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History of the Comanche

I’ve moved the Comanche history posts from here to this thread

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Silvaire wrote:

I think if events had allowed the Comanche single to stay in production Piper could have made them for a long time

As far as I know, the Comanche was simply too expensive to manufacture. The plane (especially the wings) consists of countless different parts. Mooneys suffer from the same problem, probably because they have the same genes. Allegedly it took 4600 hours of labor to produce a Mooney back in their heyday. According to mooneyspace it takes them 6000 hours after the hibernation phase. When we took a factory tour with Cirrus at Duluth three years ago, they told me it takes them 1600 hours to build an SR22.

I don’t have any sources that would prove these numbers, but I don’t think they’re out of proportion.

Last Edited by terbang at 13 Nov 01:40
EDFM (Mannheim), Germany

The flood at Lock Haven also had something to do with Comanches going out of production. Others would know the story better than me, and for sure the Cherokee derivatives were cheaper to produce.

They made almost 5,000 Comanches (that’s lot of labor in total!) and today they can be good value.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 13 Nov 01:52

terbang wrote:

As far as I know, the Comanche was simply too expensive to manufacture.
I believe that is the truth of it. They are exceptionally well built, and built to last. The Lock Haven flood was very convenient for Piper and the perfect excuse to stop building them and focus on the cheaper models. I am of course very biased :-) I simply love mine – cruises cheerfully at 165KTS TAS at 10K feet at 47l/hour with 8.5 hours autonomy with the tip tanks. A great machine for travelling very comfortably and an amazing IFR platform…

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

The 1980s “product liability driven” break in production was extremely useful to all those firms, to reduce the huge stock overhang

Wasn’t the Comanche the only aircraft to use the 8-cylinder Lyco IO-720?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I think the PA36 Pawnee uses it as well, and there were conversions done for the Twin Bonanza.

All in all it seems to be a rather rate engine, though.

EDXN, Germany

The flood was an elegant way out. Some damage did happen but lots of jigs were just bulldozered and destroyed.

Indeed, the aircraft is very solid, maybe over engineered. I know of a midair between a Twin Comanche and a 172 where the Comanche’s wing spar just bent. Another mishap happened near JFK where the pilot heard a very loud ‘bang’. As the aircraft did not exhibit any control issues the pilot declined an offer to land at JFK and continue on his way home. Once out of the aircraft he noticed that one of his horizontal stabilisers was pointing at about 30 degrees towards the ground. It was covered with feathers that later on confirmed to be of a Goose.

Peter wrote:

The 1980s “product liability driven” break in production was extremely useful to all those firms, to reduce the huge stock overhang
Wasn’t the Comanche the only aircraft to use the 8-cylinder Lyco IO-720?

No, there were some other aircraft too, one of them was an Helio model. Two conversions that I know of are the Beech Queen air that was called ‘Excalibur’ and the other the Aero Commander, I think that it was superior aircraft to the Turbine models There are some Comanches with turbo IO720, I don’t know whether they were factory option or an STC.

Last Edited by Ben at 13 Nov 16:13

Just wow and beautiful: http://www.planecheck.com?ent=da&id=47309. local copy Given that it has a new engine and prop, I’d say it’s not too expensive. If I were in the market for a four-seater..

Btw, any news from @LFHNflightstudent and his Comanche at Gander?

Last Edited by boscomantico at 30 Aug 08:42
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Hi @boscomantico – getting a new engine which will hopefully be ready by September 9th for shipping and fitting in StJohns. The plan is to fly her back home end of September, will keep everyone posted.

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

Thanks @LFHNflightstudent.

Whatever happens, don‘t let circumstances put pressure on you.

How many hours do you intend on putting on the engine before you head off over the pond? 0? 5? 50? Difficult call. Infant mortality probably is relatively high all the way to 100 hours since new or overhaul, no? For that reason alone, I would have tried to get a used engine in your situation. Was such engine not available at all?

Anyway, don‘t let the weather, the season, it any technical aspects push you. Good luck! Please report!

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany
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