Flying the Light Retractables, by Leroy Cook

Flying the Light Retractables

by Leroy Cook

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LeRoy Cook's guided tour through the most popular high-performance single-engine airplanes.

Follow author LeRoy Cook on a tour of the retractable-gear airplanes you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Flying the Light Retractables is an informative journey through the development history of each plane with plentiful insight into design considerations, evolutionary changes, advantages and disadvantages of the different models, and background on maintenance issues. Pilots or potential owners will really get a sense of the subtle or not-so-subtle differences; this is like going flying with the author and having the advantage of his eye for detail and sense of observation.

Cook gives a unique perspective on ergonomics, control feel and other features that work or don’t work for the pilot and/or passengers…it becomes obvious that he has spent many hours in different makes of aircraft. As a potential buyer, you’re most interested in performance and economic trade-offs, and Cook excels in such details. His balanced discussion stacks the technical detail (speeds, loads, etc.) against economic factors. You’re not swamped with numbers, but you come out with a good sense of what you need and want to know about flying these light retractable-gear airplanes.

Beautiful photographs (some in color) accompany each airplane discussion, covering these aircraft:
Mooney M20C, M20J 201/MSE,
Beech Bonanza 35,
Beech Sierra,
Cessna Cardinal RG,
Cessna Cutlass RG,
Lake Buccaneer,
Piper Comanche 180,
Piper Arrow,
Rockwell Commander 112TC.

This authoritative reference takes airplane enthusiasts on a tour of 11 of the most popular high-performance, single-engine airplane models, commonly referred to as light retractables. Each plane’s development history is accompanied by valuable insight into its design considerations, important evolutionary changes, the pros and cons of each model, and any noteworthy maintenance issues. A unique perspective on how the planes’ technical and ergonomic aspects play out when in use is provided to potential owners and pilots; those same elements are also weighed against economic considerations for a balanced look at each plane. Stunning photography illustrates each aircraft discussed, including the Beech Bonanza 35, Cessna Cutlass RG, and Piper Comanche 180.

LeRoy Cook is a flight instructor who has been studying various aspects of aviation for more than 50 years. He is a former senior editor and columnist at Private Pilot Magazine, the author of 101 Things to Do with Your Private License, and the coauthor of American Aviation: An Illustrated History. He lives in Butler, Missouri.


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