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  #1  
Old 02-28-2005, 12:22 PM
ipasgas1 ipasgas1 is offline
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Default defiant vs. 337

I recently totalled my MCR-01 Lafayette Sportster after I lost my engine at 2500ft and made an emergency landing on Reading Road in Cincinnati. Luckily, my daughter and I are both fine. I still wish to fly but am unsure about the single engine idea and my wife says she will never get into a single again. I have been looking at 337's as you don't have to worry about the Vmc and that flipping over thing would not help the wife's confidence. I see a couple of defiants for sale. How do they compare with the 337? I assume the same multi training with CLT endorsement would be needed. Any idea on maintainence, fuel burn, value, dependability, etc? Thanks for any info, Dan
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2005, 02:56 PM
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I am no expert on the two, but given the choice, i would go for the defiant, for a coupla reasons

rear engine cooling is not good on the 337, usually causing early tbo's

defiant is composite, i like non aluminum planes

performance is probably better on the defiant on 2 0320's versus 2 o360s

BTW the defiant has the coolest rudder that i have ever seen
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2005, 04:07 PM
argoldman argoldman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipasgas1
I recently totalled my MCR-01 Lafayette Sportster after I lost my engine at 2500ft and made an emergency landing on Reading Road in Cincinnati. Luckily, my daughter and I are both fine. I still wish to fly but am unsure about the single engine idea and my wife says she will never get into a single again. I have been looking at 337's as you don't have to worry about the Vmc and that flipping over thing would not help the wife's confidence. I see a couple of defiants for sale. How do they compare with the 337? I assume the same multi training with CLT endorsement would be needed. Any idea on maintainence, fuel burn, value, dependability, etc? Thanks for any info, Dan

Greetings brother,

I too lost an airplane at the same altitude under similar circumstances. I understand your want of a twin. Having had two of them in the past ( a seneca and turbo twin comanche) My thoughts of returning to them lasted for quite a while. I however decided to build the aerocanard. There is much controversy as to the real safety benefits of a twin. If however I was to do long distance over water flying, there is no question.

As to the aircraft that you mentioned. I cannot speak for the Defiant, however I have flown the pushme-pull you Cessna and have a little knowledge about it.

The 337 (originally the 336 non retractable gear) was concieved to be the "safe" twin. Cessna missed the mark there because it proceeded to rack up the worst safety record of any twin in the beginning. One of the problems was that it is difficult to ascertain if the rear engine is operating properly with the front one purring away. Althought it will climb on one engine under some circumsataces, the speeds are different and that led to many, shall we say, incidents.

There were various ADs printed, one, I believe that required you to start your takeoff roll with rear engine throttle first and then add the front. I believe there was also a warning light that was installed.

Make no mistake, the push/pull arrangement is still a twin and with one out, you are in a different ball game (although less so in an in-line) It is easy to not stay current because of the appearant easiness of the arrangement.

Now specifically about the 337:

It has a reputation of being a maintainence hog, rear engine problems as well as shall we say less than optimum design and construction. If you are your own A&P you will probably be OK in that you can be absolutely on top of things, however if not, you will have a partner in one. As in all of cessna's retractable singles (similay system) the landing gear saddles etc are a constant maintainence situation.

The defiant is a simpler aircraft, with better engeneering, materials and design. (as long as it has been well built). I have no Idea of how it flies, however the 337 is somewhat doggy.

You might consider a glider. That way you don't have to be concerned about an engine failure--- You had it before you took off.

My wife calls twins double trouble. in effect you have 2X the possibility of an engine failure as do singles. If it happens at the right time, the second engine may be invaluable. If you loose an engine in a single at 4-5000 agl, Potential energy (gravity) is your second engine.

A fully loaded twin, unless most things are done perfectly, in the proper sequence, in a timely manner, climbs marginally at best. Add hot weather and the sweat won't come from the atmosphere.

Good luck on you decision.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2005, 08:29 PM
Marc Zeitlin Marc Zeitlin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrike
Really?
Wayne is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrike
so by that logic, you would not even need a ASEL to fly a ez?
Whatever logic you may be attributing to the FAA, for whatever reason, there's no scaling function. Ex-Am Built aircraft don't get certified as twins (or triples, or quadruples, or singles).

Wayne did not address the intelligence (or lack thereof) in flying a defiant (or any other twin engine aircraft, homebuilt or not) without a Multi rating, just the legality of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dust
performance is probably better on the defiant on 2 0320's versus 2 o360s
Not really. Talking to defiant folks, cruise speeds seem to be in the 150 Kt region, with O-320's - with O-360's, it's in the COZY region. According to:

http://www.superskyrocket.com/pages/.../history_2.htm

The normally aspirated 337's cruised in the 165 Kt. region.
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2005, 11:08 PM
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i just split thread and put most of the ratings info in the rules and regs section - didn't delete marcs here as he had a comment on the defiant.

Peoples will enjoy the ratings info and will find it over there

defiants peoples will enjor the defiant info over here
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2005, 12:25 AM
Ben Ben is offline
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People who have owned Skymasters seemed to have either loved or hated their planes. If interested in reading 336/337 banter, check out:

http://www.337skymaster.com/messages/index.php

There is much lore about the Skymaster, much hyped by word of mouth and not owners. A hangar-neighbor who now owns a 500 Commander offered a fair amount of insight to me. His path up to the Commander was through most planes I can think of (172, 182, Mooney, 182RG, 210, 310, 337, Commander). He went to the Commander because he had always loved the look of the design (who doesn't), he found one at a great price, and it was a 500 model (with common non-geared 0-540s).

Regarding 337 and maintenance, he said that 337s have suffered from the same physicial treatment and associated reputation that fat body nacelled (520, 560) Commanders have endured. Both the 337 and early commanders have long been "cheap" twins that have attracted owners who could barely afford to step up to a twin. Accordingly, with thinner wallet owners, the early Commanders and many 337s have changed hands frequently with many things on the "to do" list. The neighbor stated that, in his opinion, both the 337 and early Commanders would make VERY nice personal planes for someone willing to pick one up, bring it up to snuff, and of course keep it.

Regarding the "rear engine TBO" issue, this is largely a misunderstanding that came out of the 336 design (fixed gear version that preceeded the 337). The 336 had a different vent system in the rear, which includes a fan in front of the prop. 336s today apparently still run hot in the rear... 337s do not share this problem with the caveat that the baffling et al be installed correctly and be in good shape.

Real maintenance....337s do have their issues. The rear baffling apparently requires attention, vibration can mean that it may not/will not make it to TBO. Rear spinners also develop cracks and can be a sore spot. Cessna changed the gear later in the run (I believe in 1973, not sure); I don't recall the exact nature of the change (i.e. saddles etc), but the latter gear is more desirable. While many mechanics hate working on Skymasters, that's why you hire someone else, right?

It is a twin, and there are two of the expensive things in life, but the engine TBO issue in 'properly' operated planes isn't an issue (read below). Many engines need attention before TBO, but die-hard Skymaster owners attribute this to poor practice, not design per se. The TBO on the Skymaster's engine is only 1500 to start; in a world where many peoples' reference frame is 2000, this 1500 hour detail may get lost in translation.

Regarding safety...you can't get much safer in a twin than an inline twin (for people who fly by the book and who use checklists). It's one thing to torque into the ground on climbout, it's quite another to not notice that the rear engine isn't running.....at any rate, that argument has been beat to death.

Regarding Skymaster vs Defiant...personal preference. Skymaster annuals run $3-4k on up (Defiant conditionals run a fraction of that...). 337 has four seats and a lot of baggage, or four adults and two mothers in law. You can ride with 6 and put a cargo pod underneath, but this is likely only practical for regular 3-400 mile missions. An old joke about the Skymaster: what can it carry? Another Skymaster....they have a very good useful load. They also served in Vietnam with the same basic structure. The Defiant seats 4, with room for baggage. The Defiant has a canopy to worry about; the Skymaster has huge gear doors that significantly reduce single-engine climb during gear transition (if they haven't been removed with an STC). Skymasters are aluminum, love it or hate it...park it outside and your resale won't go down per se.

Of note, of 6 seat twins, the Skymaster holds the title of offering the best MPG, though this of course isn't the total cost of operation. I believe that the Twin Commanche holds the honors in the 4 seat category.

For a twin, I'd take either the Skymaster or Defiant (or the Commander with its huge wing, cabin, and tamish single-engine handling characteristics). If you have the funds, and your wife doesn't look at expenses, consider the P337...faster in the air, faster to remove those pesky hyrdocarbons from the tanks, and no need for oxygen (but only certified to 20k, and with only 5 seats).
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2005, 09:25 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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The Defiant does not fit into a standard T-hangar. Its canard is 24 feet wide whereas standard T-hangars are ususally around 21 feet wide.
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