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It is rare that a Flight Simulation aircraft is developed not just by a pilot, but also by the owner of the real aircraft, but that is the case with the DreamFleet Dakota.

A 1980 Piper Dakota, N8086N is owned by DreamFleet's founder, Lou Betti along with several partners, who fly the plane from its home base in New Jersey.

DreamFleet's Lou Betti and the real N8086N

Well-known for its performance, and the ability to "fill the seats, fill the tanks, and cruise for some 700 nautical miles", the Piper Dakota remains one of the best-performing piston singles in its class, even today.

N8086N has seen many changes over the years and some 4500 flight hours, as do many older aircraft. It's original paint scheme and interior are long gone, and the aircraft is now on its third Lycoming O-540 engine. This latest engine being a "performance-tuned" engine, one that delivers smoother operation and the full 235 horsepower it is capable of.

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N8086N's Lycoming O-540-J3A5D engine, newly overhauled by Mena Aircraft Engines.

In addition, the instrument panel is also new. Gone is the old plastic panel, and in its place is an all-metal panel, similar to those installed on the newest Piper aircraft. A Garmin avionics stack only 8.25" high provides all that is necessary for complete IFR navigation and communications, with much room left over on the panel for additional avionics. While the real N8086N does not have an ADF, it has a Strikefinder™ instead, we have added one for those who still need to rely on one for navigation.

We hope you enjoy flying our simulated Piper Dakota, as much as Lou Betti and his partners enjoy flying the real Dakota!


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