Compare the fixed costs, variable cost, and performance of Beechcraft Duke B60 to over 500 jets, turboprops, helicopters and piston aircraft, with accurate data from Conklin & de Decker.
If looks alone sold airplanes, the Duke would be a best seller. The airplane is sleek and fast looking. The Duke first flew in 1966 and 596 Dukes were produced from 1968 to 1982. The B60 is differentiated from earlier Dukes by having more fuel, different exhaust stacks, and improvements to the turbocharged engines.
Two 380 hp Lycomings power the Duke. The turbocharged TIO-541 engines have developed a reputation for being costly to maintain and overhaul. After 1977, the engines in the B60 seem to have fewer problems but are still not inexpensive. Later model engines have a 1,600-hour overhaul interval. Most earlier models that were at 1,200-hour intervals are now at 1,600-hours after overhauling and replacing the cylinders and pistons. Operating costs are reported as high for a light twin.
The Duke is fast for a light twin but this comes at the cost of fuel consumption. The cabin is comfortable enough for six but the rear of the cabin tapers so aft occupants sit elbow to elbow. The Duke's handling is reported as “rock solid.”
Lycoming Ly TIO-541-E1C4 2