A 1972 Piper Comanche Twin sporting two Lycoming IO-320’s. I have a flow a good number of twins and I will say this is one impressive little bird. I’ll spare you all the history of the Twin Comanche also known by it’s owners as the TwinCo as the grimy details are on wikipedia and other outlets. What I want to talk about today is the marvel of the plane for speed, load and efficiencies.
This was a great shot of a man who loves his plane. I have to say when I saw the tug Mark was using I realized I’ve been doing it all wrong for far to many years. I’ll have to be sure I invest properly into my next tug, or I’ll be sure my two strong son’s are with me to pull the bird out of the nest.
Flying the twinco
This was very fun and Mark has a very well equipped plane loaded with Traffic, weather, Aspen 1500, Garmin GTN750 and a backup GNS430W. The plane also boasted a Piper Matic IIIB AutoPilot with an Stec Altitude hold which worked wonderfully tied into the GPSS steering converter out of the Aspen flight deck.
Mark gave me a great introduction to speeds, mods and the overall history of the PA-30 vs his PA-39 also know to many as the Twin Comanche CR (Counter Rotating). I have found in my research that the Counter Rotating, while stock in the 70’s model planes is not exclusive to just the PA-39 designation. In fact there are several conversion and STC that you can find on these planes, one of such is even a 200HP per side know as the Miller conversion which is said to make them scream along in the 185kt range without breaking a sweat at less than 18gph combined.
Our route took us out of KEUL to an airport north, then over to KONO (Ontario Oregon) where we turned back toward KEUL and picked up the RNAV GPS 12 off a feeder route. Mark showed me how quickly the plane would pickup speed if you left power on in the decent. It was indeed a slick wing on this plane and I also noticed it was very smooth with the electric trim connected to the overhead trim unit found in this vintage of plane.
Video from above.