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Independent reports and articles related to the Bellanca Super Viking

 



The fastest high performance single engine production airplanes
in the world as compared to a later model Bellanca Super Viking.


An alternative often not explored when in the market for a high performance single is the value a Bellanca Super Viking can provide.  Popular aviation magazines and publications primarily focus on an review for the marketplace the latest refinements, updates, performance figures and selling points of the many new and updated models that serve general aviation.

The Bellanca Super Viking - an airplane already in its own refined stage, the Bellanca Super Viking was slowly developed over decades originating from the initial design of Giuseppe Bellanca dating back to the 1930's. His design was considered far advanced in the day and has continued to evolve through the careful and continued updating of fine engineers and designers through the years. The concept has always been to respect and maintain his aeronautical theories while including new advancements to it as new technologies have developed. To this day the Viking includes precision handling characteristics, interior designs and hand-crafted workmanship unmatched by others. "At home in the air" is a fitting logo you will find in the interiors of each new Super Viking for over 50 years now. This continues to be apparent in well-preserved and properly restored Super Vikings that remain in their original form and configuration. The original factory design included exceptional quality and detail.

The very finest Bellanca Super Vikings, especially those in their unmodified and original pristine or correctly updated form however, are becoming rather scarce. In this special category you will find pricing at higher levels as compared to the average examples which now represent the majority of the fleet estimated at between 600 and 800 flying aircraft. Although many (most), after 30-35 years of having many different types of owners, uses and environments, no longer remain in their original cosmetic form. However, these aircraft mechanically still provide owners tremendous value. Regardless of your budget there are many twenty, thirty, forty year old Vikings (perhaps no longer representing the original cosmetic standards) that still provide owners tremendous value.

For those who would like the alternative experience of enjoying a choice, close to original Bellanca Super Viking, options exist such as Pinckney Aircraft which purchases the finest remaining aircraft in existence and updates and offers select exceptional original later model Super Vikings utilizing original materials, design, patterns and colors.

Due to long periods of non-production the Super Viking may not always have kept up with every other new model, and neither was that really ever necessary. In fact, other brands have gone for extended periods of time as well without any production. Actually the Viking has progressed with continued improvements for over 40 years. Small refinements are always serving, however many good products ultimately reach a well-respected mature stage. Often to try to make unnecessary changes for the sake of changes prove to compromise previous, well thought out refinements.

Bellanca Heritage has applied this philosophy over almost a century and has gained a high recognition of uniqueness and enduring quality and value because of it.

There have been some vast and impressive improvements in general aviation in the last decade. Most deserve applaudable recognition, and some are just new entertaining ways to accomplish the same goal with perhaps a little different face. For real value seekers who appreciate long-standing quality and the finer things in life, are not necessarily driven or persuaded by each and every new little update there remains an excellent alternative to consider, the Bellanca Super Viking.

A well-known national aviation magazine published a story concerning performance figures on a popular high performance single engine aircraft within the same category as the Bellanca Super Viking, the Mooney Ovation. The emphasis was to recognize the Mooney Ovation as the fastest non-turbo production single engine airplane in the world. The price of the new Ovation now approaches the $700,000 mark.

Let's compare a $500,000.00 plus Mooney Ovation (Non-Turbo Charged), the fastest non-turbo single engine production airplane, to a later model Super Viking at around one-third of the cost on a typical 500 nautical mile cross country trip. The recently expressed claim of the fastest single engine production airplane beats a later model IO-550 Super Viking by about 4 minutes. Compare this to a 1979 or newer model Super Viking with the IO-520 series powerplant and the Ovation advantage is only about 7 minutes in time, and yet the acquisition cost is about triple that of the later model Super Viking. The fuel cost per mile is about the same. With ten additional horsepower (310hp) the Ovation actually burns a little more fuel per hour, however gets there a few minutes sooner. This does not consider the additional fixed costs associated with a half million dollar airplane, such as interest value of the additional money, whether financed or paid for in cash, or the insurance cost associated with a higher priced airplane. These recurring annual expenses can easily consume another thirty thousand dollars a year that could have been left in your bank account. And if you multiply this by only five or six years you will find the savings will pretty much pay for the purchase price of any later model Super Viking. All of this is before you turn on the master switch and begin the depreciation journey that is usually affiliated with a newer airplane purchase.


Keep in mind almost all Super Vikings when manufactured included at the time the very latest state of the art equipment and avionics. For most of these airplanes an updated GPS will complement a quite capable existing high-quality digital stack of avionics already in place. Most have excellent autopilots and many are the same used in the new airplanes today.

To further the pricing comparison example, let's compare the Viking to the even faster (world' fastest) Turbo Mooney. First to take advantage of the turbo you will be going to higher altitudes in which you'e going to burn more fuel through lengthy ascents. And the wind had better be in your favor or you likely MAY lose in such a five hundred mile race. And remember, the wind is usually only to your advantage around 50% of the time. If you consider the extra cost of fuel, the cost and inconvenience of oxygen and maintenance costs, a net loss of value could be perceived. One may spend more time filling up oxygen tanks than the time that is usually saved on a trip. The argument to that is that you can climb above a lot of weather, which in fact is true some of the time.  Of course, an airplane such as an Ovation or its turbo counterpart are fine machines and have their place, especially a turbo on very long distance runs with favorable winds. At the same time keep in mind that the service ceiling on the normally aspirated 1979 and newer Super Viking is 20,000 feet (of course non-turbo charged, it will take you a while to get there). For many the consideration of acquiring a Bellanca Super Viking can be a viable, efficient and very satisfying option that can serve many aviators' purposes most of the time. The Bellanca is a solid honest airplane and a great asset to own that can provide as much enjoyment as the utility value it will also provide that almost always equals or betters most high performance singles.

With all of the speed comparisons the Bellanca Super Viking is fast enough for most.  Once you experience, appreciate and come to understand all the unique qualities and why most owners come to choose a Super Viking, you will find a few knots either way is of little concern and has little to do with why they have chosen to own one.




Bellanca factory from entrance road

Entrance to the Bellanca Corporation main offices


Entrance to factory parking lot

Bellanca employees

Interior working station

The Wing Plant

Aerial view




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