PIPER SARATOGA II TC
ONE OF PIPER's FINEST EVER AIRCRAFT
For those of you not familiar with Piper’s reintroduction of a turbo charged Saratoga, here’s a synopsis of the type:-
Back in the ‘old days’, Piper built both fixed gear and retractable versions of the PA-32-300 Cherokee 6 and called it the PA-32R-300 Lance (or 300T to denote the turbo charged version). The Lance used the same slab, or Hershey Bar wing as the Cherokee 6 and in 1980 the wing was changed to a taper design—and the suffix changed from a ‘300’ or ‘300T’ to a ‘301’ or ‘301T’ and the Lance became known as the Saratoga.
The turbo charged aircraft was built to 1984 in fixed gear version but the retractable continued in production to 1987.
After a quiet period (due to the Product Liability Law problems of the late ‘80’s/early ‘90’s) the Saratoga was reintroduced in 1994 (retractable version only) with the turbo charged aircraft put back into production in 1998. 2003 saw the reintroduction of the fixed gear turbo and non-turbo machines, being marketed as the Piper 6X and Piper 6XT.
F-GVDO is one of the latest of these fabulous machines and sports a ’glass’ cockpit with Avidyne’s Entegra flat ‘Glass’ panel EFIS and a recent upgrade with 2x Garmin GTN650 Touch Screen units.
Take it up high and you’ll find more than 175 Knots true airspeed, even in the sub-10,000ft levels you’ll flight plan at 150 knots but will probably still find 160 knots true. The aircraft will fly for over 800Nm and is certified up to 20,000Ft which allows a climb above most bad weather. You have 102 USG of usable fuel to play with and you will find the range is usually greater than the endurance of most human bladders.
The cabin of the Saratoga II TC (and the non-turbo Saratoga II HP) is the same as the twin engine Seneca V and at one time came in either 5 or 6 seat configuration, F-GVDO has the 6 seat layout in the usual comfortable Club layout.
When it comes to state-of-the-art, F-GVDO is up there with the best of them.