My Dream Hangar, 2009 Edition

3:06 PM

In the past few posts, I've published some great "Dream Hangar" lists from fans of this blog. Every one of these submitted lists has some sort of twist, some surprise that you didn't see coming. That, I believe, is what makes this exercise so enjoyable.

To close out Dream Hangar 2009, I offer my own list, with a few old favorites and a couple of new surprises. I offer this list in ascending order, with my favorite as #1:
(10) Pilatus PC-21 - No, the model number is not a typo. While everyone with a brain including me would love to have Pilatus' groovy cabin-class hauler, I want one of their fast, furious and fun fighters. O.K., maybe technically a trainer, but you can't dispute the fact that flying this much airplane would be like flying a fighter jet.

(9) Piaggio P180 - This twin turboprop pusher replaces the PC-12 on my list this year. Nothing against the aforementioned PC-12, but I have grown to love the Piaggio. Sure, maybe it DOES look like a chubby catfish, but it's a fast, efficient and quiet catfish. I think owning one of these would be like owning some exotic Italian sports car...no matter where you park it, there is never another one around.

(8) Diamond DA42NG Twinstar - The DA42NG is the hottest piston twin out there right now, and with the economics and speed it delivers with its two Austro Engine AE 300 turbocharged injected 2.0 liter diesel engines, I'll be ready for the day when biodiesel aviation fuels are commonplace. I continue to admire the complete Diamond line, and their sleek twin is a star in the sky.

(7) Addiston Pemberton's Boeing 40C - Gotta have one biplane, and this one is the best one in the country today in my opinion. Pemberton's 40C goes so far beyond a "restoration" job, it is more like a flying piece of perfect aviation art. But if I get this one, I think it'll be best to stay away from Canyonville, Ore.

(6) Air Force One - Not one person reading this blog wouldn't mind owning the baddest 747 on the planet. It's got a swank office, serious inflight connectivity, and all that great, um, secret electronic equipment. Go ahead, cut me off in the pattern, cropduster, you'll be vapor with the flick of a switch. First thing I'd do is throw all the press people off and invite all my Tweeples to fly with me in style. And besides, who doesn't like toilet paper emblazoned with the Presidential Seal?

(5) P-51 Mustang - Even Tom Cruise will tell you that flying a P-51 is like snorting testosterone. Fast, powerful, deadly, and it makes the perfect airplane noise when it flies. If only we could have made a modern day version...oh wait, we almost did...

(4) Piper PA-48 Enforcer - The baddest "Piper" ever built is a turboprop powered light close air support/ground-attack aircraft built by Piper Aircraft in 1971. Piper manufactured two Enforcers by heavily modifying two existing Mustang airframes and fitting them with Lycoming YT55-L-9A turboprop engines along with numerous other significant modifications. It cruised at 405 MPH and could climb at 5,000 FPM, but was never mass produced.

(3) HondaJet - Like Pemberton's 40C, some airplanes are works of art, and the HondaJet qualifies in this niche. Forget it's sexy lines and very respectable performance numbers, the fact that it's a quality HONDA product cannot be understated. Just go buy a Honda lawnmower and you'll know what I mean.

(2) Douglas DC-3/C-47 - There are many reasons this wonderful plane continues to tug at my aviator's heart. I'm not really sure why it does, it's not the fastest plane in the sky, and it costs plenty to keep one flying today. But if you believe like I do that airplanes have souls and personalities, you cannot find a more personable flying example of a Douglas DC-3/C-47 then Duggy, the "Smile in the Sky". If you look at Duggy and don't break out in a Cheshire Cat grin, brother, you are not an aviator, you're just a person with a pilot's license.

(1) Piper Cherokee 235 N8527W - Yes, we can dream all we want, play fun games making up lists. But my dream airplane resides right now in my hangar out at KEUG. All through my flying years, I have wanted a nice, low time cross country machine with good avionics. I set my bar on a Cessna 172, never thinking I'd one day own a Cherokee 235. So while I ponder what could be out there in Fantasyland, what is a reality NOW is Katy, my all-time favorite plane and part-time mechanical girlfriend. We can dream all we want, but face it, just look around and see what you have today, it really is quite remarkable.
There it is, my Dream Hangar for 2009. A few surprises? Perhaps. I'll be not everyone who reads this blog knew about the Piper Enforcer.

And now back to our regularly-scheduled programming...

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