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Thread: Turbine Beaver

  1. #1

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    Turbine Beaver

    How much fuel does a turbine beaver burn? Thanks

  2. #2
    n40ff's Avatar
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    https://prijet.com/operating_costs/D...rbine%20Beaver

    (edit. took some digging but MTV's answer below seems good.)
    Last edited by n40ff; 03-20-2020 at 11:28 PM.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Depends on engine and position of the lever, but 36 gph is a ball park.

    MTV

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    Depends on the engine. PT6-34 will burn 45-50 gph.

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    Thanks, I tried google but couldn't find anything. I knew SC would have the answer.

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    I thought about converting my piston or buying a turbo beaver for years. Each time I got close I realized that a turbo otter costs the same and uses the same engine but does three time the workload. Both are awesome machines that max out the “way cool” factor.

    Fuel burn is the least expensive part of owning any airplane. If you’re thinking of buying a turbo beaver you best be planning to fly it at least 400-600 hours per year. Otherwise the engine maintenance costs will eat you alive. Unlike pistons engines, very spendy turbine engine parts and maintenance are calendar life limited: they wear out just sitting in the hangar.

  7. #7
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Heinrich View Post
    I thought about converting my piston or buying a turbo beaver for years. Each time I got close I realized that a turbo otter costs the same and uses the same engine but does three time the workload. Both are awesome machines that max out the “way cool” factor.

    Fuel burn is the least expensive part of owning any airplane. If you’re thinking of buying a turbo beaver you best be planning to fly it at least 400-600 hours per year. Otherwise the engine maintenance costs will eat you alive. Unlike pistons engines, very spendy turbine engine parts and maintenance are calendar life limited: they wear out just sitting in the hangar.
    Paul,

    Just to clarify, the original engine on the Mk III Turbo Beaver was a -6, though later ones had -20s. very different engines than what's being installed on Otters nowadays.

    MTV

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    Yes, -34 or -135 engines are being used nowadays. My post applies regardless of whether it’s a -6, -20, or whatever. They all are expensive to maintain even if they aren’t being flown.

    The -6 and -20 engines didn’t like hot weather. They barely performed any better than a piston.

  9. #9
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Heinrich View Post
    Yes, -34 or -135 engines are being used nowadays. My post applies regardless of whether it’s a -6, -20, or whatever. They all are expensive to maintain even if they aren’t being flown.

    The -6 and -20 engines didn’t like hot weather. They barely performed any better than a piston.
    Correct on all points. The -20 did make good power in cool weather, though.

    MTV

  10. #10
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    On floats the otter is an awful lot of airplane to deal with docking, beaching and such. A little drift of wind and you have a handful.

    My friend that flies the otter always talks about the 28 seconds from switch on to power for control. It was interesting watching the turbine otters work current and wind for the lodges. Looked like a tough job if you are alone.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    depends...on the engine, the -6 or -20 (probably not even around anymore), the -27, the -34? How fast you wanna go? But I would think 45gph is what most of the guys are pulled back to...
    Thanks Bowie thanked for this post

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    Blade latches solve a lot of problems but for some reason, the operators in Alaska don't want blade latches. Ridiculous if you ask me. I've never had a problem with blade latches and they eliminate a huge host of problems on starting...in currents and winds, parallel docking etc...

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    At SEAIR we had -6 and -20's on our entire fleet. 55T is owned by Kenmore now on straight floats and I believe has the -135 putting out 750shp, total badass compared to the 579shp the earlier engines had.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flywhatever View Post
    depends...on the engine, the -6 or -20 (probably not even around anymore), the -27, the -34? How fast you wanna go? But I would think 45gph is what most of the guys are pulled back to...
    Kodiak also has the -34, plenty of power, 750HP, but plan on at least 45GPH, that gets one on wheels a cruise of 175 knts. Amphib floats 160 knts. Good news is Jet A is getting pretty cheap, at our airport in Carefree, AZ it is headed to well under $3.00 per gallon.
    Makes it sound cheap!
    John

  15. #15
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    I plan for 44 gph on the -27 on my Turbine AgCat, 28 gph on the 985 powered Cat. They are the exact same airframe, the only difference being the slightly bigger hopper on the turbine, but the difference in work output is incredible! With the prices of round engine overhauls climbing every year, it’s tough to justify keeping a 985 around. $40-50k every 1200-1500 hrs for an overhaul, hot sections on turbines shouldn’t cost that much during the same timespan. We’re not held to the same maintenance intervals in Part 137 as 135, so you’re mileage may vary. Acquisition costs are obviously different, but the turbine will pay for itself in the commercial environment.

    Had a fuel supplier tell me $1.25/gal delivered for ag use Jet-A last week, and he expects it to go lower.

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    Aktango: that’s why I never bought a turbine Otter. That’s also why I never bought wheel skis for my beaver: It’s more than one man can comfortably handle.

    Kind of like my old girlfriend.

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    I don't have a gnat's eyelash of time on floats compared to you guys. But when I was young and strong as a bull I discovered that handling a Cub on floats in the woods alone, with or without starter, could be more than I could handle, and wouldn't dream of putting my heavier high-tail 180 on floats. (Every start-up from rock-strewn shores was a close-run thing.)

  18. #18
    mvivion's Avatar
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    An old time check airman told me one time, as I was getting a float Beaver to a dock (with no assistance from him) that in his opinion, all float pilots should start float flying in a single engine Otter.

    His point was, with these big airplanes, you either learn to finesse them, or you get run over and/or wet. But, the real message was that a Cub will run you over just about as quick.

    You can't muscle these things around, you've got to finesse them.

    One of the prettiest things I've watched was in Victoria, BC, watching the Beavers and Otters coming and going from the dock there.....lots of finesse and skill on display there, and a pleasure to watch.

    Oh, yeah, and I didn't ding the Beaver or the dock, and passed the checkride.

    MTV

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    An old time check airman told me one time, as I was getting a float Beaver to a dock (with no assistance from him) that in his opinion, all float pilots should start float flying in a single engine Otter.

    His point was, with these big airplanes, you either learn to finesse them, or you get run over and/or wet. But, the real message was that a Cub will run you over just about as quick.

    You can't muscle these things around, you've got to finesse them.

    One of the prettiest things I've watched was in Victoria, BC, watching the Beavers and Otters coming and going from the dock there.....lots of finesse and skill on display there, and a pleasure to watch.

    Oh, yeah, and I didn't ding the Beaver or the dock, and passed the checkride.

    MTV
    Mike it is picture perfect watching the skill in Victoria harbor.
    Hardest thing is docking a turbine airplane, if by yourself is getting it stopped, as in shutdown mode without pitch latch prop they surge forward during the spool down. Had a Caravan on floats for a while and almost never took it to a dock without someone on dock, normally parked on bank nose in for shutdown to control the forward surge. If one has someone on dock, easy to go in and out of beta to hold it in place, but then shutdown has to happen!
    Had Widgeons for years, almost impossible to dock them without low dock and then wind better be right. Get passengers on one side so docking float is up, or easier if one has retract wing floats. No water rudder to steer, so differential power only and that usually makes it going too fast if you need the touch of power right at the wrong time. And hard to go to a lake with any bank as one cannot just jump out of a Widgeon to catch yourself! Easy on the rivers out west and 45 degree angle in, spin the tail up on the river bank and leave the main gear still in the river. Door in back so every one gets out on dry ground. And if stuck a bit the tail comes up with power, but nose overhangs water and helps float gear off into the river.
    John
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  20. #20
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Yeah, there was a turbine Beaver at Lake Hood one winter on wheel skis. Icy ramp, mechanic (I was told) ran it, then shut down. The surge of thrust as it spooked down pulled it into the wing of a Cessna parked ahead. Slice and dice.

    MTV

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    Quote Originally Posted by flywhatever View Post
    Blade latches solve a lot of problems but for some reason, the operators in Alaska don't want blade latches.
    Does anyone know why Alaskan operators (or anyone) would not want blade latches for a floatplane?
    I have not been around a lot of turbine floatplanes, but all of the PT6-powered ones I have seen had blade latches and seemed to have no major issues docking without someone to catch them...

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by StudentPilot479 View Post
    Does anyone know why Alaskan operators (or anyone) would not want blade latches for a floatplane?
    I have not been around a lot of turbine floatplanes, but all of the PT6-powered ones I have seen had blade latches and seemed to have no major issues docking without someone to catch them...
    Not sure why, but cost could be an issue. Pitch latch prop on a Kodiak is an added $70,000 range cost.
    John

  23. #23
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    I maintain and fly a later model Turbine III. It’s got a -20 , and a Barron STOL Kit,etc. beautiful airplane. It’s in private ownership and rarely carries heavy loads so with the STOL kit and lighter wt. the -20 is just fine. We looked at upgrading to a 27 but there just isn’t any pay-back for us. It burns around 30GPH BUt again flown light. When you get into the Turbine engines the money gets big and it’s just about buy what you need and want because of the upgrade cost.

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