Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

Happy Labor Day, Ladies and Gentlemen,

   What Mods are available for the Piper Aztec?   Though I don't know what difference they actually make to the Aztec.   I have only heard of three:
   1 - the Robinson STOL
   2 - VGs
   3 - I have read about the supposed 290 HP STC, but has anyone seen one or more than one?

   What about speed mods?   It would seem that the market would JUMP at them if they were robust enough to supplement the usual work-horse like use of the Aztec.

   Why am I asking?   Mostly curiousity - there is a very nice new engined, new avioniced (copyright on the word - 2009), Aztec on our field.   The paint looks like a "before" commercial from Mayco or Earl shibe.   but according to my A and P - it is pristine mechanically.   I can always dream about finding a nice one.

   What advice do you have for a potential AZTEC owner / dreamer?

   Thanks,

   Martin

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

I know this is the POS forum, but there is a pretty good website at DiamondAire.com. He owns a bunch of STCs for Apaches and Aztecs and has an owner forum on his website that is pretty useful. He can tell you as much as anyone can, unless you find an old Piper guy sitting around somewhere. It is a great airplane if you need a twin. If you just want one, try a Geronimo modified Apache, they are as easy to fly and considerably less expensive to own and feed than the Aztruck.
Good luck!
Mike
Geronimo 3285P

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

Robertson STOL- lowers stall speed from very slow to turtle slow- not necessary unless you have to operate from a 1200 foot grass strip with obstructions. In the hands of a good pilot, a stock Aztec is capable of 1800 foot strips (grass or asphalt) with no problems.

VG's- same as the STOL kit, but less expensive and has the same benefits. Remember, we're talking about a plane with a gross weight stall speed of only 68 mph, and at typical landing weight, the stall speed is closer to 59 MPH. VG's lower that about 5 MPH. Not a bad deal, but not really required since the Aztec has the best high-lift wing on any twin- it's the same as the legendary Super Cub.

290 HP- Will add some climb rate but no cruise speed, and it's impractical to add this mod since the engines are in limited supply (read: costly). They are very different from the stock Aztec engine. If you need the power, buy a turbo model.

Flap gap seals add 2-3 knots and increase the rate of climb.

You will want Metco wingtips for the same reason.

Hire the best Aztec specialist to do your pre-buy. Deferred maintenance can cost more than the purchase price of the plane! But a well-kept Aztec is one of the best all-around planes ever built.

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

Ditto to everything that Glenn said.

One of the best mods is the Metco tip tanks. While the Aztuck isn't very fast for a twin (unless you get the turbo and fly in the flight levels), you can still get point to point faster than other twins because you can skip a fuel stop.

No-wind, my Aztec (with tip tanks) can get from LA to Sioux City non-stop. Try that in a Barron.

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

Does anyone know what needs to be done to increase the gross weight of a B model Aztec to 5200 lbs.

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

Yes, you sell it and buy a later serial number that is already a 5200 pound machine.

There is no STC to increase the weight on the earlier models.

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

I am looking for a Stol kit preferably with the drooped wingtips for a Geronimo Piper Apache. Also looking for bigger engines to lift her off the water on floats. Thinking about the Lycoming O-235 or IO-235. Anyoe has any ideas or suggestions to lead me in the right direction? I've already found the float kit. Just need the rest. Thanks.

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

O-235? IO-235?  Are those typos ? :-)

I'm actually responding about the wingtips.  The droop tips cause the windward tip to dip downward in gust transients.  Not good if you're slipping, and if you plan to use the STOL kit, slips will be one of your tools. The droops will also slow your cruise a bit. Hoerner tips have all the advantages of hoerners, none of the disadvantages, and will increase your cruise a bit.
JimC

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Re: Aztec Modifications - Speed and Otherwise

....Hoerner tips have all the advantages of hoerners, none of the disadvantages, and will increase your cruise a bit.

Oops.  Meant to say, "Hoerner tips have all the advantages of DROOPS, none of the disadvantages, and will increase your cruise a bit.

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