Ride-along on an IFR West Adventure flight in the “Green Hornet”
By Field Morey
Chris Hansen from Colorado was interested in the Cessna Corvalis TTx just like I was just three years ago. Similarities included the fact that we both had late model G1000 Turbo Skylanes, which we liked but we both lacked first-hand knowledge or flight experience with the TTx.
So Chris did the sensible thing. He enrolled in the Cessna Corvalis TTx Discovery Flight program. The three-day opportunity would allow Chris to receive real-time cross-country experience from a veteran flight instructor who pulls no punches when it come to relating the pros and cons of this machine, restarting the clock on your BFR and ICC….plus seeing great scenery and having a whale of a great time.
Soon after a cockpit orientation period to cover the workings of the Garmin G2000 avionics suite in the TTx, we were off to South Lake Tahoe leaving Medford, Oregon behind. During climb, we engaged the rudder lock system so we can relax our right foot. (Works nice, by the way!) Fifteen minutes after takeoff, we leveled off at FL190 just in time to catch a view of Mt. Shasta at 3 o’clock low.
During the climb, the Cessna’s annunciation systems “chimes” when you leave 12,000′ to remind you its O2 time. The oxygen controls on the Mountain West pulse-flow system were set to start delivering upon leaving 10,000 feet so it was just a matter of turning on the electronic oxygen valve. I highly endorse this system as it not only a miser when it comes to extending the endurance of your oxygen, but it gives a much healthier dose when you inhale, compared to the constant flow factory system.
Another “chime” sounds when you pass FL180. This one is twofold: You are first reminded to set your altimeter to pressure altitude setting of 29.92 inches and a to turn on the vapor suppression system, eliminating possible vapor lock issues with the fuel system.
The level off checklist I developed calls for:
• Disengage rudder lock
• Prop to 2400 RPM
• Throttle to 75% power (No need to set manifold pressure)
• Mixture to 16 GPH initially, then
• Lean the hottest TIT to 50° Lean of Peak (you have 2 turbos, hence TTx)
• After leaning to 50° LOP the power will drop from 75% to 65%, fuel flow to 15.2 GPH and TAS to 190 knots.
Note that the 190 knots true airspeed is far below the 235 knots that you see in Cessna ads. I personally run 65% power not the 85% that is needed to reach 235 knots. With the mixture set to Lean of Peak my cylinder temps run nice and cool around 350 degrees. One hour after takeoff we reach TOD (Top of descent) signaling its time to begin our descent for Lake Tahoe.
On the next leg of the flight to Vegas, we “stretch the legs” of the TTx. Twenty minutes after takeoff, we level at FL250 where the TAS reads 203 knots. I usually set the GA (Go-around) function on the ground before takeoff so our pitch attitude on autopilot is 7° up. This yields about 125 knot initial climb speed. (Vy = 110 knots) Again….keep the engine cool!!!
Not long after leveling off, we reach TOD and begin our descent. That climb to altitude pays off if you will note the groundspeed readout on the MFD. Refueling at Las Vegas results in 64.5 gallons for 3.8 hours including two climbs to the Flight Levels…..not bad!
The leg to Sedona, AZ was conducted at 11,000 feet with TAS of 180 knots at 65% power and 50° LOP.
In part two, I will describe days two and three that concluded Chris’ Corvalis TTx Discovery Flight, and give you his impressions of “The Green Hornet.”