Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beechcraft brings back the 55 Baron, introducing the G55

It must be true because I just picked mine up from the factory in Eloy Arizona.  My friend Jerry needed to exercise his 421 before his annual, and what better way than to fly me down there to pickup  my new plane.  Here is Jerry prepping the pickup plane.

I hopped in the right seat and even got to fly for her for a bit when Jerry climbed back to use the head, although in truth I suspect he just wanted to show off the fact that he COULD do that... vs me and my red pee bottle, but hey, at least I've got boys.

A little more than 3 hours later we arrive at the factory and see my new plane just pulled out and ready to great me.

Here I am with one of the factory guys... they call him "The Guru" but I found out his name is Don Copeland.  Apparently he doesn't like to be photographed so I was lucky to get this shot.

Jerry must have felt bad seeing me write such a big check, he picked up the whole 421 fuel bill, thanks Jerry, you're a scholar and a gentleman!  The 421 really sucks up the dino juice.

No sky diving in Eloy today, it was too windy... the winds were howling but we had a nice lunch watching all the would be divers shoot hoops and loaf around waiting for the winds to die down so they could jump.  Then we went back and hopped in our planes.

I launched first in front of Jerry flying close behind.  The gods were smiling on me and were giving Jerry a stiffer headwind up high, meaning I was actually pulling away from him.  How badass would it be if my new G55 could outpace a 421 over 600 NM?  I normally pull back to 22-23 gph but I pushed the red knobs forward for 25 gph and was seeing between 190 and 200 kts true.  While he was fighting headwinds up high the winds swung around for me at 10.5 and I was getting a little lift from updrafts down low which enabled me to point the nose down and gain speed.  At one point I was 20 NM ahead.  Woot..

After 3 hours flying I was feeling chuffed I had beaten him back to CCR, and I had literally just gotten cleared #1 for landing when I hear Jerry come on the radio too... I got the gear and flaps down when tower tells me that I'm doing 130 kts other traffic is coming up behind me at 210 kts.  WTF ?  Whatever I'm cleared #1, yay victory!  Then the wiley veteran requests straight in for a different runway and gets it, greases it down just before me.  Arrrghhhh...  Oh well.  Thanks for the ride Jerry I appreciate it! 

More importantly, the plane is is home and in the hangar with the Citabria moved to it's new spot.  Here she is!