Home » Aircrafts » Piper » Top Single Engine Airplanes for the Money!

I break down the top general aviation single airplanes and score them to fin out which one is the best bacng for the buck!

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  • Comanche 250s deliver lots of knots per dollar. Wouldn't mind one (or an Arrow) myself.

    I bought my plane (Beech 23) through word of mouth. Comfortable, cheap to buy and cheap to run, but old and slow.

  • When I took my flying lessons, in the late 70's to early 80's, I was traveling for a living, hence longer lesson times and dates. I only flew, Piper aircraft. Cherokee 140, 150, 180 plus the Dakota II. I miss those days.

  • A Mooney is great if you don't have any friends and family to take with you. If you like bringing people along I would highly recommend the Bonanza and Comanche 250.

  • A few points…you include two Bonanzas and then comment Cessna 210s are too expensive?…while we are here..perhaps comparing 10 aircraft that have similar missions and capabilities…a Cherokee vs a Bellanca is silly…also stop using internet range figures…I've owned 3 172 / Skyhawks..a 182RG..a 210 ..a cherokee six 300 and a cessna T310R ..none came with standard tanks and during my primary training at the cessna KTOA all of the 172s ( 79..6 81/82s and a new 84 ) came from Wichita with the long range tanks..and these aircraft at from your ridealongs..hell most of the avionics upgrades on them are more than the aircraft purchase price…this list is apples and oranges

  • Yes, I flightplan my Tiger for 130 kts.   With 51 gallons usable @ 10 gl/hour, have decent range.  And it flies like a little fighter.

  • good evaluation mate, also just got on to your sailing channel, really enjoying the content there to

  • Was looking to buy a Mooney. After a lot of research I noticed that EVERY Mooney I looked at had a prop strike at some point in its history (sometimes listed as "sudden engine stoppage") requiring an engine teardown and inspection.

  • I flew a Cherokee a couple of weeks ago and really couldn't get along with it. The cabin width was probably the main issue but 172s are the same size on paper and not as bad for me, I guess it's the way the controls are laid out in relation to the cabin wall. Something weird about the sensitivity and response of the controls really caught me out as well. To be fair it was a pretty rough example and I could probably get used to it with time but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • While you're in Dallas, wouldn't it be great to be able to review one of the regularly flown Beechcraft Starships (yes, plural) at AQRD in Addison? THAT would be a great review for you to do!

  • Great idea for a video! Another factor that's worth considering is the useful load. A plane might be inexpensive, quick, and economical, but if it can't carry what you need to carry, it just doesn't matter. That's one thing that's great about the 182 — it's such a hauler.

  • Good Video Bobby… I think you have them pretty much wired. As a Grumman guy, there are some models that get mixed up. The Tiger is the fastest and has good economical range, and can be a comfortable X-Country Bird. You also have the Cheetah and the Traveler that are essentially the same…slower, less range and still fun to fly….and let us not forget the TR2…two-place…4 hr. range and 110 kts @ 6 gph. Also this gem can be fitted with a 150 HP upgrade, tip tanks… avionics and be an all around light sport winner.

  • These lists are always so subjective, but retracts to fixed?
    Best bang for the buck? Go back a bit further. Fun factor goes a long way, too.

  • The video shows a 177RG but seems to be confusing the 177 Fixed Gear performance numbers with the 177 Retractable Gear performance numbers.

    The 177 RG cruise speed is better than 145KTAS at 8000 feet (70% power) burning 10gph.
    And its range with 60 gallons on board is over 800nm when flying at that power setting/altitude.

    The video indicates 130KTAS and a range of less than 500nmi…. which is simply wrong for the RG.

    However, if you reduce power to 50% at 8000 feet you do get down to 130 KTAS at 8gph but have a range of over 900nmi.

    Those are book numbers for the 177RG (no speed mods or turbo option)… which you can see for yourself if you'd like at this url (pdf):
    https://tinyurl.com/177RG-Performance.

  • Bobby, your range figure for the V-Tail Bonanza doesn’t reflect the typical Bonanza. The vast majority of mid-60’s and newer models have 74 gallons of useable main fuel, with a range of over 900 nm at 165 knots cruise. Quite a few will also have auxiliary tip tanks, which raises useable fuel to 104 gallons and the range to over 1300 nm. Your figure may be based on the “standard” main fuel tanks, which are very rare.

  • No payload consideration….one of the most important considerations. No point going anywhere if you can't carry anything

  • How come your pictures from the Bellanca Super Viking is all BLURRY, one feature you don't mention is how many seats, i want to know which can seat 4 or 5 or 6 or 7.

  • My pick would be a '50s Bonanza. They're fairly cheap and seem to offer a lot for the price. Of course, not as fast or decked out as a newer model, but the ramp appeal is unbeatable.

  • Where did you get your pricing? I had a friend looking at Cessna 182’s. They are more than twice what you are quoting.

  • Age is kind of worthless. It’s all about how an aircraft is maintained and taken care of. There are plenty of aircraft that are from the 60s that I’d fly rather than the POS that wasn’t maintained from the 90s

  • A few nits to pick. V-tails are for wealthy gamblers that can afford big surprises. No budget buyers please. Never buy a retract Cessna. Bellanca Viking is only for folks with a local support network. If your mechanic is not familiar, stay away. If he is, it’s a deal. Tigers have wing lamination issues and many were reportedly repaired with unapproved methods. You want super clean logs. Mooneys are awesome if you can do basic math. If not, buy a Beech or Cessna. Simply filling the tanks after each flight is not a Mooney thing. You do a few minutes of math, fuel the correct amount, and with fewer stops save even more time and fuel than you would have over the other planes.

  • OK, the group is oddly constructed. 4-cyl fixed gear might make a better evaluation. No piper arrow? How about 6-cyl retrac?

  • Does anybody know why planes this side of 1980 are so much more expensive than the ones from the 70's? I know the price always goes up when they are newer but it seems like there is no continuity throughout those years and the price just spikes dramatically.

  • Good idea and i like that you distill the important facets of comparison. As some said, there are other aspects to consider but you have to draw the box. Execution of the video is shaky as your comparisons aren’t consistent. Is 42 years young or old? Well it depends from plane to plane, it seems. I know it’s a quick overview, but there are some generalities that need help. Is the Cardinal an A or RG? Is the M20 a B or a K? Big differences that are salient to your comparisons. Anyway, fun to watch.

  • For my tastes, the Cardinal is the perfect single engine piston plane. Most of that appeal (to me) comes from the comfort of the cabin and sleek looks.

  • Useful load was one of my biggest reasons for buying a Comanche 250. If I'm correct, I believe it's higher than any of the other 9 aircraft in the comparison. It's a true 4 seater plus luggage.

  • i looking video first has all wrong, hahahah, were you looking how much this plane cost, this have ower price lot. hahaha, old little cherokee no newer cost 45K 4000-20K have normal and 20K max what old cherokee any pay. idiot only pay ower 20K
    maybe if all has covered gold and gauges glass have diamond and motor has titanium and gold, then cherokee can cost more than 20K ALL planes has ower price lot, were hell you buy you plane if all cost 2x more than all normal planes. cessna all model 1 prop 2-4 seat, cost 4000-18 000$ and idiot only pay more old cessna, new is different but used, have used 1hour or 10 000 hour cost alltime less than 50-60% under new plane price, if cost new 400 000$ and have fly 1 hour cost only maximum 200 000$
    used plane,all used rule have if have used max must cost only 50% new price, if you buy new car and NOT drive ,only make papers and when you has signature papers have you own car, price drop sametime 20-50% thats is true and law all stuff. normal car price drop sametime and if not have drive any meter, price drop 20% minimum ewerytime than you signature car to own car. thats is why many peoples buy only 1-2 year old car, no drop price, cheapen. but good condition than new, and no need pay warranty service bill. same have plane. if you buy 1 million plane and no fly any hour, you plane cost only 50% new, thats is normal rule all used stuff. have you use 1 hour or 1000000 hour newermind no mean anythink only price drop sametime 50% you buy new plane. idiot pay more used plane, no buyer proplem if you has waste lot money new plane. or same have, if you have 4000$ ols cessna and you update and buy lot new glass cocpit and new motor and bend 100 000$ old plane, and then try sell this 104000$ 100K you upgrades and 4K you plane price, you NOT newer can sell plane this price, anybody no pay. because, have you problem if you has waste lot money many new parts, not buyer problem and buyer no pay you fails, buyer pay only list price this plane what have this 4000$ not more. of course if buyer have kind and want help poor seller him can give little extra and pay old plane 4500 or 5000$ but no need pay. list price have 4000$ and if you has waste 100 000$ to ols plane have only you fail and problem ,no buyer need pay you fails.

  • I would tell you the best single engine piston is the Piper Malibu (not just because I own one). Yes the acquisition cost is high (even for an older model), but there is no other piston currently in production that can do what it can do. With the continental 550C it has a range of well over 1600 nm, pressurization, service ceiling of 25K (above most of the weather, most of the time), FIKI, a/c, 6 seats (cabin class), and plenty of baggage space. It only burns 15 gph LOP which means you can trade a lot of fuel for payload if needed. With full fuel (1600 nm no-wind range) I have over 700 lbs of useful load. It’s cruise speed is 213 knots. Hard to beat unless you’ve got a turboprop.

  • I’m a fan from Brazil! Really enjoy your videos, looking forward for a baron or duke video. Maybe even a Royal duke…

  • 182 all daylong. Just load em up and go! My favorite for sure. Speed is nice, but hate sacrificing fuel for cargo.

  • @flyingdoodles How about tell us how tall you are and how tall the pilots are that are with you. I'm six foot five I'd like to get an idea what plane I might fit in. I see a lot of people asking about that but no one seems to have addressed the topic.

  • Hey Bobby I love these videos! I've binged tons of them lately. Could you share what your camera setup is? I'm really interested in your mounts you use for (presumably) the tail tie down, interior suction mounts, and the camera that has speed and altitude data!

  • You must be kidding. Only 1300 made. Forgot one important factor, USEFUL LOAD. Comparing complex vs non-complex makes no sense. You analysis doesn't float. Stick with half naked babes on boats.

  • I agree with this list. I don't agree with much either. I own Mooney M20a, Bellanca 260b, Bonanza and wish I had a Comanche 250. Excellent comparison process here.

  • https://www.facebook.com/theflyingbulls/videos/182568453004970/?_tn__=kCH-R&eid=ARDGFy2LptLx3dRCk4GkYUfJ5LMlfLw76luK5yoiAKK7dNmqd6PqdFIiGSkYIGCYHcJiwSQRS_oJNqKC&hc_ref=ARQ2Yo0J7VwePBLqW0hmgsGmrN72dK-bG5HyapqECZ5F3RYd4g6aPLDtQmYXWcqNbM&fref=nf&__xts__[0]=68.ARDi94i5aM6pJ6vvqqcHJ4-9UBUehNymoGIhSKvGKHowkvOjG6LJRsPUXd7rCwl0xdPyVtYoMRPoJxfLAsF2T5pnr-pKgQlIlGNlNsVadITidfKIGVv9LIv4OSog9sJ5NVbo4JpkK4Hxj0MuTsklhDEMnWkxYhcwksjtkElIasHKUpjmQkZ8_e78i7dahk-l3H2rOmcBDOZ0z44livAIP1mr0PRuECf-Jtb4UlYePdkBzhK3R730QshZN3_L-B9WNhqkyL6lIQrMABb5631YnMzrfvK6tOTrarGXYWT94619xHJitQrxBHF12cf1JVYhXSRcA_R8UD_46JuOHl5OkEmPzf035XDMiU6-0jwbYggg5iMba5sww8ZhfY20ifoU19w

  • Spot on list. I'm on my 2nd Mooney, an M20k 231 with the 252 engine conversion; wouldn't own anything else in this category. At 67% power, TAS is 168 kts, burning 11 gph, and with 4 modestly sized grown ups, 3 hours range is no problem (we pack light). With 2 on board, 1,000 nm range. Great list though – love the Cheetah, Cardinal, Comanche, and Debonair for the money too (they just can't match the Mooney's efficiency and durability). Someone will buy Mooney and keep making the parts – there are too many out there for that not to happen.

  • Great video! I am looking to buy my own plane now. Just got my complex endorsement in a Mooney M20C and I loved that plane, it is definitely the sports car of the skies:)

  • I really appreciate these videos and the way you put them together. I’m hoping to purchase my first airplane within the next year and your videos have really helped me narrow down my search. With that said, would you feature a 1970’s Rockwell Commander 112 or 114? Along with the Mooney, the commander is high on my list with a bit more comfort. Thanks!

  • A Mooney M20 pilot collided mid-air on the 45 downwind pattern to Palomar Airport (CRQ) with my CFI, Andreas Pelzer and his Commercial student in a Beechcraft Dutchess in late 2002. I regretfully ceased my Private Pilot training after delivering eulogies at 2 funerals. For the first time since, I recently went up in a beautiful Tiger, overcame my fear and am finishing out my ticket soon. I still miss Andreas terribly, but know he’s smiling down on me again and I’m so grateful to him for imparting his love of flying to me!

  • I found a 1978 Cessna 152 for sale with flight worthiness certificate for £18.000. It still had the original, outdated, clockwork guages and radio, but it flew. It only lasted a few days on the market. I missed a good chance.

  • Thanks for the Video clip! Apologies for chiming in, I am interested in your initial thoughts. Have you tried – Rozardner Flying Bird Reality (search on google)? It is a great exclusive guide for how to get pilot license without the hard work. Ive heard some decent things about it and my cooworker at last got excellent results with it.

  • I really enjoyed the review but want to add my 2 cents.

    I have a Grumman Tiger, AA5B, All Grumman’s are 1969 and newer. The two seat trainer has a range of about 350 miles but my Tiger has a range of 550 miles. I cruise at 120kts but can go 135kts-140kts. Tigers have a useful load of about 900#. They are very simple, very nimble, and cheap to own.

  • Once, Again, why the need for an Intrusive frenetic repetitive pseudo-music soundtrack? Distraction? Annoyance? Music, and I use that word loosely in this context, is Information processed by one's brain simultaneously with the spoken words in Audio portion of this video. Don't take my word for it when I use the Word "Distraction;" check out any number of studies on background chaos affecting our capability to process information aurally. Really.

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