here are the ingredients... A 90 degree day
pointy nose spray plane
bank account that can't spare a $150,000 expense
case it's an AT 402-A in eastern Colorado ( currently experiencing the worst
drought in recorded history!). My thoughts were this: the result of this
recipe would be one PT-6 well done. No matter how you season it, slice it,
bless it... you're going to have a big 'ole gut ache. That was my worst
fear, just like everyone else's at that dreaded hot section time. We were
warned... don't buy an 11AG, you won't be happy; spend the extra money for a
-34. Well "they" were probably right, except we couldn't afford
would’ve done just that, maybe have bought two if there would have been a cash
don’t mind admitting I was more than a little disappointed with the limited
performance when the temps got high. My eyes were glued to the ITT all the
time. I was close to trading my 11AG in for a –34 when I went to the NAAA
convention in Vegas to look at Doran Rogers’ ( AKA Cascade Aircraft
Conversions) pressure cowl. I spend nearly all my exhibit hall time looking and
thinking and talking to Doran about the air scoop. If you saw it I’m
sure you’d agree it’s a beautiful piece or workmanship. Doran told
me what kind of temperature reduction and increased horsepower I could expect
as a result of not being temperature limited. It made good “cents” to me. I
placed my order at the convention fearing that if I waited it would months
before they could fit me in.
returning home I called my brother Scott who had just purchased an AT402-A the
previous month and convinced him to place an order with Doran also, so without
even seeing one he also signed up. The biggest obstacle ahead was
getting the airplanes to Washington, flying VFR in the Rocky Mountains was
something I wasn’t looking forward to doing especially in the winter. As luck
would have it Wendel Lambert from Ulysses Kansas had been out to Las Vegas also
and had been trained to do the installations for Cascade pressure
cowls. Wendell owns Northstar Aviation, which is where our
aircraft’s were scheduled for their annual inspections. We dropped the 402’s
off at Northstar on our way to Covington Turbine School as it was right on our flight
path anyway. In Okmulgee we spent the week learning ( and
forgetting) more than our Ag pilot brains could endure, kind of like drinking
from a fire hose. However, the result of our schooling was an overwhelming
confirmation that “cooler” is better for a turbine, and in my case the
difference would prove itself to be just what I needed.
at Northstar did a great job on our installations. I did have them go the extra
mile and calibrate the ITT and trim stick…
check everything that could be giving false highs. They made some
adjustments, added a fuel flow monitor so I could do the trend monitoring more
completely, and sent me home.
I say but WOW! It’s not the
same plane. Now I never have to worry about the temperatures. I fix
my eyes on the torque gauge and fly. My airstrip is 5000 feet in
length so I have the luxury of a long takeoff roll, but my brother’s is very
short so we need all the available power we can get at his
airstrip. Both aircraft work identically – the temps, torque’s everything
(although I’m probably the better pilot)!!
couldn’t be happier. I saved $125,000.00 and have a beautiful looking and
performing airplane. I also had the pleasure of working with a couple of top
quality men who take pride in their work. While talking with Doran about the
air inlets he said the –34 drivers had reported they were seeing a 4gph fuel
savings. I’ll bet it will be an even bigger payback during their hot sections.
I highly recommend the Cascade Pressure Cowl to everyone. Doran treated
me with honesty and integrity that is rare in our world today.
Koch of KOCH – OPERATIONS INC. in Arriba, CO was kind enough to share this
unsolicited letter with us.