October 1999 Issue
Slow It Down, Sport
A hardnosed economic analysis of whether speed brakes are really worth the investment.
Speed brakes, also called “spoilers,” have been sighted on everything from C-172s to Dukes and Cessna 421s. To a certain extent, they’ve become a status symbol.
Yet, on some airplanes, you have to ask: When the heck would you ever use them? And on others, you might wonder why the factory didn’t think of adding them in the first place. (Actually, brakes are a factory standard accessory or option on a number of new aircraft, including Mooneys, Bonanzas and the new Lancair Columbia.)
That’s all well and good for buyers of new airplanes. But what about the meat-and-potatoes of the gadget and accessory market, the retrofits? Are brakes a must-have item or just oneof those things to soak...
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