I have a brother retired in Florida and he's been after me to visit. With COVID concerns I decided it would be wiser (although more expensive) to fly the Bonanza ('76 A36 with a Continental IO-550 and a TAT TN Whirlwind III with Rammer scoop system).
My preferred cruise setting is WOT, 2300 RPM, LOP with a fuel burn in the 15.x GPH range. She'll go faster but she'll use more gas. I find this setting to be a nice compromise providing a very fast TAS but also acceptable range. I have stock 80 gallon tanks.
Now for the summary trip data from Flight Aware. As far as I know these are wheels up to wheels down times and are pretty accurate. Most of the flights were IFR although the last 2 legs heading west were VFR due to excellent weather. The eastbound trip went through Little Rock (well out of my way) due to weather and westbound trip was much more direct.
Trip summary data:
I was *astonished* when I looked at the data with the west bound trip only taking 28 minutes more than the eastbound trip. I was also very surprised that the distance flown was so similar (only 38 miles different in spite of the course differences).
I was also surprised to find that going west I was able to gain significant speed by finding an altitude in the teens that had a crosswind instead of a headwind.
Imagine flying west at 12,000' seeing 167 knots groundspeed. Then climbing to 16,000' and seeing 188 knots!
Kudos to the folks at Tornado Alley Turbo for this amazing transformation to our Bonanza, which we've now had for 30+ years.
I've always chosen routes with preferable weather and this simple raw data confirms how meaningless these deviations are in terms of total trip time.
And the data also shows that this system really adds significant performance. Many of these flights had ATC vectors, speed restrictions, weather (I slow for bumps significantly, getting down near maneuvering speed), etc. Of course I'm also slow during climb and I don't gain speed in descent - I tend to descend at my cruising indicated airspeed - I like to remain in the green arc at all times.
I am so impressed that the system enabled me to maintain such an impressive average speed over such a great distance.
Both trips took 2 days with the bulk of the flying done the first day and a final leg the second day.
I have stock 80 gallon tanks and typically land and refuel when I have 20 gallons remaining.
I've got some old trip data from the pre-TN days. I'll look that up some time and see how it compares. But I am seriously impressed by what the TAT TN system adds.
Highlights of N18307's engine overhaul, TAT turbonormalizer installation, and tip tanks at Tornado Alley Turbo.
1977 V35B Beechcraft Bonanza.
It has been a year since your shop completed the work on my A-36 and I wanted to tell you and your staff how pleased I have been with installation and the performance. I have flown about 120 hrs with the "new" engine and the performance is exactly or better than published. I change the oil at 25-30 hours and have not needed to add any oil between changes. I am seeing 207 K TAS at 15-16K and 195 at 11-12K burning 16.9-17.5 GPH. Cylinders run cool with #4 being the hottest (keep it below 380). The engine and turbo system looks as good as the day it was installed and everything is tight no leaks of any kind. I would recommend this upgrade and yours in particular to anyone. Thanks again for a fine product.
I had to post this because both me and the ATC controller got a nice chuckle out of it. Flying home last night into a pretty decent headwind at FL180 and Houston Center ATC called me "Pilatus...Bonanza 369 golf". I was still doing 185 kts GS into a 15 kt headwind.
The wind dynamic was such that it made sense to climb higher to get better GS than to fight the same headwind strength down at lower altitudes. Took about 14 minutes to climb from near sea level departure to FL180 even while stopping briefly at 15,000 until handoff from Approach to Houston Center.
I just can't say enough about what the TAT setup does for these wonderful machines we fly. I've been behind the yoke now of my TN'd Bonanza for approximately 300 hours since last November and it's still amazing at the performance difference.
While many here were having a great time at Oshkosh, Marcia and I also enjoyed a nice flight at midsummer. We flew from Kerrville (Kerv) to Seattle Paine Field (KPAE) and return. The galloping 550 did great, particularly with the TNIO setup. Highest altitude was 14 outbound and 15 coming home, both near the Wasatch at Salt Lake. Had some weather both times in the Twin Falls/Boise areas and then some south of Grand Junction on the return. Nexrad and AdsB on the iPad sure make analyzing & managing weather a much different scenario than years ago. Naturally, we had light headwinds outbound and about 20 knots right on the nose homebound.
There's no greater view, in my opinion, than watching Mt. Rainier begin to appear from about 100 miles east approaching Seattle. We've made this flight several times over the years, and I love seeing that mountain along with Adams, Jefferson and Baker. This time, Baker was obscured, and we made the ILS into Paine at flight's end. But Rainier was up there, floating like a jewel. Best entry "gate" of any city in America.
Wonderful to see John & Betty Foose. Good friends indeed. John and I departed Paine Field to wander around the Puget Sound one day, enjoyed a nice lunch at the airport café at Port Townsend, circled the San Juans and then back to Paine Field. So much fun and glorious things to see.
We filed the entire x-country legs, and if anyone is interested they may see the flights on FlightAware: N29959. ATC was helpful, cooperative as always. Radar out near Farmington, NM, on both sides, so it's waypoint reporting as in the old days.
We traveled for two days on each side, spending the night outbound at Bountiful, Utah, and home bound at Grand Junction, CO. Both were great stops. Skypark at KBTF was very nice, good AC (needed for that day) and an ok gas price at $4.94. Savanah, who helped park us, was very welcoming and helpful. Similarly, West Star at GJT was dern near opulent! Great service too. We lived in Grand Junction in the early 70s and had a nice drive around old haunts. The town has progressed very well.
We saw incredible scenery most of the way. I have to admit that west Texas doesn't offer much, but once we cleared the mountains east of ABQ, it just gets better and more interesting. SW Colorado is stunning in that regard. So is the flight over Salt Lake and near Baker City, OR. I love seeing that town from the air.
Our legs were a bit under 5 hours. Tip tanks make for a huge speedup, as Old Bob has pointed out.
We've heard some Bonanza owners say they shy away from long cross countries. But we find such trips relaxing and an incredibly flexible way to travel. It's our magic carpet, and we set the schedule without TSA! All flight planning was completed with Foreflight on the iPad. Amazing tools. Entire trip, including a cruise, was 22 days. We also see so many things we never would from an airliner or auto. GA is a blessing.
Off topic a bit: Our cruise was on aboard a ship operated by "Un-Cruise" out of Juneau, the Safari Endeavor. We flew Delta up there from SeaTac. This is a small ship, does not visit villages and stays on anchor in coves, near glaciers or basically in the wilderness. We unloaded onto kayaks, zodiacs and saw so much wildlife it can't be counted. Literally over a hundred whale, bald eagles, salmon, and other critters, glaciers, forests, etc. For those so interested, this cruise was A+. You can Google Un-Cruise. Marcia at one point had a humpback surface to feed 15-20 feet from her kayak. It immediately dove to cause a huge wave for her. Exciting. We frequently saw the whales within 50 feet while we were sitting still so not to bother their lunge feeding on the surface. Amazing stuff. Everyday a new delight. Good food and drink on board. This is the way to see SE Alaska. Johns Hopkins Glacier is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen and may only be viewed from a small boat, not the large liners. We were fortunate to visit it on a perfectly clear day, blue sky behind which afforded a great view of the Fairweather Mountains.
Paine Field is an interesting place.of course dominated by Boeing whose presence is everywhere. We were warming our engine to depart as one of Boeing's BBJs arrived from Chicago. Costs a lot of $$$ to operate those things. Though there is lots of activity and a complicated taxiway layout, there's still self service fuel, cooperative ground control, and Castle & Cooke FBO was a good stop. Helpful folks. Lots of GA activity at KPAE.
N29959 performed perfectly throughout the trip, a tip of the hat for that going to Tim Roehl and George Braly.
An idea for Bob Stephens and others concerned about List volume and deletions while travelling: we unsubscribe while on long trips. When we return, we re-subscribe back on. It's easy to do and avoids the issues Bob and some others pointed to. Even with the List turned off, we still had 1,500 emails upon return. Wow! Most were worthless commercial stuff and deleted by block in a jiffy. But lots were important to read. Amazing the traffic email now generates. While on the road, we rely on our iPad and small detached keyboard. Makes life a lot simpler than before.
- Ed Livermore Jr
Hey guys thanks a lot, you did a fantastic job on my airplane and I know went the extra mile to get me out before this trip I have had scheduled.
The performance is better then advertised. Tim said I could expect 190 KTS at 12,500 on 16.5 to 17.0 GPH and at least 195 KTS at 17,500.
I saw 192 KTS at 12,000 and 206 at 17,500 on 16.4 GPH. It was a shame I had head winds all the way home.
I loved the O2 install so clean and kept me well oxygenated.
Thanks for beautiful install. Several friends were at my home airport to meet me they loved how clean your work is.
- Michael Apodaca
This is my second 185 with an IO550. I have flown several other 520 powered 185's and find the difference amazing. Take off, climb and cruise performance are significantly increased with the 550. I have the MT prop on mine and find it climbs better than the McCauley or Hartzell wide chord. If I were to buy another 185, it would be a 550 or I would convert it.
The 520 is rated 300 HP Max and can be up to 5% less.
The 550 is rated 300HP minimum and can be up to 5% more!
The turbo normalize by TAT I have had for only a couple of months and am very impressed and happy that I made the purchase. The installation is first rate. One cowl modification for a scoop for the intercooler. They do a baffle modification and the cylinders run cooler with the turbo than they did before. They will also install the Maple leaf exhaust fairing and cowl cooling louvres.
I live at 600 MSL and have 1200 ft. runway, but temperatures can reach 105 F. The turbo allows me to have 100% power even though the density altitude may be 5000 feet. At your home strip of 5500 feet you are probably producing 75% power on take off, about 225 HP. Imagine having 300 HP for take off and climb!
We also do a lot of mountain flying at strips up to 7500 MSL and some as short as 700 feet at 5000 MSL. The turbo has given us a huge margin of safety. Again, 100% HP on take off and climb.
My airplane is highly modified. Flap and Gap seals increased cruise speed and climb rate, Snyder speed fairings, wing strut cuffs, VG's, flint tip tanks being installed now by TAT, landing light lens, beacon removed from vertical stab, and professionally rigged by Beegles aircraft. all have lead to being a fairly fast 185. Pre turbo at medium weights 6000 MSL cruise yield 155 knots. Of course as you climb higher, the speed drops off. The opposite with a turbo, speed increases as you go higher.
Here are some real world numbers on my TN plane
PA 12700, OAT 57 F, CAS 138, TAS 175 knots
15400 48F CAS 135, 179 knots
11400 64F CAS 136 169 knots
10400 65F CAS 140 171 knots
I have seen over 180 knots TAS at 17,500
The increase in climb rates will encourage you to fly higher.
Fuel consumption is 15.5 to 16 GPH
Highest CHT 370
I would recommend taking the APS engine course. You can do it online there is a link on TAT's site.
I hope this helps with your decision I feel it has truly transformed my airplane.
- Joe Dobransky
N181AC is a 1980 Beech F33A upgraded in Ada with the WWII and oxygen - it has tip tanks and I have added an all glass cockpit and last Fall the TKS anti ice. 1AC was recognized by one of your techs when I flew to Ada to attend an APS class late last year.
Based in Northern California, O41, the plane is used 99% for business. In the last 12 months, I've not had to cancel a single business flight even though I have had to cross the Sierras & Rockies 1/2 doz times.
I've had every Beech piston but 181AC is the first time I've had a TAT TN equipped aircraft and this plane is by far my favorite set of wings. The ability to fly at a low FL at a relatively fast speed while sipping fuel is amazing for me.
Towards the end of this year, I will be adding a 58 Baron and I expect to be bringing it to Ada for the mod you guys are working on now.
Below is a photo from a Wyoming fuel stop this Winter.
- Malcolm Bond
I really wanted to see what my HEAVY A-36 would do at higher altitude airports since it is such a "pig" down here on hot days at my 3200' home airport. Well, it was sensational in performance. A real credit to your system. The MOUNTAIN FLYING involved KREMLING, CO, VAIL, CO, ASPEN CO, and ended up with LEADVILLE (density altitude that morning was 12,000').
Every pilot's dream (or nightmare) is to land and take-off (the latter being the really unique part) at the highest elevation airport in North America. I videoed the entire flight and someday, when I get the time I will edit it down to the pertinent lesson points, but over three hours is a lot. The LEADVILLE take-off at almost 10,000 feet is captured in this short video:
Needless to say, I am a huge FAN of this Important and valuable modification. Thanks for the help on my nagging problem, and email or call my cell if you have any suggestions.
- Phil Boyer
Every time I fly my Bonanza I am reminded that your turbonormalizing system is the best investment I have ever made in my airplane - and I have made plenty. Most of my VFR flights are flown between 14,500' and 17,500' and the performance never fails to impress.
Attached are two photos of my panel on a recent flight - one of the Garmin 530 true airspeed page showing 207 KTAS at 17,600' density altitude at -14 degrees C and the other of the six-pack demonstrating that performance was achieved at 2,350 RPM and fuel flow of 16.5 GPH. I was the only person on board and 40% of the 74 gallon fuel capacity had been burned off. Of course cold air and lighter weights produce good results but this is still outstanding and in line with what I usually experience (with proper adjustment for weight and OAT).
I trust all is well with you and your company.
A happy customer,
Dear Tim and George,
A long time ago wanted to write to tell you how happy I am with my G36 TN.
Four and a half years ago Tornado Alley installed the system. My base is Toluca, Mexico, at an altitude of 8466 ft. It's impressive takeoff power. I fly VFR usually between 11,500 and 13,500 with an average of 45° OAT. at 2500 rpm and WOT 30. 75% lean of peak my average is: cylinder temperature 345°, TIT 1490° and 15.2 GPH at a speed of 173 knots wind calm.
Now I have 600 hours flying TN and I have never had a problem. My engine is in perfect condition in every aspect.
The best decision I ever made in my plane is to install the TN system.
SR22 Delivery Flight
The new owner wanted to stop in Ada, OK to have the guys at Tornado Alley ensure the turbo system was set up correctly. As it turns out, no major adjustments were needed, just a few clamps and such needed tweaking.
Our visit to TAT added to my already high level of respect for the company. They had guys working on our plane all afternoon. The final charge? Zero dollars. They were just happy to have us there, the logic being that if the turbo system operated properly, we?'d be happy customers and it would help their reputation. I couldn?t agree more.
Just wanted to give you an update on how the TN system is running. On our recent trip to Miami, FL we flew our initial leg at 17,000 ft. The climb up was totally different than anything I have ever seen in my aircraft. 1000 to 1200 fpm all the way thru 15,000 feet. Quite impressive. At 17,000 our TAS was in the 200 to? 202 knot range with a ground speed over 260 knots ? WOW. On the return trip to Ohio, we cruised at 12,000 ft. with a TAS of around 190 knots. Seems as if the airplane is performing well as expected. All cylinder head temperatures never exceeded 365F during climb or cruise with an OAT around 50 to 60F.
The installation you performed at TA turbo is superb. Very clean and professional. Combined with the treatment I received during my visits to your top notch facility, the whole package is first-class. I had small problem with the JPI rpm sensor on the magneto, and Dave promptly sent out a new sending unit which fixed the problem. Thanks for the great customer service. Make sure to let me know when the next series of upgrades are ready, it?s great to have such a fast and comfortable airplane. BTW, even after the TA Turbo and TKS de-ice system install, I still have a useful load of 1,714 lbs. in my early model ?straight? 36?.
Once again, thanks for everything.
AB Plastics, Inc.
Yes Gordon, this photos were taken this summer when I ferried to europe a TN22G2 for a friend of mine. As you know, the legs are between 680NM, up to 760NM, so you must fly in a GO FAR mode. This is especially true with a turbo G2 (only 81 USG usable).
I am familiar with the Mooney Bravo, and was impressed by the performance and efficiency of the SR22. To get the same TAS you need 5 to 6 USG/hr more because you cannot run smooth LOP on the TIO540. As a result, it is difficult to remain below 400°F CHT. If you want to go below 380°F you most reduce the power drasticaly and loose 10 to 15 kt.
Patrice Portmann JAA CFI
That is the secret about the Mooney they do not tell you. Published speed is only one parameter.
I now fly a turbo. For those of you that do not know, I was very critical of the Cirrus Turbo when it first came out because I did not have a good past experience with turbo planes. And most of that experience was in Mooneys in the past. But there is a world of difference between the "stock turbos" of the past (of which Mooney still uses) and the turbonormalized system in the SR22. George and his Tornado Alley crew got this right and it is the best turbo system I have ever seen. It runs reasonably cool, it gets a reasonable fuel burn and still goes fast. There is nothing not to like about the system that I can see so far and I have been flying it for almost 2 years now.
Brian Turrisi SR22 Turbo #2135
Recently, I had a Whirlwind II Turbonormalizing System and the associated built-in oxygen installed by you in my 1996 A36 Bonanza. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I am with this conversion. The plane now has Baron speed and load carrying capability with half the fuel flow. It is also much simpler to fly and to manage the engine. There is little doubt that these upgrades are unparalleled in the industry and well worth the investment.
But, my delight with your company doesn?t end with the product. So, I would like to take this opportunity to also provide some comments and ?kudos? to Tornado Alley on the personnel and process involved with my specific conversion.
First, when a ?slot? became available, Tornado Alley sent Bilby Wallace to pick up the plane at your expense. I was more than pleasantly surprised that you would do this. It saved me a lot of time, was extremely convenient, and definitely exceeded my expectations.
Second, when you got the plane, you noticed that the air-conditioning system was not working. You trouble shot the problem and let me know what was wrong. I had been trying to find someone that could find out what was wrong for the past three summers. I have had the plane to many shops ? including Beechcraft ? and no one seemed to be able to find the problem. Many thanks for doing this.
Third, after the conversion, when the JPI engine analyzer failed during the first test flight before the plane was delivered back to me, John Landreth tried as hard as he could to get a new analyzer and minimize delays ? even to the point of offering to purchase a second instrument from JPI. Although JPI wouldn?t do this (I have no idea why) and wasn?t as responsive as they could have been, everyone at Tornado Alley performed flawlessly.
Fourth, when the weather and my own personal schedule made it impossible for me to pick up the plane in Ada, OK, you had Bilby, once again, deliver it to me at your expense. This allowed me to keep a previous appointment to upgrade the avionics that had been set just a few weeks earlier. Again, these actions save me a lot of time, were extremely convenient, and exceeded my expectations.
Fourth, when Bilby was flying the plane back, he noticed a leak in the oxygen system. He could have chosen to disregard the anomaly and not reported it to me. I would not have known the difference. But, he did not do that. Instead he made me well aware of the problem and told me it was Tornado Alley?s responsibility to have it fixed. Although JA Air Center (my maintenance and avionics shop) found and corrected the problem, Tornado Alley paid for their services. This also shows the honesty, integrity and a true concern Tornado Alley has for its customers. I was very impressed.
Last, throughout the installation process, Dave Landreth and you kept me informed of progress with the plane. When problems occurred, I was told me about them and Tornado Alley tried to resolve them it as quickly as possible. I could not ask for more. My experience, Tim, is that everyone has a few problems when a job as big as a conversion like this takes place. It?s how a company responds to these problems that really makes the difference. In my opinion, Tornado Alley gets all ?A?s? in this category.
In addition, all of us who fly have had far too many experiences where companies are not honest or care much about their customers as we would like them to. Many won?t admit mistakes or take responsibility for them - just to make an extra dollar. Tornado Alley is definitely at the opposite end of that spectrum. I received nothing but ?straight answers? and the very best of service from everyone at Tornado Alley. Many times this service far exceeded my expectations. I believe your honesty and integrity are a testament to a group of down-to-earth, honest people with a fabulous product. It is rarely seen in today?s business world. I can assure you that I will provide nothing but glowing accounts of my interactions with Tornado Alley. I would like to thank you for making my experience such a great one. And please share these comments with Dave Landreth and Bilby Wallace and everyone there at Tornado Alley. You have a fabulous product but and even more fabulous team.
Click here to see Edward J. McDevitt's reference in full.
In my flight back yesterday I was able to take advantage of tailwinds between 50 and 70 knots almost the whole way. I was giddy watching my ground speed as it topped 240 knots?then surprised when it exceeded 250 knots ?then shocked when it exceeded 260 knots ?then ecstatic when it exceeded 270 knots ?then blown away when I exceeded 280 knots in level flight. It is on my auxiliary page on the MFD and I was wondering if this may be some kind of record. I think it is recorded at 281.5. It was awesome and we made the whole trip non stop in just over 4 hours.
Can you forward this message to our friends at Tornado Alley as I could not have achieved this without their turbo conversion.
Thank you for the wonderful hospitality and excellent service this week in Ada. My 2 1/2 days were productive, rewarding and most enjoyable.
Tim's tour of the facilities Wednesday afternoon was extremely thorough and insightful. The engine test cell is nothing short of incredible. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to share lunch and dinner with
many members of your team Thursday and Friday.
David completed N9BN's inter cooler upgrade without a hitch. He also identified and fixed 2 small but pesky oil leaks that had eluded two other mechanics. His attention to detail, competence, perseverance and enthusiasm are most impressive. David was undaunted by my constant presence and endless stream of questions. He also correctly identified and corrected the J/K thermocouple calibration problem producing falsely
low temperature indications. I appreciated your personal test flight
of the airplane after the conversion. Your recommended adjustments to the the number #4 and #5 GAMIjectors cut the EGT spread in HALF!!!
I also enjoyed spending time with Mack, Brian, and Davy. Davy had my laptop connected to the Internet via your network at T1 speed in no time, allowing me to stay in touch with business during my stay. Mack was kind enough to join the oil leak detection team and answer additional test cell questions. I would love to have stayed for the advanced engine management seminar over the weekend, but family and work commitments prevented me from doing so.
Now for the numbers......
N9BN: BE36 with three bladed prop, Osborne tip tanks and deicing boots.
Temp: -8 C
MP: 28.8" (I have already adjusted the new pressure controller to provide 30" at WOT)
16.0 GPH 200 KTAS
The Whirlwind II's performance is nothing short of amazing: 200 KTAS at FL190 and 16.0 gph in a 3 bladed A36 with tip tanks and boots producing a 1200 nm range and 6 hour endurance with one hour cruise fuel reserve.
The hottest CHT's are 20 degrees below the recommended 380 degree limit. My biggest problem now is keeping the cabin warm enough speeding through the chilly rarefied air. Next on the upgrade list is a more
efficient heater muff. Such problems.
The people, products and service at GAMI and TA Turbo are second to none. What a pleasure to personally enjoy the fruits of your commitment to the advancement of general aviation backed by science and implemented with integrity. Please put me at the top of your ever growing list of completely satisfied customers and refer anyone to me who may be interested in learning more about my experiences with GAMI and TATurbo.
With warm regard and sincere appreciation,
">>I'd get the alt air door checked out before you get a permanent crease in the
pilot's seat cushion.
Door checks out - the magnet is firm but responsive. The turbo system
checks out . . . holds 30" into the low 20,000's. BTW, would you believe
I've gone beyond TBO with this mill. Only one jug was ever off to free up
a bit of carbon from a valve seat. Still burning only 2qts between 50hr
oil changes; compressions all low 70s/high 60's; and Fenton says all oil
analyses are normal. Must be those LOP climbs!
"Dear George, Tim and David.
The louvers you sent fit perfectly. George, I have returned your loaners via
US Priority Mail, so you should receive them in a couple of days.
My Bonanza with your Turobnormalizer runs great. I have put about 15 or 18
hours on it since leaving Ada two weeks ago. I flew it back from Gainsville,
TX to Fallbrook, CA (near San Diego) nonstop at 16,500 Feet and got 191 TAS
Knots using 15.1 GPH. All the CHT temps were well below 380 F (366 highest)
with the TIT showing 1550 F. I have been flying it in the 15,000 to 18,000
Ft. range on my trips and everything performs as advertised.
George, I sure enjoyed our time together and thanks for your advice during
our test and orientation flights. Although I had been flying on the lean
side of peak before we turbocharged it, I learned a lot during our
discussions and orientation. You do a fine job describing not only the "how",
but also the "whys" of the system.
If you have a prospective customer on the West coast, I will be happy to
provide a kind word and a demo if you need one.
Thanks again and will you please pass my thanks to David and his crew for
their good work and attention to detail.
I had scheduled an annual for my Bonanza 238D at the end of July, but I'm not
going to be able to get out there to have it done. I'll just have to do it
here, sorry. Very pleased with the mod. getting a consistant 200 knts at
FL180 burning 16.5 GPH. Cooling in climb is much improved, no problem
staying under 385. Let me know when the S/B alt. will be availiable.
Thanks for all the help in getting everything to/from OK City.
I will be sending you an Invoice for a new paint job. I am sure at
the speeds I am flying that the paint will peel off the plane.