A decision has to be made as to which engine option shall be chosen for HXT to allow for a smooth transition once it will no longer run on condition.
The Aircraft Maintenance Committee met to discuss the various options. After a discussion, the following two options were the most popular with Option 1 with the 180hp conversion being selected as first choice by the majority of committee members.
- Option 1: Air Plains 180hp conversion. All new parts, Zero time, 2yr warranty. 2550lb gross, 1050lb useful load. Factory new propeller.
- Option 2: Factory rebuilt 150hp engine. Rebuilt to new spec, Zero time, 2yr warranty. 2300lb gross, 834 useful load.
The following provides more information on each option, providing advantages of each.
Option 1: Air Plains 180hp Conversion which includes a factory-new 180hp O-360 Lycoming, conversion kit and STC.
- The 180hp engine is a brand new factory engine and factory-new propeller. It’s the same engine conversion as was installed in ZHQ over 20 years ago when the club acquired it. However, this new engine features roller-tappets which enhance reliability.
- Useful load increases from 834 lbs to approximately 1050 lbs, similar to ZHQ’s usefulThis comes via the gross weight increase from 2300lbs to 2550lbs. As members gain weight, the extra load will be more tolerant and allow more flexibility.
Reference: The current useful load of HXT is 832 pounds. The average weight of an AFC member is over 200 pounds. With full complement of passengers, this leaves room for approximately 34lbs of fuel (slightly over 1/2hr) with no baggage or survival gear. With full fuel of 288 pounds (over 4hrs), the remaining useful load of HXT with the existing 2300lb gross weight and 150hp engine is around 544 pounds for passengers and baggage. With a 150hp engine, HXT is essentially a 2 or 3-person aircraft, depending on mission flown and passenger weights.
- For any given payload up to HXT’s existing limit, the 180hp option can offer a higher cruise speed, better climb rate and shorter take-off due to the extra 30hp.
- The additional 30hp and gross weight increase to 2550lbs gives a direct increase the aircraft’s capabilities:
- Better performance makes the aircraft safer to fly in the mountains and short strips with obstacles such as Rowena’s.
- HXT comes with long-range fuel tanks which would work well with the 180hp option and increased gross weight.
- Increased aircraft capability could translate into increased use such as longer cross-country trips.
- Aircraft could realize an increase in value as a result of its increased capability.
Option 2: Factory Zero-time Rebuilt 150hp Engine
- The 150hp engine is a factory Zero Time Rebuilt engine (rebuilt to new specifications) that includes a 2-year warranty.
- Going with the 150hp rebuilt engine would save the club $20,000 versus going with the 180hp option.
- With the 150hp engine, the hull value is lower by approximately $20,000 which will make insurance slightly cheaper.
- At max power setting, the fuel burn of the 150hp engine is lower than the 180hp engine. Estimates based on historical experience show the savings to be approximately 1 gph, depending on how the engine is managed in flight. However, if each engine is operated at same power output, fuel burn should be virtually identical.
Considerations for Purchasing in the Short Term (as of Feb. 2013)
Potential Tax Savings by March 31
- Given updates to the way tax is charged and billed in BC, the club may save approximately $2800 on tax if the purchase is made by March 31st. This is based on the approximate figure of $50,000 for the purchase.
NOTE: The above figures are not exact and are approximations for purpose of illustration only.
Current Club Finances
- The club has a relatively low cash reserve right now as a result of being impacted by the unexpected replacement of ZHQ’s engine. The low reserve only has an impact if the engine purchase is to be made before the club can build the reserves back up to cover potential liabilities such as prepaid hangar rent. If that is the case, the 150hp option would impact the finances less than the 180hp option. However, waiting for the reserves to reach a higher level may be worth consideration if the 180hp option is the popular choice.