Aircraft Choice and Prices

I’m currently investigating the market for a four seater cross country plane easy enough to flight by a beginner but fast enough to allow fast travelling. How would you compare the SR20 with the Trinidad and Mooney Eagle ? Also can the price difference (about 175,000$) between the SR20 and a Mooney be analysed ? (better quality, higher margin,…)

Hi Chris,
I’m a big Trinidad fan. They’re every bit as fast as the SR20, lift way more, seat five (in a pinch), and have much longer legs.
They’re not as modern, but not bad, being an 80’s design rather than 40’s or 50’s for most other GA aircraft. The new GT models even use a significant amount of composites (though they’re still mostly aluminum). And they’re not as efficient (it takes 250 horses to get the 160 KTAS that 200 will in the SR20). …and no parachute.
If dispatch reliability is an issue, the fact that you can get TKS de-icing gear is a plus (though it’s not certified for flight in known icing in the TB).
Further, the TB is a proven design and the SR20 is experiencing the teething problems to be expected in a new model.
While I think the Trinidad is a more capable airplane in every respect, dollar for dollar a new SR20 still beats the pants off a new TB20, IMHO. However, the '85 Trinidad I bought last summer cost me ~$80K less than a new Cirrus contract at the time, and it still beats the SR20 in almost every performance category!

Of course YMMV.

Good luck.

Joe

I’m currently investigating the market for a four seater cross country plane easy enough to flight by a beginner but fast enough to allow fast travelling. How would you compare the SR20 with the Trinidad and Mooney Eagle ? Also can the price difference (about 175,000$) between the SR20 and a Mooney be analysed ? (better quality, higher margin,…)

I’m currently investigating the market for a four seater cross country plane easy enough to flight by a beginner but fast enough to allow fast travelling. How would you compare the SR20 with the Trinidad and Mooney Eagle ? Also can the price difference (about 175,000$) between the SR20 and a Mooney be analysed ? (better quality, higher margin,…)

You’ll get more helpful answers if you can in addition answer the following:

Average cabin payload (pilot alone? 1, 2, or 3 extra PAX?)? Average trip radius? For most of us it’s 350 nm or less if we just fly for pleasure. How fast is fast enough: 150 kt? 160? 180? Analyze it based on the trips you’ll most often fly and you’ll find that the time difference between 160 and 180 is surprisingly small over a 350 nm trip. What part of the country do you fly in? Will density altitude often be an issue for departures? If you live west of Denver probably it will. Required dispatch reliability–fly for business or just pleasure? If you’re in CA, NV, AZ deicing isn’t so much of an issue. Need long legs or is 600 nm OK? Medium-longish paved runways or would you like to operate out of shorter fields in those remote hideaways? How much of a beginner are you: no license yet? PPL but not IFR? PPL planning to become IFR?

Those are the practical issues, maybe others could contribute more. But owning an airplane is rarely a “practical” proposition. What counts just as much or more is the pleasure & satisfaction you derive from owning and operating the plane. For my own personal tastes–everyone is different!–a Trinidad wouldn’t press these buttons even though it’s a fine airplane. However, the 260se (Peterson conversion of a 182) and the Cirrus planes press all of those buttons for me.

I sense the beginnings of a lively and fun discussion here!

I’m currently investigating the market for a four seater cross country plane easy enough to flight by a beginner but fast enough to allow fast travelling. How would you compare the SR20 with the Trinidad and Mooney Eagle ? Also can the price difference (about 175,000$) between the SR20 and a Mooney be analysed ? (better quality, higher margin,…)

Chris,

I’m a Socata fan myself, and currently fly a Tobago (until my SR22 arrives…in 47 days!) Its a great plane, great visiblity, excellent ergonomics and a beautiful design, but its not particularly fast (125 kts.)

I too looked at the Trinidad before buying an SR22. I never considered the Mooney because: a) its far too cramped inside, and b) I wanted a more modern plane.

I like the Trinidad alot, but its (gulp) TWICE as expensive as an SR20, and even more expensive than an SR22! Plus, it is a retract (read, higher maintenance and insurance, plus the possiblity of landing gear-up). I believe one of reasons the Cirrus may be a better choice for a newer pilot than the Trinidad because its not complex.
I also prefer the avionics in the Cirrus, the side yoke, and without a prop control its one less thing to do. And while you hope you would never have to use it, the parachute is exclusive to the Cirrus.
To get a fair comparison price-wise, you would need to look at a 10 year old Trinidad. (or buy TWO SR20’s!) Still, retract. Now, dealing with cost of maintenance (no warranty on a 10 year old plane.)

As much as I like the Trinidad, the Cirrus won for me.

Good luck with your decision,

Jeff

SR22 #085 N916LJ

The Diamond DA40 is built in Austria, so service is likely to be better than American makes. It handles very much like the Katana DA20, which is a very friendly trainer. It is priced lower than the SR20, but doesn’t have as good avionics or a parachute. Cruise speed is a little lower, but that also makes it safer. I almost bought one, but they weren’t installing the autopilot yet.

-Curt

I would be flying with 2 to 3 person in the plane,

in the UK and France, The trips would be between 200 and 400 NM.

Thanks

I’m currently investigating the market for a four seater cross country plane easy enough to flight by a beginner but fast enough to allow fast travelling. How would you compare the SR20 with the Trinidad and Mooney Eagle ? Also can the price difference (about 175,000$) between the SR20 and a Mooney be analysed ? (better quality, higher margin,…)

You’ll get more helpful answers if you can in addition answer the following:

Average cabin payload (pilot alone? 1, 2, or 3 extra PAX?)? Average trip radius? For most of us it’s 350 nm or less if we just fly for pleasure. How fast is fast enough: 150 kt? 160? 180? Analyze it based on the trips you’ll most often fly and you’ll find that the time difference between 160 and 180 is surprisingly small over a 350 nm trip. What part of the country do you fly in? Will density altitude often be an issue for departures? If you live west of Denver probably it will. Required dispatch reliability–fly for business or just pleasure? If you’re in CA, NV, AZ deicing isn’t so much of an issue. Need long legs or is 600 nm OK? Medium-longish paved runways or would you like to operate out of shorter fields in those remote hideaways? How much of a beginner are you: no license yet? PPL but not IFR? PPL planning to become IFR?

Those are the practical issues, maybe others could contribute more. But owning an airplane is rarely a “practical” proposition. What counts just as much or more is the pleasure & satisfaction you derive from owning and operating the plane. For my own personal tastes–everyone is different!–a Trinidad wouldn’t press these buttons even though it’s a fine airplane. However, the 260se (Peterson conversion of a 182) and the Cirrus planes press all of those buttons for me.

I sense the beginnings of a lively and fun discussion here!

I would be flying with 2 to 3 person in the plane,

in the UK and France, The trips would be between 200 and 400 NM.

Thanks

For this scenario the SR22’s speed won’t pay big dividends except in owner satisfaction. The difference between 180 kt vs 150 kt over even 450 nm is only 30 min; for 200 nm it’s a paltry 13 minutes!

Your 2-3 person load is OK for the SR20 if you’re not carrying much baggage, if you plan to carry significant bags you’ll need to limit yourself to partially full fuel tanks.

Many available planes would fit your mission profile nicely most of the time: Cessna 182T, SR20 or SR22, Trinidad or Tobago XL for example. If you need deicing then Mooney or Commander may be good bets (although expensive!). The Socata products may be better supported in Europe, and you won’t have the ferrying costs–and import taxes?–from North America.

But it also depends on what best transports your spirit (not just your passengers!). And of course if you want the airframe parachute, the choices are very limited!

The Diamond DA40 is built in Austria, so service is likely to be better than American makes. It handles very much like the Katana DA20, which is a very friendly trainer. It is priced lower than the SR20, but doesn’t have as good avionics or a parachute. Cruise speed is a little lower, but that also makes it safer. I almost bought one, but they weren’t installing the autopilot yet.

-Curt

Curt,

I just flew the DA40-180 in Mpls a few days ago. I wish the cockpit was a wee bit bigger for my frame (6’ 4") but overall it was an unbelievably responsive and fun plane to fly. Aileron control, slow flight and cocpit ease are big pluses. It practically lands itself and the visibility is arguably unbeatable short of a bubble canopy on a glider. It was a hot humid day and almost at gross and averaged 140 kts at 75% 4500 msl. It does now have a HSI coupled with autopilot. Audiopanel, garmin 530, garmin 430, transponder are in the main stack on the panel with room for a/p off to the side.

No prob with cht’s with full power climb. this plane climbed unbelievably off the runway and it seemed that we were l000 agl barely after liftoff.

I’m checking my checkbook and trying to decide between the da40 vs. sr20 vs other. sr20 has better cockpit, better instrument layout and more comfy seats.

good luck,

bill (i live in duluth)

It does now have a […] garmin 530, garmin 430, […]

Seems to be another company having input from the desires of their customers (or maybe from this forum, too).

CD when will YOU awake?

Wilfried