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A Category Comparison Example


The fastest high performance single engine production airplanes 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 bring to you. Popular aviation magazines and publications primarily focus reviews of aircraft in the marketplace representing the latest refinements, updated performance figures and selling points of new models serving general aviation.

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 exceeds well over one million dollars.

Let's compare the $1,000,000.00 plus Mooney Ovation (Non-Turbo Charged), the fastest non-turbo single engine production airplane, to a later model Super Viking 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 more than 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 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 per 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 after 1984 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. Aviators know well the wind is 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 (non-turbo charged) so It will take you a while to get there but it will if you really need too. 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 are of little concern and has little to do with why they have chosen to own one.

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