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Choosing An Old Light Twin

What's the best one?

Every 40- to 60-year-old twin will have strengths and weaknesses, meaning there’s no perfect model. From a happy ownership standpoint, the best choice is having good service and parts support in close proximity to your home base. An old orphan twin takes a lot of inventive scrounging to keep in the air, which translates into money and downtime. 

Before light twins came along, the only entry-level twin-engine business plane would have been a Model 18 Twin Beech. Clearly, the market needed something smaller that the bosses could fly on their own. The oldest light twin designs date from 1952, with the introduction of the Aero Commander and the Beech Twin Bonanza. Both used geared six-cylinder Lycomings with Bendix pressure carburetors, producing 260 hp per side; later versions of them benefited from increased horsepower and fuselage stretches. While great airplanes for their time, these early twins with geriatric Lycoming GO-series engines are not recommended for a first-timer.



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