My name is Bill Palmer, and I am new to this forum. I have always liked the Bakeng Duce/Deuce, and I would like to find out more about it. I have reviewed the Deuce specifications on this website, and the specified performance looks fine except for the 12,000 ft Service Ceiling (at 100 ft/min climb) with an O-320. To me, 12,000 ft seems more like the Service Ceiling for the original 0-290-powered Duce than for an O-320-powered Deuce. Does anyone have some “actual” high-altitude climb rate data to offer?
Some Definitions for your loose consideration:
Service Ceiling: The maximum density altitude at which the sustained climb rate with a “normal” payload* drops to 100 ft/min. Or, more practical for us, the maximum indicated altitude (with current barometric setting) at which the sustained climb rate with a “normal” payload* drops to 100 ft/min; with standard temperature (approx. 60 deg F) at sea level. (Caveat: The Service Ceiling definition can certainly get a lot more technical and precise, but who cares?)
* For practical purposes, one or two persons and approximate fuel remaining (quarter, half, three-quarters) at altitude.
Absolute Ceiling: The maximum indicated altitude (with current barometric setting) at which the maximum-power climb rate with a “normal” payload* drops to zero (just above stall); with standard temperature (approx. 60 deg F) at sea level. (Caveat the same as before.)
From the “Hall of Fame:”
I see that the Deuce has been climbed to 14,000 ft (still climbing, but pilot oxygen-limited) and 15,500 ft is the record. I assume 15,500 ft is an Absolute Ceiling number, but I’m not sure. There is also a report that a Canadian Deuce climbed to 16,000 ft.
Well, anyway, I am wondering what a Deuce’s “real world,” high-altitude climb performance is. Does anyone have sustained climb rate data at, say, 8,000 feet with a 150hp O-320 or 160hp O/IO-320? Anything you can contribute to our mutual understanding of “actual” Deuce high-altitude climb rate would be greatly appreciated. Precision is not required! If it’s real good data, I’ll mail you a gift card for a hamburger! If you can estimate a reasonable “actual” Deuce Service Ceiling number with forum consensus, it’s a hamburger meal!
Thanks, and Best Regards,
Mogollon Airpark, Overgaard, AZ
Okay, I’ll attempt to answer my own question. Thanks to a couple of former Deuce owners who contacted me directly, I have a reasonable idea of the Deuce’s actual high altitude climb performance. In short, with an O-290 or particularly an O-320, it’s better than the Deuce’s “official” 12,000 ft MSL service ceiling specification indicates. The Deuce’s actual service ceiling under standard conditions is more like 14,000 ft MSL or, more likely, somewhat higher.
Comparing the Deuce to a Super Cub: An O-290/320-powered Deuce with a 30-ft wing span cannot climb as well as an O-320-powered Super Cub with its 35-ft wing span (33-ft effective span considering the Cub’s fuselage) and very similar airfoil (Cub’s USA 35B to the Deuce’s Clark Y). The Super Cub’s 19,000 ft service ceiling is hard to beat. That being said, the Deuce’s 14,000 ft (+) actual service ceiling is very respectable and certainly practical for flying the U.S. intermountain west as long as the Deuce pilot keeps a careful eye on density altitude and very high terrain. In other words, with respect to high altitude climb performance, the Deuce can be safely flown anywhere in the U.S. “Lower 48.” Alaskan or Canadian flying through extremely high, rough, and remote terrain may result in a different story, but that’s for someone else to tell!
Best Regards to the Bakeng Duce/Deuce Family,
Mogollon Airpark, Overgaard, AZ