Lance vs. Turbo Lance advice
I’ve been searching for a six seat airplane to fly my family around in. I’ve settled on the Lance as the best compromise for our typical mission (price, payload, cabin size, speed, range, etc). I’ve been looking for a normally aspirated Lance, but recently came across a Turbo Lance that’s close by and seems to meet my requirements for condition, equipment, and engine time.
I’m a little apprehensive about buying a turbo. I don’t think I want the extra initial purchase price, higher overhaul cost, mechanical complexity, and higher fuel burn, for a small boost in cruise speed (Although going faster is always cooler, right?!?). I don’t think we’d like putting a tube up our noses in order to fly the Turbo up where it’s advantages shine,
So here are my questions:
Talking to the current pilot about how he operates the plane generated a question about turbo vs. NA IO-540’s. He says he uses 31” MP for take-off (I don’t have a POH to verify if this is the correct MP for take-off). Both engines are rated for 300 hp, but wouldn’t the turbo generate more than 300 hp at 31” mp if the NA 540 generates 300 hp at atmospheric pressure (approx 28”)?
This plane has the Turbo Plus Intercooler with the cowl that has the lovers in the top of the cowl. Does this really fix the overheating issues I’ve heard about?
The throttle was hard to push up, but the pilot says it gets easier when warmed by the engine. Is this a sign it needs to be replaced? I’ve heard it’s expensive, but what is the approximate cost?
What about Turbo vs non-Turbo IO-540’s experience in making it to TBO or beyond.
Also, if anyone has advice whether the Turbo is still worth buying if I don’t plan on going above 12,
500’. Or if they have experience with their family not liking, or not minding supplemental oxygen.
My gut feeling is to keep looking for a non-turbo Lance that meets my requirements, but I’m getting tired of looking at all the ads daily, and being disappointed. I realize there’s a big advantage in buying a plane close to home. I also know the guy who currently flys the plane for the owners, and the mechanic who maintains it, they’re both good trustworthy people.
Thanks for the help,