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#1 Newmooneyguy

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:49 AM

I have an M20E which I really like, but am toying with the idea of a Missile. If there are any Missile owners that would like to chime in with their experience, and likes and dislikes of the airplane, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

#2 74657

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:27 PM

They are amazing airplanes. I had one for 2 years and bought it as it fit my mission profile perfectly and was about 45k cheaper than Ovations at the time. They are easily 1000 mile nonstop planes if you can handle 5 hour stretches. We had no real maintenance issues to speak of and loved the performance. 175 kts all day long on 15 GPS at altitude and 185 on 17 gph under 8000 if you want to push it a little harder. We'd consistently see 1200 fpm climbs year round and 1500 in temps under 40f. Shoot me a pm and ill give you my number if you want to chat more. I'm sure Seth will chime in shortly.

#3 BobAustin

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:00 PM

I have Misslle that I have flown since 1995. Have had SR 22 TN, Cessna340, etc. what I like about the Missle is how low maintinence and reliable...no turbos, wastegates, cherry red exaust ...I live in Texas but spend summers in Colorado...runway at 7500 or so. Usual load is wife and I, 80 -100 lbs baggage and full fuel (92gal with extended tanks). Nice thing is takeoff is at full rich (auto leaning) even at 7500ft.

Consider one that has had all annuals at one of the highly regarded Mooney specialists.

I fly 8-10 k into the wind and 11-13k downwind. 180 -185k.

The glide ratio is 16 to 1 vs 8 to 1 for the Cirrus...nice safety factor. (full feathering prop).

Bob

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#4 Seth

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

I indeed will chime in and apologize for the late reply.  First off, happy new year to everyone!  I wish you all a great 2013.

 

I used to own a 1967 M20F - Great airplane did everything the J did but 10 knots slower and substatially less expensive.  However, I am still amazed at the number of small imporvements outside of just aerodynamics that were made between 1967 and 1983 when my new bird rolled off the line.

 

I concur with pretty much everything Bob and Brandon have stated above.  The Missile is a great airplane and you should think of it as a baby ovation that is the medium length body, and thus a few pounds lighter on 300 HP.  Remember, each Mooney is hand made (you know) and each.

 

The good

-Speed - My oh my, 175 knots all day, 180 easy, 185+ if you want to burn up the engine.  That's zero wind.  Into headwinds you still are in the 150-160 range and with a good tailwind, 220, 230 ground speed.

-Avionics - unless you have updated your avionics I am amazed a the difference between the Missile and my F model just in the panel alone. Auto pilot (amazing to have an autopilot after only having a wing leveler in the F), much better Nav functions, the backup radio is a KX165 (vs my primary KX155 in the F) and a Garmin 430W in the panel.  Just to update those avionics in the F model would be north of $25,000.  I also installed an JPI 830 and have been quite impressed with it at purchase (I overhauled my engine at purchase).  I also put an aera 560 with XM weather into the panel interconnected to the 430 as a backup and for weather in flight.  It is a great little machine.  Avionics differences are amazing. 

-Gross Weight increase - My F had a useful load of 1017 pounds - now I have 1068 pounds

-Long Range Tanks - I have the Monroy long range tanks and can fill 98 gallons of fuel.  Full Fuel sill leave me with nearly 600 lbs in the cabin.

-Aquisition cost - best bang for speed in the normally aspirated world on the market

-Great engineering - Rocket is a great company - they are very nice when you need help and again, they put a lot of time into the STC.  They did the Rocket conversion first, and the Missile was an add on, but still took a lot of hours of testing.  The engine mount is a thing of beauty and the way it is mounted counteracts the tourque even better than some ovations.  Less right rudder needed but no rudder trip as some of the newer Mooney Aircraft have.

-Full feathering prop - better glide distance, fantastic climb, great top speed

-Aerodynamic clean up - it really is amazing how much it's cleaned up over the E/F.  the clamshell gear doors, cowl, air intake for cabin air in the tail, windsheild - everything great like the E just more streamlined.

 

Negatives:

-Fuel Burn - It is much more than your E model and you start thinking per hour what the cost will be, until you realize the distance traveled is greater, so the actualy trip costs are only slightly more.  That being said, if you power back, which you normally wouldn't do on a long cross country (unless you had a heck of a tail wind) because why go slow in a Missile, you can get better fuel burn and higher MPG. 

-Weight - the plane is just heavy compared to your E.  Especially the nose and you'll notice that on landings and manuvering.  It's not bad, but just not as light on the controls as the F or E are.  Anyone with a six cylinder engine in a Mooney and flew the four cylinder engines know the difference in nose weight.  It just means epsecially during landings to have better "touch" for the final flare.  I'd be worried flying into a grass strip in most Mooney's but especially the Missile.  I would be less worried about my old F (gear doors have better clearance and the nose as stated was lighter).

-Cost - the IO-550 is more expensive to maintain than an IO-360, has six cylinders vs four, and a slightly shorter TBO, though it should make it past TBO as part of that was for certification purposes (other aircraft with the IO-550 have 1800 and 2000 hour TBO yet the Missile is 1700).

 

Toss up:

-Manual gear - I did love my manual gear but now I don't worry about my shoulder (I've had it surgically repaired for other issues) or wires/people/fingers geting caught in the Johnson bar - I did love the manual gear.

-Speed is great, but you need to plan ahead even more, makes you a better pilot but can get you into trouble.  Yellow arc is the same as the J, so you cruise right up along it and can easily be in the yello arch during decent unless you really power down.

-Auto lean mechanism - It's nice to have this feature for a given altitude, but it's also something you want more control of sometimes.

-Speed brakes - I had them on the F (really - former owner put them in) and do not have them on the Missile - it just makes me plan a bit more.  Sometimes they'd be nice to have, as the Missile really is slippery, and speeds up as all Mooney's do when going downhill, but planning is the best solution.

-Bladders vs reseal.  I had bladders previously installed in my F - never an issue - great peace of mind.  I now have wet wings and do have the uncertainty in the back of my mind that a reseal of all four tanks will be on the horizon at some point in the next 5 (wishful thinking) to 25 years.

 

I do admit that at some point I'm probably going to get a share of some smaller tail dragger (citabria) or LSA just to be able to putter around at a low fuel burn, but for my mission, the Mooney  Missile really filled the shoes quite well.

 

When I added up paint, unknown probable corrosion repairs (you find when painting), a few speed mods, panel update (GPS in panel, auto pilot, engine analyzer) to my F, I relized even with the money, I'd go maybe 155-160 knots (my F was fast at 147-148 all day, sometimes 150 knots) but still have a 1967 F model value wise.  So I sold the F, and use the difference that I was going to spend over the next 3-4 years and that's pretty much about what the Missile cost me. 

 

It's a great airplane and I'm always amazed what those extra 35-45 knots do to a long cross country.  The fuel tanks make it possilbe to have long range, and also to tank cheap fuel if you find it anywhere. 

 

Let me know if I can answer any other personal questions.  If Brandon's airplane has not yet sold, get in touch with him.  The missile is a great plane.  Another possibility would be a Mooney M20S Screaming Eagle conversion with the 310 STC on the engine.

 

-Seth


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N1165N - 1983 Mooney M20J Missile 300
N9567M - 1967 Mooney M20F (former)

#5 RJBrown

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:32 PM

I had a Rocket. I miss it badly. The MSE is a step backwards. Rocket is a great company. They support the Rocket and Missile wonderfully. Consider them like a TLS/Bravo or Acclaim that was done right. Every direct comparison between the Rocket products and the factory ones leaves the factory examples wanting except for one, cabin space. Higher, faster, further, more useful, MORE reliable and less expensive. Less expensive to buy and operate and now much better supported.



#6 Seth

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

I had a Rocket. I miss it badly. The MSE is a step backwards. Rocket is a great company. They support the Rocket and Missile wonderfully. Consider them like a TLS/Bravo or Acclaim that was done right. Every direct comparison between the Rocket products and the factory ones leaves the factory examples wanting except for one, cabin space. Higher, faster, further, more useful, MORE reliable and less expensive. Less expensive to buy and operate and now much better supported.

 

Just to be sure, not MSE.  Missile.  MSE is an M20J - 200 HP normally aspirated.  The Missile was the conversion by Rocked to the M20J which hung an IO-550 300HP normally aspriated engine.  The Rocket that you had was a turbo.  The Missile is not.  Both of them are hot rods, just the Rocket is fire breathing!

 

For my type of flying and not using O2 often, the Missile made more sense for me (also no turbo to worry about).

 

The MSE however is still a step up from the C and is a great plane.

 

-Seth


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N9567M - 1967 Mooney M20F (former)

#7 RJBrown

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:53 PM

Current plane is an MSE. Yes I miss the Rocket. A Missile performs a lot like a Rocket below 12,000. There is a reason Mooney quit building 4 Cylinder airplanes. The market wanted the bigger engine. You will want one to once you fly one. The Mooney airframe  is a perfect place for 300HP.  



#8 fantom

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

There is a reason Mooney quit building 4 Cylinder airplanes. The market wanted the bigger engine. You will want one to once you fly one. The Mooney airframe  is a perfect place for 300HP.  

 

It wasn't a marketing dictate but a financial one, with Lycoming reducing their discount to Mooney, and while 300 HP is nice, not everybody wants a Missile, or so says their relatively low selling price.



#9 RJBrown

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:33 AM

A financial decision IS a market decision. For about the same price would you buy a 200HP or 300HP plane?

Controller shows about a $20000 premium for the Missile, not enough to justify doing a conversion but significant.

In my opinion well worth it.

 The cost difference to produce 2 different versions was too small to justify the continued production of the 200HP version. The MARKET did not support the J.  



#10 Newmooneyguy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:48 AM

Wow, thanks for all the great info.  Thanks for the website.



#11 bluehighwayflyer

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:56 AM

Folks with a 500K new aircraft budget can presumably also afford to feed and maintain the larger engine, so they prefer them. Many of us on a used aircraft budget, however, prefer the smaller engine because we can afford to feed and maintain them.

The new aircraft market did not support the J, but the used aircraft market continues to love it. Missiles command their relatively small premium in the used market over a stock J because fewer used buyers either want to or can afford to feed and maintain them, and because many in that end of the used market prefer the newer Ovation.

I love the Missile. If I had a bigger aviation budget one would be in my hangar right now instead of my J.


Jim
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#12 rbridges

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:59 AM

Folks with a 500K new aircraft budget can presumably also afford to feed and maintain the larger engine, so they prefer them. Many of us on a used aircraft budget, however, prefer the smaller engine because we can afford to feed and maintain them.

The new aircraft market did not support the J, but the used aircraft market continues to love it. Missiles command their relatively small premium in the used market over a stock J because fewer used buyers either want to or can afford to feed and maintain them, and because many in that end of the used market prefer the newer Ovation.

I love the Missile. If I had a bigger aviation budget one would be in my hangar right now instead of my J.


Jim

I have to agree with Jim on this one.  I simply can't afford a 6 cylinder mooney on my budget without a partner.  I love my C, but I would have gone with something newer than a '65 if price were no object.  



#13 OR75

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:45 AM

according to RE website, they do not do the missile conversion but RE will support the existing fleet.

a great feature of all Mooneys is the strong cage frame that allowed the install of the 300 hp Missile engine. the 305hp is a heavy engine but worked out to be a great combination with the J frame.

I wish Mooney Aircraft Co. would take on the challenge to develop an STC to install a > 250hp Jet A engine on the current frames.
that could be a great business opportunity ... maybe.

#14 Seth

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

OR75 - That is correct, both the Missile and Rocket conversions are dead.  However, Rocket Engineering still supports them.  Some of thier other conversions do look amazing.  Of all conversion shops, I've been very impressed with Rocket Engineering.

 

-The fact that the Missile is a modification of the existing aircraft as opposed to factory OEM is part of the reason it is priced below an ovation.  My Missile was converted in 1997 but I purchased it for 70k to 80k less than Ovations from 95 through 98, and it performs on par if not better than these Ovations due to the lighter weight and full feathering prop (glide ration safety factor).  The conversion cost $99,000 or so, but as stated, can't get it anymore.  It makes much more sense to purchase one that someone had done - I think there were 40 something converted (44? 47?). 

 

-For insurnace purposes, the Missile conversion is considered a safety factor as you get a better rate of climb and glide, and thus the engine out just after takeoff for the impossible turn has a shorter window (I was amazed when Parker explained to me that the Missile vs M20J stock actually was less when similar comparisons were run insurance wise - part of that is probably because of the number of aircraft converted vs the number of Missiles that have had crashes/issues).

 

-RJBrown - I understand now - sorry about the confusion between the MSE and Missile - you have an MSE (very nice one at that) but  yes, there is a difference between the 300 HP and 200 HP birds.  I didn't feel like using O2 that often, hence didn't go turbo with my upgrade.  However, I do plan to get a 2 place O2 system for a trip out west in May 2013 so that I can make use of tailwinds coming back or if I have to get up over certain mountains depending on the route I take.  I figure the Missiel will easily make it to 15,000, even 17,999, and will get pushed a very low fuel burn at that altitude.  So why not take advantage of strong tailwinds and low fuel burn.  Also, I'd love to have O2 for night flights when I've cruised higher than 5000 (which you have to do to keep fuel burn a bit lower in the Missile).

 

-I admit that I do miss the M20F when I would land after a two hour flight and find that I burned less than 17 or 18 gallons.  Or after a one hour flight and find that it was 8 or 9 gallons (I used to keep the bladders full on the ground when I could).  That is simply not the case with a thirsty 300 HP engine.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Missile and do fly a lot of Cross Country, but for those local fun flights, I really do miss the efficiency of the 200 HP Mooney aircraft. 

 

-Seth


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#15 RJBrown

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

I bought the MSE for its legendary efficiency but find it is just too hard to go back. Power corrupts and Turbo power absolutely corrupts. When I owned the Rocket fuel was just climbing through $2.00 now with it fluctuating wildly between $4.50 and $6.50 I talked myself into the 8-10 GPH MSE and out of a 231 or 20gph Rocket. Now I miss the climb of the turbos. I think I could live with a 231 but the inability to comforably climb in the mountains makes me unhappy with the MSE. So any of you flatlanders east of me want a great low time MSE give me a call. Brand new engine and under 1900TT.



#16 fantom

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

I bought the MSE for its legendary efficiency but find it is just too hard to go back.

 

Was that a financial or market decision? ;)  Market decisions have financial ramifications, and visa versa, but lets not get into a debate about semantics.

 

When I ordered my MSE in 1993 I really wanted a 252, but the factory wasn't producing them. I ruled out a TLS/Bravo because of all the horror stories circulating about them back then.

 

So an MSE it was, even as under non-disclosure Mooney told me about the new Ovation coming out in 1994, and was willing to sell me a same configuration plane for about $25K more. Sweet deal, but just too many open questions about a new plane. As was explained to me, by engineers at the factory, that was the cost delta between the two, mostly driven by the cost of the engine. Both the Ovation and the MSE were produced on the same assembly line, and the cost to production was very close. The engine, a bit more aluminum and a few other items were the only real differences, BUT the profit margin on an Ovation was much better. Right to the end the MSE was selling some, and the only driving forces for stopping production was that the factory wasn't making any money on their sale, Lycoming wasn't fronting them as much of the carrying cost of the fewer engines they factory was buying and they were knocking heads. It was a financially driven decision, not a marketing driven one. I was very close to these decisions back then.

 

Two years later, sometime in 1995, I looked into a Missile conversion, and Conrad wanted about $75 or 80K IIRC, with no help selling my 250 hour perfect IO-360. The local experimental guys though I could get about $20-25K for it, so the Missile conversion would have run me about $55K. That was the same price delta between a new MSE and a new Ovation, at the time. All for about 15 knots at the altitudes I was flying and maybe 4 or 5 more GPH. Remember this was before the popularity of LOP. Since the conversions had little history and a miniscule installed base, it seemed the risks for maybe 15 knots were too high, and it was an easy decision for me to walk.

 

At the MARKET price these days, I consider the Missile a heck of a plane, if that's what you want. For me, I still lust after a Siai Marchetti SF-260, or an Encore...even as I know either would be impractical for my current missions.

 

Yes, YMMV B)


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#17 skeptic

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:25 AM

Interesting topic.....thanks to all for sharing their experiences.

 

Can anyone comment on the pros and cons of a Missile vs. a 252?  Prior to this thread I would have thought that the 252 would be the most desireable of the two, but after reading the comments here, the Missile sounds like a very capable machine.

 

I assume that the Missile will generally burn more fuel than a 252.  Is it worth the extra fuel costs?



#18 RJBrown

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:58 AM

252 and Missile are not usually compared directly. Generally a buyer will consider if a turbo fits them or not. Turbos perform better over 12,000' and are capable of climbing well into the flight levels. The certified ceiling of a 252 is 28,000'. Normaly aspirated aircraft do their best work under 10,000' and rarely get over 16,000'. There are 2 basic non turbo Mooneys. 4 cylinder and 6. The 4s are Lycomings. Models A through J with constant improvement over the years. The 6s are 300 hp Continentals. The missile is a J that had the 200hp engine replaced with a 300hp one. The turbos come in 2 sizes also. Ks have 360ci engines. The large version started with Lycoming 540s and later got 550 ci Continentals. The Rocket is a K that had its 360 ci engine replaced with a 520 ci one. Missiles are usually compared with Ovations. The 252 uses less fuel but has higher power plant costs. They are both great planes but they fill different mission requirements.

#19 skeptic

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:40 AM

Thanks......good info.  I am pretty familiar with the 201 and 252, but have no experience with the Missile and Rocket mods.  Sounds like some very capable modifications for those who require the additional power/performance.



#20 rocketman

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:46 AM

Let me chime in here about the 201 and Rocket....as I currently own and fly both. I bought my 1982 201 in 1989 and have flown it almost without fault  and is as reliable as a Cessna 150. After 23 years of ownership, I sort of got the mid life crisis and wanted something more powerful and sexy . Of course I'm speaking of airplanes (happily married for 25 years) so last year I took a quick ride in a Rocket and instantly fell in love with it. Gosh, you almost need a cervical collar to prevent whiplash when accelerating down the runway. Amazing performance, so I decided to go on my hunt for my "red Corvette convertible" immediately after landing. After a few months I found an average equipped Rocket with average interior and radios but with excellent paint, metal, and engine and bought into a 1980 231 Rocket conversion. The price was right with a 30 hour Victor overhaul. And so I spent my remaining budget on new interior from Aero Comfort and a completely updated panel from Ron Collins Aviation in Henderson, KY with Garmin 750 GTN, Aspen EFIS, JPI 830, and everything else I could fit into the panel. 

 

When I got the plane back, my midlife crisis was over! Hangar flying is back again on those rainy-snowy cold winter days, hanging with my pilot friends of yesteryears. Every flight in the Rocket is a new experience and a learning experience for a relatively low time turbo charge pilot. 

 

So, back to original question, my 201 is used for local flying on those days where you just want to escape and witness the beauty of our planet, going for the $500 hamburger, and extending our home radius to 200 miles or so. I fly it once or twice a week to keep the corrosion at bay (yes, that is the biggest detriment to our engines). The plane is a joy to fly and requires little pampering. 25 hour oil changes, engine preheat with a Reiff system, and Mooney Savvy annuals and the thing flys all day long. Its been a part of me just about as long as my wife and can never get rid of either!

 

The Rocket" Wow, what a difference. The Rocket is a never ending learning experience with multiple power settings, altitudes, O2 levels, wind and weather variables, turbocharging and temperature considerations, % HP settings, speed reduction demands, turbulance factors on speed, and of course fuel expense. The Rocket is not cheap to fly. If you have to ask how much fuel consumption ROP (which is how I fly) it costs, you don't need a Rocket. If you think the $500 hamburger is expensive, you don't need a Rocket. If you think training is unimportant, you don't need a Rocket. But if you think divorce or marriage counseling is cheap, you ABSOLUTELY need a Rocket! 

 

I use the rocket for extended trips to Florida with my wife and kids, business trips and those special escape excursions you take after a major successful event in your life. And after 27 years of flying I still have the thrill of flying my first Cessna 150, my first take off and landing and the embarrassment of cutting my T-shirt, and of course my excitement of my first date with my wife way back in 1982!  


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