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PTI139

D18S Cruise altitude

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Posted (edited)

Good evening gentlemen,

a question I found no unique answer for: How high I can fly with the Beech D18S?

Wiki and other sources say „Service ceiling“ 21000 feet or similar. 
 

But: Is the old Lady pressurized so that I can fly that high?

Thanks.

Kind regards

MIke

Edited by PTI139
No salute under the text

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52 minutes ago, PTI139 said:

Is the old Lady pressurized so that I can fly that high?

Pressurization has not much to do with cruising altitude. You need oxygen supply above 10000ft.

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The Beech 18 is unpressurised, but as FDEdev notes, that's what oxygen masks and/or canulas are for and these would be required in anything going over 12,500 feet. It's not a bad idea to go on oxygen above 8,000 feet because some people can be affected from there on upwards, but the regulations in most countries specify you must do so above 12,500 feet.

The Beech 18 has a service ceiling of  26,000 ft, thus it can make it above that altitude but only very slowly, so I'd guess it would top out at 28,000 or so and not be very safely flyable up at that height.

Of course in a flight sim you can just pretend you have an oxygen system fitted and it doesn't matter. However, in real life, such systems are fairly common because they are not hugely costly; i.e. it is around 500 quid upwards for an oxygen bottle (more capacity and capability and the price goes up), then maybe 200 quid for a regulator (this attaches to the oxygen bottle and has a split feed for either two or four people so you can attach air hoses for people), then you need a canula (pair of pipes which go up your nose a bit like what you see in hospitals, allowing you to eat, drink and talk into a mike etc) for each passenger. Or a mask. These are about 50 quid each. Strictly speaking, you don't actually need a flow indicator on the pipe, but for safety precautions, having one will allow you to visually check oxygen is flowing (a bit like the blinker indicators old warplanes used to have). These cost about 20 quid. So all told, a two place oxygen system for an aeroplane is well under a grand, however, quite a lot of these systems are only good up to about 18,000 feet, being limited by the certification of the oxygen bottle.

Worth noting too that if you're feeling a bit worse for wear from having a few beers, going out to the hangar and having a quick whiff of oxygen from one of the planes is a well known remedy for this!

There are a few flight sim aeroplanes which simulate using canulas, one that I know of is the excellent Lionheart Bellanca Viking, i.e. if you turn the oxygen system on, the figures in the cabin are then depicted wearing nose canulas.

 

  • Upvote 1

Alan Bradbury

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Beech D18S cruise performance table from a pilot's manual:

........................... MP ... RPM ... ALT ..... Fuel flow ............. Max cyl head temp

Max continuous.. 33"... 2200 ... 4500' ... 39 GPH/engine ... 260C (500F)

Fast cruise ........ 28" .. 2000 ... 8300' ... 25 GPH/engine ... 232C (450F)

Economy ........... 28" .. 1800 ... 7200' ... 22 GPH/engine ... 232C (450F)

Long range ....... 28" .. 1700 ... 8700' ... 21 GPH/engine ... 232 C (450F)

The Beech 18/C45 was not pressurized, so high altitude flying required oxygen masks.

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20 hours ago, FDEdev said:

Pressurization has not much to do with cruising altitude. You need oxygen supply above 10000ft.

In the US, you can legally fly without supplemental oxygen up to 12,500 cabin altitude, and for up to 30 minutes between 12,500 and 14000 ft cabin altitude.  Supplemental O2 is recommended at cabin altitudes above 8000 ft, and 5000 ft at night. 

Passengers require supplemental O2 above 15000 ft cabin pressure.  Because of this requirement, I doubt the plane would be flown much above this altitude...having pax sucking rubber isn't very...stylish.  😉

 


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Looking at the D18 performance tables I don't know why anyone would cruise higher than 10000ft. You don't get any faster above that altitude and fuel flow increases as well at cruise power settings.

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Thanks very much for the helpful and profound replies!
 

Cheers Mike

 

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