Typical CPL Aircraft
The Cessna 182 is the big brother to the Cessna 172, as described in our typical PPL aircraft guide. The airframe itself is largely the same as the 172, but up front a considerably larger engine with a variable pitch propeller. What does this mean? Bigger engines mean higher performance, variable pitch propellers mean that performance can be extracted through a wider speed range, but in turn these propellers are more complicated to use. Often newer Cessna 182’s are fitted with the excellent Garmin G1000 flight deck suite.
The Cessna 182 has a fixed undercarriage, meaning the basics of the CPL can be completed on this aircraft, but not the latter stages of the course which require a retractable undercarriage.
Like the Cessna 182, the Diamond DA-40 is a fixed gear aircraft, making it only suitable for earlier stages of the course. Unlike the Cessna 182 however the DA-40 is a modern composite low wing aircraft made in Austria. Engines are derived from automotive products which run on Jet A1 fuel, meaning quiet, low vibration operation at a fraction of the fuel burn. The propellers, although variable pitch like many other more complex aircraft, are controlled by computer systems meaning engine control can be completed with a single lever, rather than three or more.
Piper PA28 Arrow
The Piper PA-28 Arrow, like it’s brothers described in the PPL aircraft section, is a traditional low wing metal aircraft. Just like the Cessna 182, powerful engines are fitted with variable pitch propellers for efficient, if slightly complicated, operation. In addition the undercarriage retracts into the wing and fuselage, making the aircraft more aerodynamic and therefore increasing performance. Often used in the latter stages of CPL training, the PA-28 Arrow is a high performance touring machine which handles just as well as it’s more simple Warrior and Cherokee variations.
Piper PA-34 Seneca
The PA-34 Seneca and is a staple of multi engine flight training. Based on a 40 year old design, it has been updated with new engines, turbochargers and advance avionics throughout the years. A six seater aircraft is larger than other aircraft on this list, it is used in both the Multi Engine training and the Instrument Rating. A highly complex aircraft with over 10 levers to operate the engines, it is both very stable and easy to fly, even with only one engine operating.
Beech 76 Dutchess
A rarer aircraft than the PA-34 Seneca, the Beech 76 Dutchess is another aircraft commonly used in Multi Engine and Instrument training. A 4 seat aircraft shares many of the same qualities as the PA-34 Seneca, with stable single engine operations, and great performance.
The Diamond DA-42 is the twin engined variation of the Diamond DA-40. High aspect ratio wings give great climb and cruise performance and it’s turbocharged Diesel engines allow it to climb to altitudes of 18,000ft or more. DA-42’s are fitted with Gamin G1000 glass cockpits as standard, giving the pilot a wealth of information to use when flying.