G-ARMN C175 Design UpdateNovember 19, 2023
G-ARMN Panel UpdateDecember 9, 2023
In 1958, Piper introduced a 250hp version of the PA24, which used a Lycoming 0-540 engine. This gave the aircraft a top cruise speed of 160kn (180mph). Some of the aircraft manufactured were fitted with duel injection versions of the same engine. The early models had manually operated flaps but those built after 1962 had electrically actuated flaps as standard.
The Comanche is credited with a number of world records. In June 1959, Max Conrad flew a Comanche 250 on a record-breaking distance flight non-stop from Casablanca, Morocco to Los Angeles USA. A distance of 7668 miles. The seats and most of the interior were removed and the aircraft was heavily overloaded at take of, barely clearing the boundary fence. This record breaking aircraft now lives at a museum in the Liberal Kansas Airport.
Later in 1961, a PA-24-250 became the first ever single engine aircraft to fly across the Pacific. Piloted by Kenneth Walker, he departed from San Francisco, landing at Brisbane Australia to deliver the aeroplane to the Royal Newcastle Aero Club at Maitland, New South Wales.
Those who are familiar with Aerofab restorations at Thruxton Aerodrome, and our regular visitors will have been following our Piper PA24 Comanche re-build project.
For the last few months, our Comanche, N250DT, has been undergoing a full Aerofab Restoration. Following a full inspection by our highly experienced team of engineers, the upgrade process has introduced the latest avionics technology to this history making aircraft. As an approved Garmin Avionics sales and service centre, we have installed the very latest range of Garmin kit to ensure that this Comanche continues to provide record breaking service.
With this upgrade, we have included multiple levels of redundancy, avionics and displays are backed up or duplicated almost wherever possible. We've fitted a GX500 touch screen PFD (Primary Flight Display) which provides the operator with all of the information required to operate the aircraft, a GTN750Xi nav/com, which provides touch screen access to GPS, flight planning, communications and intercom, A GNC255 which provides additional dual frequency monitoring and an internal VOR/LOC converter and 40-channel glideslope receiver. We've installed a complete GFC500 digital autopilot, with associated servos, which wil command the aircraft in accordance with the flight plan, maintains the aircraft attitude within the flight envelope, and includes advanced recovery. A G500TXi has been fitted, which acts as an MFD (Multi Function Flight Display) and can show any of the aircraft instrumentation, including GPS, engine, aircraft attitude and more, all selectable via touch screen to the preference of the pilot, instructor or passenger. Finally the hugely versatile GI275 has been fitted, which can be configured in numerous ways. We're using it as a standby AI, ASI and Altimeter.
We have finally got to the stage where the avionics have been powered up for the first time. This is a significant milestone moment in the aircraft upgrade process. The next step is to begin rebuilding the interior and applying a bespoke trim to the dashboard.
For more updates about this aircraft and our other projects, or if you would like to talk about maintenance, upgrades or additions to your aeroplane, be sure to keep in touch, follow our news, or drop in for a cuppa. Podge is always ready to make tea!