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Does anybody have any experience or comments on the piston PA46 line, especially the Mirage line, either Conti or Lycoming powered?  Aside from going turbine, this seems like a nice step up from the Mooney to get bigger space and pressurization with similar efficiency?

Looking at similar twins is depressing when the operating costs are factored in...

Thanks

 

 

iain

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1 minute ago, Mcstealth said:

Uh oh. Get ready. ;)

It's not a Sunday morning without some drama!

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As a diehard Mooney owner, I haven't found it in me to spend the $250 quite yet...besides, I would rather have a more critical view than the fan-boy opinions.

Edited by milotron
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A few hull wing separations over the past few years. Probably ignorant owners flying through thunderstorms, but I’d like to think my airplane would stay together when I fly it. 

The pistons have longer legs than the jet props. 

The turbo lycomings are really solid!

-Matt

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Operating costs are eye-watering from everything I've read. Maybe not compared to a pressurized twin, but even compared to a "regular" twin in many cases.

I know someone locally that just stepped back down to a nice V-tail due to expense. He did enjoy the Malibu, but got tired of feeding it.

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With a growing/aging family I’ve been keeping a very close eye on used a36/p46 listings. My guess is the p46 and b55 (or even a 58) would be very close in operating cost per year.  Lots of stuff going on under the cowling. I’d ask @LANCECASPER what the cost per hour/year is compared to a M or R.  I’m actually curious about this as well. 

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1 hour ago, milotron said:

As a diehard Mooney owner, I haven't found it in me to spend the $250 quite yet...besides, I would rather have a more critical view than the fan-boy opinions.

If spending $250 bothers you, a PA46 probably isn’t right for you...

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25 minutes ago, ilovecornfields said:

If spending $250 bothers you, a PA46 probably isn’t right for you...

I was waiting for that.  ;) ..I did register on it today, but it was not as helpful as this forum for opinions and honest feedback. Still going through it though.

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I just went through this when looking to purchase. The three airframes on my short list were SR22T (G3), PA46, and a modern Mooney. My requirement is 200 kts in the FLs, some form of icing protection (TKS or FIKI), and the ability to go 600-800NM non-stop. I ultimately chose Mooney because of the economy-to-speed ratio, I know the airframe, and the mx costs are manageable. If you really need six seats, I'd look at twins as well.

That being said, the reason I didn't choose the PA-46 is because insurance was double the Mooney. I was quoted $5,700/yr and that is with thousands of hrs in pressurized & high performance airplanes. Also, it won't fit in a standard T-Hangar, top ends on the early engines only get about 500 hrs.

However, I think if you go in with open eyes on operating costs, the PA-46 is an excellent XC machine with good useful load. It also glides well at around 14:1. I highly recommend you email MOPA and get a guest pass. Their forum is similar to MS...very friendly pilots who are willing to share their experiences.

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If spending $250 bothers you, a PA46 probably isn’t right for you...

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes - don't recall the original author.

"Go to your bank, take out $10,000 in cash, and flush it down the toilet.  If this bothers you, you can't afford a turbine-powered aircraft."

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3 minutes ago, toto said:

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes - don't recall the original author.

"Go to your bank, take out $10,000 in cash, and flush it down the toilet.  If this bothers you, you can't afford a turbine-powered aircraft."

Piston only. No turbines in my future unless I win the lottery!

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10 minutes ago, milotron said:

Piston only. No turbines in my future unless I win the lottery!

No, I know you aren't looking for a turbine - I just love that quote :)

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27 minutes ago, toto said:

 

 

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes - don't recall the original author.

"Go to your bank, take out $10,000 in cash, and flush it down the toilet.  If this bothers you, you can't afford a turbine-powered aircraft."

Flush $10k down the toilet. If you're willing to open up your septic tank and fish around for it, you're a CB Mooney owner. :D

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14 minutes ago, toto said:

No, I know you aren't looking for a turbine - I just love that quote :)

Yeah, me too!

Honestly, I think a lot of piston singles are rotting on ramps because people who flinch at dropping $1,000 on maintenance bought them:(

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11 minutes ago, MikeOH said:

Yeah, me too!

Honestly, I think a lot of piston singles are rotting on ramps because people who flinch at dropping $1,000 on maintenance bought them:(

Yep, the same quote is almost certainly accurate for piston owners if you replace 10AMU with 1AMU.

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25 minutes ago, rbridges said:

Flush $10k down the toilet. If you're willing to open up your septic tank and fish around for it, you're a CB Mooney owner. :D

Who’s septic tank has $10K cash it it?!?!??? Dammit man, give me the address, I’m on my way!

Edited by M016576
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Well, I had two Mooneys before I bought a PA46.  Then I bought a nice Ovation, and replaced that with yet another PA46.  

I won’t hold forth as an overall expert on the piston PA46 as both of mine have been turbine.  But from the firewall aft the PA46 family has common structures.  

The aircraft was a clean sheet design optimized to fly at 20,000’ at 200 knots burning 14 GPH at LOP.  In my opinion the airframe designers met their goal well. 

The airframe costs are comparable to long body Mooney costs. FIKI costs whether via boots or TKS. Pressurization system costs seem low.  Avionics are equivalent, except the PA46 Mirage usually has a weather radar to care for.  

Both the piston versions have their staunch supporters.   There is an STC to place an upgraded Continental TSIO-550 into the Malibu (PA46-310P) version.   Care and feeding is about the same as for a turbocharged Bravo or Acclaim, from what I hear.  To wit, lots of care and feeding is needed.

The PA46 is heavier and you tend to fly it higher than a turbocharged Mooney so the piston engine works harder.   With no cowl flap adjustment you have airspeed and gasoline for cooling.   At FL250 in a Mirage I found it frequently took several additional GPH for cooling compared to best power ROP.   

To cruise higher you spend more time climbing.  The POH says to expect 1,000 FPM but reasonable CHTs demand more like 500 FPM cruise climb so you are at about 35 GPH for 45 minutes to get to the lower FL.  

The plane handling is good in the air.  It is a comfortable ride, passengers like the cabin.  The piston types with 120 gallon tanks standard (140 optional) have great range and endurance.   

Yes, if you can’t stand a $10,000 bill now and then a PA46 is a risky tool.  The Mirage pilot’s windshield is a perfect example:  The heated PPG glass windscreen can fail the annual inspection heater current test and a replacement is around $30K.  

The turbine engine is expensive to buy but cheaper to maintain than the piston types.  But that’s a different tale.  

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37 minutes ago, Jerry 5TJ said:

The POH says to expect 1,000 FPM but reasonable CHTs demand more like 500 FPM cruise climb so you are at about 35 GPH for 45 minutes to get to the lower FL.  

This is why I hesitate buying a PA46: I'm spoiled by my 310 HP Acclaim S, which cruise climbs 12-1500 FPM into the mid to high teens.

Pressurization and radar are on my wish list, but 40 minute climbs aren't.

P46T like yours would be perfect, but without Jet-A on my home field, logistics get goofy.

-dan

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@Jerry 5TJ - Jerry, I'm too much of a CB to own a PA46 but I appreciate you taking the time to come costs and benefits between the 2 air frames.

Cheers,

brian

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Sunday, is...

Planning day for the rest of the week...

Outlook day for the rest of the month...

Turbine day or twin day...

Six seater or eight, day...

Pressurized or nose hose, day...

 

Starting with the engine options...

310hp is pretty good for a four seater... Continental is greatly preferred for cruising LOP...

350hp is available in some Lycoming installations...

Twins get ridiculously expensive when their OHs come due...

Turbines look really expensive, until you include all the hours you get between OHs...

If you like Missiles, Rockets, Screamin’ Eagles, and Standing Os... the P46T has the same heritage/genealogy starting with Rocket Engineering...

Don’t shut the door on turbine just yet... single engine, long life, turbine smooth, lower cost fuel, higher energy density fuel, and the license plate ring that says ‘my other vehicle is turbine powered’... :)

The sound of the P46T starting up... much better than the hot starts of any Lycoming or Continental... 

Go look!

Best regards,

-a-

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1 hour ago, exM20K said:

This is why I hesitate buying a PA46: I'm spoiled by my 310 HP Acclaim S, which cruise climbs 12-1500 FPM into the mid to high teens.

Pressurization and radar are on my wish list, but 40 minute climbs aren't.

P46T like yours would be perfect, but without Jet-A on my home field, logistics get goofy.

-dan

The JetProp will reach FL200 in 10 minutes, FL270 in 6 more.    I too don’t relish a 45 minute climb.  

Perhaps buy a used JetA refueller and leave it on the airport; a distributor will tanker it to you and in 2,500 gallon batches it’s surprisingly cheap.  

Cheerio

 

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+1 on the refueler tank... our local helicopter company handles their own 100LL this way.

Best regards,

-a-

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