Thursday, November 12, 2009

One Reader's "Lottery Fleet"

World of Flying Reader Kent Shook sent in a Dream Hangar list so elaborate, I'm choosing to present it here verbatim. This list really exemplifies the kind of dreaming we all do. And he scored double points with me by having the HondaJet on the list! Enjoy:
10) HondaJet, assuming it actually comes to market. I love to travel, and I love to fly, but there are times where it really is the destination and not the journey that are important - That's why GA pilots, even those who own planes, still travel on the airlines sometimes. I hate the airlines, so I'd want my own jet - But I'm also a big fan of efficient planes. From where I live, the farthest point in the continental US is about 1800nm away; The HondaJet can go anywhere within with one fuel stop and 4.5 flight time, so call it 5.5 hours (or 5 with a quick turn) to go anywhere in the US. Compare the amount of time used vs. fuel burn to a Citation X, and for a ConUS trip I'd be taking 2.5 hours more but burning well under half the amount of fuel.

9) Piper Turbo Twin Comanche (or, if such a beast were ever to come out, a Diamond "DA52 Super TwinStar"). The "Twinkie" is also a "go-places" airplane, but less than half the HondaJet's speed. However, for trips that don't require the speed of a jet, the Twinkie is hard to beat for efficiency at a reasonably fast speed. It'll also allow me to fly to destinations with shorter and/or unpaved runways. In reality, this is one of the planes I would most like to own.

8) P-51 Mustang - There's just something about the P-51 that makes any living, breathing human take notice. It's fast, it's loud, and it helped win WWII and establish the US as a world superpower. Plus, these birds NEED the folks with unlimited funds to keep them flying!

7) Husky A1C - While there are a lot of folks who have a soft spot for the Piper Cub, the Husky (an improved derivative of the Super Cub) has the extra performance to fly in and out of backcountry mountain airstrips, pull floats out of the water, and have an improved fun factor. The controls on the 2005 and later Huskies have been modified so that they are extremely well-harmonized, making this a VERY fun airplane.

6) Extra 300L - Aerobatic hotshot machine with an extra seat so I can turn my friends upside down too.

5) Globe Swift - One of the neatest vintage airplanes IMHO. I'd go for the "Super Swift" modded variety with sticks and a 210hp Continental IO-360 engine for extra fun. This one is also on my real-life buy-someday list, as it can be used for traveling (and it's efficient), it can be used for light aerobatics, and you can fly it with the windows open. :-)

4) DC-3/C-47 - Another one that's probably on every pilot's list to at least fly on someday - It both helped win the war and it was also the first commercially viable airliner.

3) Seawind 300C, again assuming it gets certified. One of the fastest planes that can be landed on water, with a massive cabin and cargo compartment for taking your buddies on that remote fishing vacation, or hauling your family to the cabin on the lake for the weekend.

2) F/A 18F Super Hornet - For when you just feel the need to be a bad-ass and make a lot of money into a lot of noise and go REALLY fast. :-D

1) Cessna 185 - I have a lot of my time in a 182, and it is one of the best airplanes ever produced - While it's not the best at any one thing, it's pretty darn good at EVERYTHING. The 185's extra power and tailwheel configuration would allow for a little better performance at backcountry strips or off water on floats.

I'd have skis and floats for the Husky and the 185, and maybe even the DC-3/C-47. Just because. ;-)