Letters 08/99

Why No 210?
Im writing to ask why the first two model years of the Cessna 210 were not included in the June 1999 Retract Step Ups article. Many of the 1960 and 1961 210s out there can be had for under $50,000 in very good condition.

The airplanes have the IO-470E producing 260 HP (1500-hour TBO) and will routinely cruise at 160 knots while burning between 12 and 14 GPH. Or you can go economically and do 140 knots on 9 to 11 GPH. The 1960 model had only 55 gallons usable, but in 1961 they upped it to 74 gallons.

The only ugly part of the 1960-1 models is the need to replace the gear saddles every 1000 hours, but the gear works flawlessly if looked after well. The power pack is something to be looked at when purchasing. But in 2800 hours, my aircraft has just recently needed to have the pack overhauled.

With full fuel I can haul a respectable 650 pounds. Parts are still available but some of the more obscure pieces take time to hunt down. For the entry price, if you can find one that doesnt need a lot of reworking (new interior, new paint, upgraded panel, upgraded avionics, engine, hydraulics,) these are wonderful airplanes.

And, of course, you get to tell ATC this is Centurion 1234X instead of just Cessna 1234X.

-David Fustich
via e-mail

As we noted in the article, we had to contain the list of potential choices for space purposes. We agree that the early 210s are worth considering.

Hangar Notes
I enjoyed the we’ll written and informative article about hangars in the June issue. Two comments and one question: When considering a T-hanger with sliding doors, determine if it is a standard layout or a nested layout.

In the nested layout, your neighbors sliding doors will overlap your space when theyre open. This can be an irritant if you both like to hang out at the airport at the same time. The standard layout does not have this problem.

Also, examine the hangar floor for evidence of poor drainage and standing water. An enclosed hangar with significant moisture near the airplane creates a corrosion environment. Older hangars frequently have this problem and it may not be obvious unless you look closely.

Now the question: T-hangars have been sold at several airports in my area as condominiums. You receive a deed to your unit and you are subject to a land lease from the airport authority, typically with a 30-year term. You have membership on a condo board which makes decisions about operating the building and charges a monthly fee for insurance, snow removal, etc.

At my home base, new hangars have just been built for sale. You don’t get a deed. For $40,000 up front, you get a 28-year lease for your unit and the ground it sits on; thats it. The lease is assignable and the lessor is allowed to levy monthly charges for insurance, electricity, etc.

I am reluctant to buy because this long-term lease agreement seems less desirable than the condo arrangement where there’s a deed and the owners are in control of the building. I wonder if I will have adequate protection for my investment and whether I will have any difficulty selling in the future due to this arrangement. Is a long-term lease rather than a deeded condominium arrangement common in other parts of the country?

-Bob Newman
Warrenton, Virginia

Were not sure how common the condo arrangement is, although were seeing it more often as new hangars are built. The long-term lease is a marginal value, in our view. Youre plunking down what may be one third to one half the value of the airplane on a hangar, an asset that will appreciate little.

We know airplane investments defy the rules of common financial sense but that doesnt mean owners ought to toss money to the wind, either.

I suggest that anyone considering a do-it-yourself hangar get a copy of the American Plywood Association publication Rigid Frame Structures, American Plywood Association plans for 32-foot and 40-foot buildings.

These are clear span structures originally designed as poultry houses. A shorter version should make a nice hangar. A solid footing is required because the arch structure puts considerable outward force on the bottom of the walls. This also makes the resulting structure not portable.

The 40-foot is about 38 feet inside dimension at the floor and 31 feet 9 inches at height. Center height is 15 feet. This would allow for a 31 X 9-foot bi-fold door. Construction material is 2×10 lumber on 2-foot centers with either a 3/8-inch structural plywood or a 1/2-inch exterior plywood covering. Paint and roofing material to suit. Windows under the eaves and ventilation at the roof peak are other common options.

-Tom Munson
via e-mail

The American Plywood Association is now the Engineered Wood Association. Contact them at P.O. Box 11700, Tacoma, Washington 98411-0700;253-565-6600; www.apawood.org.

Telex ANR
In November 1998, I decided to make the big splurge and get a noise-canceling headset. After reading Doug Ritters articles on the current offerings, I ordered a LightSPEED 25K.

After waiting six months and being told itll be in production soon, I cancelled the order. Since then Ive tried the Pilot 17-79 (uncomfortable headpad, has to be recharged), Peltor 7104 (disappointing passive attenuation and ANR performance) and LightSPEED 20K (Not bad but too bulky, worse ANR performance than the Pilot 17-79).

Then I read Bob Lochers letter (May 1999 Aviation Consumer) and got curious. Re-reading Doug Ritters articles, I got the impression the Telex ANR-1D was a non-starter but decided to order one anyway. Id sent three back already.

What Bob says is absolutely true; the ANR performance is astonishing. While its true the audio is tinny and the control box is klunky, the headset is comfortable, the voices are clear (reducing the volume helps), you can connect the set to ships power easily. Ive had my handheld GPS wired this way. It has great passive attenuation.

After turning the ANR on, the noise drops off to Pilot/Peltor/LightSPEED levels but over the next five seconds, the bass noise falls away even further. The headset tunes out the prop noise and you feel as if you are sitting in a quiet airliner.

Whenever MP or RPM are changed, bass noise increase a little and the headset takes another five seconds to tune it out. Somehow, it even tunes out the soft alternator whine, although this comes back whenever the vox or radio is active.

I don’t have a problem with squeals or clicks when turning my head. I prefer the gel seals but the headset comes with a set of foam ones, too. In hot weather, I put absorbent pads on the seals (available from Sportys).

I clip the control box to the map pocket on the left and knowthat if I forget to turn it off, it has auto-off. I don’t find the LEDs bright down by my left knee. For what its worth, the noise level in my C-210 is 101 dB.

I urge Aviation Consumer to re-examine this headset in the next review of ANR headsets, perhaps when the 25K actually goes into production. I advise anyone buying an ANR headset to use their own ears and heads and buy theheadset for the reasons they like.

My ideal headset would have Peltor comfort and light weight, Telex digital ANR performance, good audio, good voice intelligibility, gel seals, a small battery/control box on the cord with the option for ships power, a reversing swing-away microphone, auto-off and cost about $500. Until then, Ill use the ANR-1D.

-Peter Ver Lee
via e-mail

A couple of other readers wrote to report similarly favorable results with the Telex ANR. The headset has been improved since we first tested it, shortly after the initial product release. We plan to try it again sometime this year.

As we point out in all of the headset articles, headset evaluation is highly subjective; one pilots pleasure may be anothers poison.

We recommend buying only from a vendor which has a generous return policy. Try the headset and send it back if you don’t like it.