Bellanca Viking - Is This Classic Speedster Worth The Money? (You might be surprised)
When it comes to getting a good used four seater airplane, there is no shortage of options on the market right now. But the problem is that the market is full of lower horsepower ones & if you are looking for something that can really go fast, your options are more limited then if you were looking for something that would go 110kts at cruise speed.
That is why the Bellanca Viking is such a great option! It goes fast, it's a four seater and has a lot of horsepower as well. Not only that - it is a nice little airplane in terms of how it looks.
IMPORTANT: You have to realize that there are a few different versions of the Bellanca Viking. You can get a turbo charged version, a version with a Continental engine in it as well as one with a Lycoming engine. So you have to make sure you look closely at the numbers to make sure you get the right information on the correct model as they all have different performance spec's.
Surprising Reason #1 - They've Stood The Test Of Time (Here's what I mean)
The great thing about the Viking models is that they have been around since the 1960's. Also, there was around 1,000 of them produced during this aircrafts time of production. So, obviously a lot of pilots liked the Viking or there would not have been as many produced.
Not only that, if you look at the listings of airplanes for sale you are going to find that there are very few of each Viking model that are on the used market. That is a good thing to have in place if you are looking to buy an airplane. The less that are for sale usually means that the current owners are keeping them because they like to fly or own them.
Also, you have to realize that it might be a bit tough to find the exact one that you are looking for, but when you go to sell the one you potentially buy - you should get a good price for it assuming you have taken care of it and actually bought the right one.
That's why it is very dangerous to buy an airplane where there are dozens of similar ones for sale at the same time. You never know when you are going to want to "upsize" yours or move on and you'll want to maximize your resale value.
An Important "Clue" To Be Looking For
When you are surfing the internet and or looking at classified ads of the Bellanca Viking, make sure you are focused on following up with the owners who have owned their airplane for an extended period of time. What you will find with some of these old airplanes is that some of them have been owned by pilots who have had them for years and in some cases decades.
These are the airplanes you want. The reason is because they are usually esthetically outdated. Meaning: they might need a paint job and some new interior colors. That stuff is cheap in most cases, but you can use that as a negotiating tool when your trying to get a better price.
Also, its generally a good idea to buy from a seller who has been holding onto the airplane for many years. Chances are good they have taken really good care of it and are likely getting rid of it due to medical reasons or just not being able to fly any longer.
Reason #2 - You Should Like This Cruise Speed (Here's why)
This airplane is pretty quick for a four seater that was originally manufactured in the late 1960's. You have to realize that it will cruise around 160 knots (depending on the non-turbo version) that you are looking at.
That is pretty quick and is a lot faster then most of the other 4 seaters on the market from that era of production. Also, the retractile gear make it really clean and add to the higher cruise speed as well.
There are some 4 seaters that are built simply for speed. Obviously, they are going to go faster then the Viking in most cases. But if you are looking for a 4 seater with a lot of power that is somewhat roomy & has great flight characteristics, your going to want to think about the Viking.
Also, it does not seem like the designers had to really give up anything or compromise anything when they designed and built the Bellanca Viking. It's a great airplane that has some really good "all around" features. Sure it is not the fastest bird in the sky, but when you factor in the price, other aspects and the speed - you might find that it meets your criteria.
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