Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Piston Singles Buyer's Guide 2013

You want it, you got it: trainers, cross-country haulers, bush planes and more!

Adventure Aircraft

Gipps Aero

Gipps AV-8 Air Van
This Australian utiliplane can carry eight folks, a combination of cargo and people or pure cargo. This airplane is a workhorse. Two engine options are available on the Airvan, a standard 300 hp IO-540 Lycoming or the same mill mounting an AiResearch TEO-6 turbocharger for 320 hp, both engines driving a Hartzell, three-blade propeller. The wing is a USA35B reminiscent of a Cub airfoil, 208 feet in size. No one is liable to worry much about speed on a Gipps Airvan, but for those keeping track, it's 134 knots. Prices: $699,000 normally aspirated; $729,000 turbocharged.

Maule Air

Maule M9-235
Maule Air of Moultrie, Ga., has produced a variety of aircraft in a number of configurations with an assortment of options – two, four or six seats, engines from 160 to 260 hp, conventional or tricycle gear, oleo or leaf spring suspension, cut down doors and other features. Maule still builds a variety of MX7s and other models sporadically, but the newest product is the M9-235, a taildragger with a 235 hp Lycoming engine. Like most Maules, the M9's primary claim to fame is its impressive useful load, but the airplane boasts other talents, including a 50-foot takeoff distance of 791 feet. Cruise with the big flaps in the reflex position is 137 knots, about the same as a Skylane, but with far more payload and better short field performance. Price: $274,900.

Peterson's Performance Plus

King Katmai
This is actually a major STC for the Cessna Skylane, not a production airplane, but the bottom line transforms a 182 into a whole different machine. Innovator Todd Peterson created the King Katmai as a follow-on to his earlier Wren design, another modification intended to reduce runway requirement. Peterson adds a canard out front and the result is a Skylane with superior short field and landing characteristics. The full conversion includes an IO-470F engine, forward canard and extended wings. Price: $101,485.

Waco Aircraft

Great Lakes 2T-1A
Peter Bowers of Classic Aircraft in Battle Creek, Mich., is now offering the latest in a series of revivals of the Great Lakes biplane. The Great Lakes is a pure fun biplane in miniature, flying behind a 180 hp Lycoming AEIO-360 and Hartzell constant speed prop. The original Great Lakes dates back to the 1930s, but the current product from is updated in practically every area. Aerobatic approvals include most standard maneuvers, plus the Great Lakes serves well as a convertible touring machine, covering the sky at 105 knots. Price: $245,000.

Waco YMF5-D
Classic Aircraft has been producing the Waco YMF for a quarter century, and the YMF5-D is the latest iteration with a 300 hp Jacobs radial engine. Predictably, the modern Waco has been upgraded in practically every area, with new, more modern materials and new avionics, but the basic airplane still maintains the same planform and the same two-plus-one configuration, with the pilot flying from the rear. Max fuel is 72 gallons, and at a cruise of 104 knots, you can plan on just under 300 miles between fuel stops. Price: $426,250


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