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A36 question - service ceiling

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First, I have to say the Dream Fleet A36 is awesome for all the reasons posted elsewhere in this forum! I also have to explain that I am not asking this question on the Flight1 forum because for some reason I can never get my new password emailed to me (I think my email system may bounce it back). My question, though, is regarding the service ceiling. I live and fly in Colorado and I really looked forward to this sporty machine as a way to get around the high peaks. I find I have difficulty getting it much above 13000 feet and at cruise at that level I get maybe 120kts IAS, leaning very aggressively using EGT as a monitor, and with no more than 30% fuel and flying on a cool winter morning. The ceiling on the real A36 is somewhere around 18000ft and I would expect about 140-160kts IAS. Is this model a bit underpowered at high altitudes? I realize it's pretty hard to get the numbers spot on with the limitations in FS, but just curious.David

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David,I'm sorry I can't answer your question directly but I have a feeling you should be fine with the A36 (Cessna + Piper driver here).I did however find the link to the DF website which has the manual for download and also links to Beechcraft. Here are the links:http://www.raytheonaircraft.com/beechcraft...nanza_A36.shtmlhttp://www.dreamfleet2000.com/Previews/A36..._downloads.htmlHope this helps, and if my wife goes on her loooong promised business trip, I'll grab this beauty as well ;-)Cheers,Petehttp://members.aol.com/pzsoulman/myhomepage/logo.gifAMD64-3400,1GB/2700DDRAM,WinXP(SP2),DirectX9.0c,Geforce6800(128MB)(Det.66.81), CH Yoke/Pedals

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<>You are correct (I think) that the "service ceiling" is about 18k but that is the altitude that a mere 100fpm climb rate can be demonstrated...but not for long! You won't find many Bonanza drivers anywhere near the flight levels. (Unless there is a turbo model...I don't know if there is or isn't.)But no way can this non-turbocharged aircraft produce 140-16o kts INDICATED. The DF manual is very complete and has actual performance charts. At 16k agl (the "realistic ceiling") a brand new engine and perfectly rigged aircraft should produce 120kts IAS and 150kts True on a standard day at 25 square which is REALLY pushing things, so what you were getting is pretty much right on. IAS drops well below 120kts with RPM settings around 22-2300.You said you leaned "aggressively" and maybe too much so. Running TOO lean of peak will reduce power not add to it. Check the manual for performance at various MP/RPM settings.Using 30% fuel should help the climb rate a fair amount but will not do a whole lot for the ceiling or IAS.As far as support, I don't think it is available at Flight1 which is a publisher/marketing organization but rather at the DreamFleet GA forum over at Flightsim.comRegards,Jim

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As Jim says, aggressive leaning is for cruise, not climb. General rule of thumb is to tune for peak FUEL FLOW in the climb, leaning as the altitude increases to suit.The A36 exhibits an interesting behaviour - as in I've never really seen it in many aircraft in FS - in that it does work better when its kept off the limits of the drag curve. Get behind the drag curve and no matter how much power you apply, the bird will not respond. It's fantastic, but it might need you to change your method of climbing, using a `step climb` technique similar to the jet jockeys to keep IAS at the best value for the climb.The Bonannza manual tells you that for best performnce to keep the engine at 60 degrees rich of peak. Use the EDM700 to achieve that and you should be set.Allcott

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Flying the real A36 out west I never got close to service ceiling. In most cases its pretty easy to flight plan routes with maximum MEA's around 12000'. This also saves you from needing oxygen. You need turbo charging for the kind of flying you are suggesting. I used to live in Telluride and even the Cessna 150's there have turbo! Trying to dodge 13 & 14K peaks in a normally aspirated single is a recipe for becoming a statistic in the real world.

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Remember also to take density altitude into account.I have had both my b33 and my baron out west-at even 12,000 ft. which is about the highest I go the climb rate was pretty poor on both-100-150 fpm. Also-due to oxygen restrictions unless your plane has it you won't find many drivers going above because of that restriction and the poor performance, except for brief mtn. peak crossings. Most of the time I fly ifr till I get to your area and cross the rockies-then go vfr as the mea's are too high. I was able to cross going the victor airways thru wyoming over ogden to maintain just barely the mea's-nevada also barely-that is till I got almost to my destination in California-then I had to cancel and go vfr. Go the southern route and you can almost stay ifr, the northern route forget it and ifr isn't possible. When I flew the northern route I flew with vfr flight following and jumped up briefly (and sluggishly)less than the thirty minute restriction to cross over the tetons.Here is a shot in the baron at 12000 ft. near the tetons. Normally (around 6000-8000 ft.-my prefered altitude) I indicate 166 knts. and a true airspeed of about 180 knts. At this altitude I was only getting 19" manifold with throttles full in, and you can see how low it is indicating. Still -true airspeed was around 180 knts.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/109471.jpg

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The Plane & Pilot Web Site listed these performance specifications for the A36:Cruise Speed:75% Power 168 Knots65% Power 163 KnotsMax Range: (with reserve)75% Power 687nm65% Power 748nm (4.5 hours with one hour reserve)Service Ceiling16,600 ftLast night I also attempted a flight over 12,000 ft, (over the Rockies) and had problems with keeping the aicraft at 120-125 knots.I also flew from KPHL to KDTW (heavey weather in the area and I wanted a chance to work with the weather radar) and at 4,200 ft I easy maintained a 145-155 knot air speed.

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Geofa pegged this one right guys. If you don't understand 'Density Altitude' I'd suggest reading up on it. FS2k4 simulates this well and it must be taken into account when flying at high altitudes in aircraft like the A36...

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>Flying the real A36 out west I never got close to service>ceiling. In most cases its pretty easy to flight plan routes>with maximum MEA's around 12000'. This also saves you from>needing oxygen. You need turbo charging for the kind of flying>you are suggesting. I used to live in Telluride and even the>Cessna 150's there have turbo! Trying to dodge 13 & 14K peaks>in a normally aspirated single is a recipe for becoming a>statistic in the real world.>Would you believe, that a Van's RV6A two seater, with a 180HP Lycoming (normally aspirated) has a ceiling of 25,700' solo and 20,800' at gross weight. Of course many of these airplanes used for altitudes above 12,000' will carry an oxygen system behind the seat, and 18000' and above would require full IFR.My own RV6A with 180HP & C/S prop, has attained an altitude of 4620' msl. That's the altitude of my garage... :D L.Adamson

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Thanks guys!Some great food for thought and compelling evidence from your own real world experiences. Guess I'll need the Pilatus to really fly comfortably around the peaks in a single. Isn't there a turbo version of the Bonanza though?David

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No doubt there are non-turbo charged aircraft with impressive performance at altitude. That is not the norm for production GA aircraft though.

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>>I was able to cross going the victor airways thru wyoming over ogden <

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<>The data you cited was unboubtedly for sea level on a standard day. At 12k, your peformance was about right and of course, your true airspeed was quite a bit higher.Regards,Jim

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On my trip this summer out there (my fourth and first in the Baron) I spent the night in Ogden. Went to Omaha, Pueblo, and then Ogden on the first leg. This pict should look familiar....after crossing the pass they vectored us over the Salt lake and then in on the ils 03-it was breathtaking as the sun was just going down and the clouds reflecting in the lake were astounding! Just after passing the faf the tower called and said they were closing for the night and I was on my own-first tiime that has happened to me on an approach! :-)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/109579.jpghttp://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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