Friday, January 22, 2010
BELLANCA T-250 “ARIES”
|STANDARD DATA: Seats 4. Gross wt. 3,150. Emptywt. 1,888. Fuel capacity 76. Engine 250-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Cruise mph 208. Stall mph 64. Initial climb rate 1,240. Ceiling 18,100. Range 1,170.
The title of fastest normally-aspirated single has been bandied back and forth for years. Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, the V-tail Bonanza was the often challenged but undefeated champ. Then there was the exercise in horsepower overkill known as the Comanche 400, followed by the Aero Commander 200 and the Waco Meteor. The trouble was that all except the Bonanza were economic failures. The Bellanca Axies T- 250 was initiated by Anderson, Greenwood and Company when it assumed financial control of Bellanca. Unfortunately, the Aries did not get into production before Bellanca declared bankruptcy in 1980.
For lower-cost production, the Aries utilized flat skins wherever possible and simple rather than compound curves. The wings and T-tail are laminar-flow constant-chord airfoils. Power is supplied by a carbureted six-cylinder Lycoming that is roughly the same engine that powered the old 250 Comanche, delivering 250 hp at 2,575 RPM. Other hints that the T-250 is fast are the use of flush riveting, sealed nosegear doors, butt skin joints and flush vents, drains, and engine breather. The cabin accommodates four, but there is enough room so the Aries could be configured to handle one more.