Shocked by the Speed Increase
"After a hundred and fifty hours in the Commander, I started thinking about installing the flap gap seals. I had them on the Beech 18 and they made a big difference. I talked to Gary Gadberry about the gap seals for the Commander. Gary was very conservative in his claims that I would probably see a 15 mph increase in airspeed.
"Last fall I ordered the flap gap seals and my local IA here at Fox Stephens Field in Gilmer, Tx did the installation. With the prefab pieces and the detail drawings provided by Gary Gadberry at Aircenter, the installation [was] simple and straightforward.
"Now, for the good news. I was almost shocked at the resulting increase in performance. Not just a 15 but a 20 mph increase in indicated airspeed. I mean it literally increased from a routine, day in day out 160-165 mph indicated to 180-185 mph at the same power settings and altitudes. Consequently, I now flight plan at 160 kts and should probably use 165 kt. On typical flights, I rarely see under 150 KTS ground speed into the wind, and I typically see 175 to 180 kts or greater with the wind behind me. Coupled with the real time onboard winds aloft weather capabilities of the Garmin 496, I can fine tune my cruise altitudes to maximize my ground speed on outbound and return legs of my flights."
Steve Dean, Pres Texas Forest Products, Inc. Gilmer, TX