp
Continental engines; cruises at 213 for 850 miles; $59,950.
THE '58 FLEET
In addition to the six top family planes discussed in detail on the three
preceding pages, there are almost as many other manufacturers and models as in
the automobile industry. Here, with thumbnail statistics, are the
in-manufacture models of 16 other planes most likely to be used by private
individuals for their pleasurable pursuits. All prices given are for standard
models, "fly-away-factory" (f.a.f.); all ranges and speeds are for
normal cruising operation.
Champion's high-wing tandem-seater is fabric-covered; tricycle gear; 90-hp
Continental; 500 miles; 108 mph; $5,995. Two similar models of the Traveler
come with conventional gear.
This all-metal two-seater has conventional gear; 90-hp Continental; 500 miles;
120 mph; $5,995. The Silvaire is popular float plane. It has stick controls and
The baby of Piper fleet is conventional-geared tandem-seater; fabric-covered;
90-hp Continental; 360 miles; 100 mph; $5,695. Model with 150-hp Lycoming; 460
miles; 115 mph; $7,150.
Low-wing metal two-seater has tricycle gear; 90-hp Continental; 500 miles; 123
mph; $6,995. It is spinproof; all controls coordinated into wheel and therefore
there are no rudder pedals.
Cessna's least expensive four-seater competes with the Tri-Pacer in both price
and performance. It has all-metal body; tricycle gear; 145-hp Continental; 519
miles; 124 mph; $8,995.