Do you have a turboprop in your fleet? What advantages does it have over jets of comparable size?
Our organization uses 4 Beech King Airs for mapping survey – a pair of 200T models powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-41 engines, and 2 B200Ts with PT6A-42s. In addition to these reliable engines, they are fitted with 2 cameras and tip tanks. These TPs are capable of flying from 1000 ft AGL at 140 kts up to FL310. Advantages are speed range of 140–260 kts and low maintenance costs. They also have endurance for long survey flights and overseas ferry flights, and are great for single-pilot operations.
Jean Luc Pilotto ATP.
Airbus A320, Falcon 200, King Air 200T/B200T
IGN CNRS SAFIRE ENAC
Béthisy Saint-Martin, France
Having operated King Airs and reciprocals in the past, I can say turboprop aircraft are more flexible and versatile than jets because they’re able to operate out of shorter and limited airport runways. The purchase price of a turboprop is less, as is operational cost. We also favor multi-engine over single due to added safety over water or rugged terrain at night.
ATP. King Air 100 & Cessna 414
AquaStar Pool Products
We have a King Air 200 in our operation. On domestic flights and short runway operations, it is a great asset to our fleet of several aircraft. When our jets are unavailable, it can also be used on longer flights at a lower cost.
ATP. Falcon 900 & King Air 200
Sundt Air Management
Lower acquisition, maintenance, and operating costs are some of the advantages of having a turboprop. You also can use shorter runways, and turboprops have better control on ice- or snow-contaminated runways. They generally have more range, and you can fly at lower altitudes, if required, to avoid weather or for short flights. They often have more interior space and larger windows. However, we must also consider lower initial and recurrent training costs. In summary, there is greater operational flexibility with lower costs and little sacrifice in estimated time enroute for most flights.
Pvt-Inst. Piper Cheyenne IIXL
Owner & President
J Jeffrey Brausch & Co
I fly a Swearingen Merlin III, and it has great fuel economy while flying up to 10 occupants. Inspections and maintenance are much cheaper than a jet. Most of our flights are shorter than 600 nm, so, with a TAS of 285–300 kts, our TP takes only about 30 minutes longer to get there than a jet.
ATP/CFII. Swearingen SA227
Bossier City LA
For a while, we had a single-pilot-operated King Air 200. It was great because it didn’t require annual recurrent training. Zipping around in it was nice.
ATP/CFI. Citation V
Paradise Valley AZ
I should start by saying that we have had both jets and turboprops in our company, and each is preferred for different missions. That said, our mainstay is our MU-2 Marquise. It performs its missions flawlessly. Statistically, it is now the safest turboprop currently flying. In comparison to our recent jet, it has better carrying capabilities, flexibility in terms of runway type, and lower operating costs. Turboprops are better suited for 85% of our current mission structure. Also, we save money on maintenance costs over the jet every year. Jets are wonderful depending on the mission. However, our turboprop is the most versatile backbone of our transport needs.
ATP/CFI. Challenger 350, Beechjet 400, & Mitsubishi MU2
Mission Air Services
Our Cessna 441 Conquest II will perform 300 kts at FL330 in low temperatures, burning 57 gallons per hour. Depending on stage length, it is more efficient than piston twins, such as Cessna 421. Our Conquest is nearly as fast as the Citation, but far less thirsty.
ATP. Citation V & Conquest II & I
At the moment, we don’t have turboprops in our fleet. However, from experience, they are more efficient for shorter trips. Turboprops are ideal to operate when there are shorter runways.
ATP. Falcon 50
MMB Aircraft Leasing
My employer has King Airs in its air medical division. The cost of operation is low, and they are very reliable. Their ability to land on short runways is one major advantage they have over jets of comparable size.
ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139
No turboprops in our current fleet. However, from experience, I know that, if your average flight is less than 500 miles, there isn’t a significant difference in flight time. Therefore, a turboprop would be the better choice.
ATP/A&P. Falcon 50
Operating several turboprops in various parts of the world, in places where very few turboprops and no jets can do the job, our only viable option is a turboprop.
ATP/Helo/CFI. Fairchild Swearingen SA227 & Airbus UH-72A Lakota
Captain & Safety Officer
Having a beautiful 1981 Swearingen Merlin IIIC equipped with composite 5-bladed MT propellers makes it smooth and quiet inside. It burns 550 lb/hr while giving us 287 kts. It’s perfect for short hops or for supplementing our Citation Excel when we have more than 8 or 9 passengers. It also burns less fuel than our jet. On our 800–1000-mile trips, we give ourselves an hour’s head start and land together with the Excel.
ATP. Citation Sovereign/Excel & Fairchild Swearingen SA227
Flight Dept Mgr & DOM
Portola Valley CA
Enjoying lower operating costs is something that comes with owning a Pilatus PC-12NG. Another great advantage is that we can land closer to our destination than with jets of comparable size.
Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12NG
Flight Dept Mgr
Béccar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Who’s your inflight connectivity and entertainment provider? What do your passengers say about it?
Gogo is who we use for airborne Wi-Fi connectivity. Our plan is pay-as-you-go, so we don’t have a bill unless the router is turned on, but our passengers never use the service because they think it is too expensive.
ATP/CFI. Falcon 2000EX EASy II
Neurosurgery & Endovascular Association
West Bend WI
Onboard, Gogo Wi-Fi works well with 3 or 4 devices. However, we experience some difficulty when iPads are also in use in the cockpit. We could probably use more bandwidth.
ATP/CFII. Learjet 60
Jacksonville Beach FL
For our domestic operations, Gogo Direct has worked just fine for us. Overland connectivity has been perfect.
ATP. Pilatus PC-24/PC-12 & Eclipse 500
Sirius XM is our entertainment provider, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Pilots and passengers alike seem to enjoy this service.
Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air B200
No complaints whatsoever with our Gogo Avance L5. With this platform, we have unlimited data, but no visual or voice over IP. We’re fully satisfied with this service.
ATP. Challenger 300
We use Gogo Biz for internet connection, and Satcom for phone service. Lately, the Internet has slowed down, but we’re not sure why that is. However, our representative has given us an update which hopefully will improve connectivity. Other than speed, we haven’t had any other comments from the passengers.
ATP/CFII. Hawker 800XP
Clay Lacy Aviation
It’s nice to make a call from anywhere. Satcom Direct helps us provide inflight phone service and we are quite pleased with them.
ATP/CFII. Sabreliner 1
Grand Rapids MI
Use of inflight connectivity is essential. That is why our Citation CJ3+ is equipped with Gogo’s ATG 2000 system. Passengers and crew can stay connected for most desired tasks such as email and some internet surfing. The on/off switch, combined with hourly billing, makes this service very affordable. Also, the Gogo Text & Talk app works quite well, but so do Wi-Fi-based calls and texts to certain phones. We’re well satisfied with this service.
ATP. Citation CJ3+
To ensure reliable connectivity for movies, before the flight and while on the ground, we use iTunes to download movies. We also have Gogo Avance, but have received consistent complaints over connectivity in congested areas such as the northeast region of the US. The owner has questioned whether the Gogo upgrade was even worth it.
ATP. Legacy 600
Dir of Aviation