Page 8 - Jan 20 TNT
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 Looking Outside the PT6
Any turbine pilot who seeks effi- ciency is going to end up looking at a Garrett engine-powered airplane (TPE-331), and that is where my search took me. While I absolutely love the trusty PT6 engine that un- doubtedly dominates the market, there is another engine available. Though some will sneer at an air- plane with any other engine than a PT6, those pilots are usually less experienced and just echoing what others have told them. Chances are they have less than 10 hours of non- PT6 turbine time in their logbook.
I’m okay with that. But for those efficiency-minded individuals who are willing to look beyond the PT6, a whole new brave world exists. All you have to do is look at the King Air 100 series of airplanes. The A100 has the PT6 and the B100 has the Garrett. To contrast the two is an embarrass- ment for the A100 as the B100 will operate 30-plus KTAS faster than
the A100 and have lower operating costs. The B100 has a passionate fol- lowing even today, and that can be attributed to its efficiency.
If you value efficiency and want to move six-plus people within 800 nm in comfort, you’ll likely end up with several airplanes on your spreadsheet that are powered by a Garrett engine. I ended up flying an MU2 Marquise, then shortly after flew the King Air B100 for another client. Strangely, I ended up with an MU2, B100 and King Air 200 in the same hangar. I had the fun opportu- nity to operate three very different airplanes, often on the same day. I had a bird’s eye view that few ever see. Which one do I like the best? Which one should you consider buy- ing? Well, read on for my analysis.
Mitsubishi MU2
The MU2 is a clean-sheet airplane with short wings, crafty aerodynam- ics and a worst-to-first past that ei- ther attracts or repels. It attracted
me. I understand the aerodynamic efficiency of having high-wing load- ing and spoilers, but this airplane is unlike any other in general aviation. The MU2 is an airplane that flies wonderfully, but only in the hands of a pilot that respects the airplane and operates it with a professional’s touch. In the 1990s, the fatal crash rate of the MU2 increased alarm- ingly, and both the MU2 community and the FAA responded. The FAA issued an SFAR and the training for the MU2 became much like a type rating. The fatal crashes diminished greatly, and the MU2 training is now looked upon as one of the great suc- cess stories in aviation training.
All of this history is well docu- mented and known by many pro- spective owners, but what is not as well-known is the ensuing support and cohesiveness amongst the MU2 community. Mitsubishi repeatedly, year after year, gets the highest marks for support from the manu- facturer when contrasted against
  6 • TWIN & TURBINE / January 2020
Sporty’s Pilot Shop

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