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About philiplane

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    Fort Lauderdale KFXE
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  1. Mooney delivered only 40 airplanes in the five model years (2014-2018) since restarting production, against 1660 by Cirrus in the same period. Beech even sold 108 Bonanzas in the same time frame, making Mooney the lowest volume of the group by a wide margin. And so they have to turn the lights off in Kerrville yet again.
  2. But you aren't buying a new airplane, and new airplanes are what keeps factories in business. You have to divorce your feelings from the reality of the situation, and admit that Mooney cannot survive on the current path. And then there will be no new parts for the old planes. We can all feel the way we feel, but the reality is the market decides who wins and who loses. Mooney is not winning, and that is reality. I also wish it weren't so, but wishes don't keep businesses alive.
  3. If you take four general aviation airplane manufacturers in a booming economy, all with relatively equal offerings, and one company outsells all the others combined, then the market has spoken. Beech makes a handful of Bonanzas because very few people want them today. It has to be a losing proposition on each sale, but the King Airs are probably subsidizing the Bonanza and Baron line to keep it open. It's only a matter of time before the bean counters say enough of the nonsense. Then they will stick with the turbine planes that make money. Cessna closed the Corvalis/TTx line because it didn't complete the jump from a homebuilt to certified aircraft until it was too late. Even with fit and finish and avionics integration finally perfected in the TTx, buyers would look at the cabin size and comfort of a Cirrus, and buy it instead. Cessna focused on the training market, and turbine aircraft. They have buyers for them. They had no buyers for the TTX, probably because the speed didn't overcome the disadvantages of a cramped cabin. (Hint). And the lack of real ice protection until near the end of production didn't help. And let's not forget that Cirrus discovered that the chute seals the deal with non-pilot spouses and corporate boards. Piper has focused on trainers again, and on the M series line. It's what buyers want and Piper is good at both of them. Mooney hasn't figured out where they fit in this picture. They aren't going to poach customers from Cirrus. The products serve similar needs but in different ways. On an 800 nm trip, the 240 knot Acclaim saves all of 30 minutes versus a 210 knot SR22 Turbo, but sacrifices 200 pounds of useful load. On shorter trips the speed is even less of a factor. So absolute speed really doesn't sell, overall utility does. Mooney hasn't learned this yet. Most of the new Cirrus sales are to people and small business that fly two to four people on day trips. The Mooney is not suited to that in its current form. It can't carry enough weight, and the cabin is significantly smaller. I've checked out the latest Acclaims, with the dual doors. It's better, but it's still not competitive. It's still a pilot's airplane, passengers be damned. That really doesn't work when the owner is a non-pilot sitting in the back and writing the checks. In the Cirrus they can literally step into the back seat, and sit down with plenty of legroom and headroom. In the Mooney, it's not a graceful entrance, and it's cozy at best when seated. If Mooney sticks with the current configuration, they will continue to only sell a handful of planes to a shrinking customer base. Back in 2008 when Mooney was shutting down, they told me they couldn't keep the factory open selling less than 80 planes a year. They attempted to get to 100 planes, but didn't make it. They either need to get those 80 sales with existing products, or find out what the market wants and build it before the current investors lose interest.
  4. The Bravo engine is not a de-rated 350 HP engine, like that used in the Navajo. Its closest cousin is the TIO-540-C1A used in the Turbo Aztec. Lycoming bumped the compression up from 7.2 to 8.0 to 1, and added an intercooler, and later, wet heads. In short, they took a hot running engine from the Aztec, added some more power, and stuffed it into an even smaller cowling on the Mooney. It is marginal in cooling, and that is what limits the absolute efficiency of the engine.
  5. I'm on the west end at Hotel ramp hangar 29. Same prices, because Sheltair has control of more than half the airport. It is more expensive on the north side though, so don't complain too loudly. You should have access to the restroom at the east end of hangar 45.
  6. W is the FBO of last resort at FXE
  7. The cost of parts is far more than the time and materials. It's the cost of the entire factory, divided by the volume of parts out the door. If Mooney spends $1 million annually to keep the lights on, and sells one part, that part would cost $1 million. Unfortunate, but true. That's why many companies contract their parts out to vendors, who can't charge their whole overhead to one part. Low volume, highly specialized parts for 30 to 50 year old planes will always be expensive. And without them, the planes will be grounded. I'm amazed that they can continue building parts and grateful that they do.
  8. Mooney has been increasing prices over the past two years, so the prices are representative of the $800k that a new Acclaim costs. Plus, the oldest, low volume parts are seeing larger increases. Which is the same pattern that Beech and Cirrus have been following. There is no uniform price increase, just random whoppers.
  9. the blades need to be checked for excess shake, by grabbing the tips and trying to shake them forward and aft, and side to side. This will detect loose bearings. Attempt to rotate the blades from high to low pitch. This checks the pitch control forks in the hub. If you find less than 1/8" of shake, or less than 1/16" of rotation play, the prop is OK.
  10. Importing from Canada is not as big of a problem as you might think. As part of the transaction, the seller can provide for an Export Certificate of Airworthiness. This is accepted by a US DAR who reviews the paperwork and the plane in conjunction with the US mechanic who will do a conformity inspection. It typically would be less than $2500 on a Mooney with clean paperwork.
  11. the (replaceable) high density pins are on the connector. The 480 has sockets. It's standard electrical repair work. Which the shop that did the transponder install should fix for you.
  12. It's not possible for one function to stop working due to improper seating, since all the pins are at the same height. Nothing at all would work. However, It is possible for one pin to be unlocked in its connector, and then push back when the radio is inserted.That's the most common problem and easy to see. With the radio out, you can push on each pin individually to be certain it is locked. You have to be careful not to bend them, and you need an eight inch long 3/16" diameter plastic tool, with a flat end, such as an artist brush. If you find an unlocked pin, the affected connector has to be removed from the backplate, or the backplate from the rack, for access to push the pin all the way in to lock it. The altitude encoder connects to the 480 on plug P5 pins 30 and 44. This is the 480's RS232 Channel 8. If you put the 480 into Ground Maintenance Mode, there is a page to see the data stream coming from the encoder. The transponder is wired to P5 pins 2,42,22, which is the 480's RS232 Channel 6. These connections are made with very small, high density pins, and 20 to 26 gauge wire, and they are easily damaged during other work. It's also possible that one of the affected pins has a wire that is partly broken. Or the baud rate is incorrect for the RS232 data stream.
  13. Roll oscillations are caused by: 1-Using a narrow track width setting when in GPS mode, as in 0.3 mile setting instead of 2 mile setting in cruise flight 2-dirty slip rings on the roll servo. This can be tested by using a precision power supply hooked to the servo. The servo is supposed to start moving with less than 3 volts applied. If it takes more, the brushes and slip rings are dirty, so the computer will keep sending power until the servo responds. This causes overshooting. Pilots virtually never do the autopilot pre-flight check, which by itself will keep the servo clean through exercise. With a recent rebuild, this shouldn't be a problem, but it should be checked to rule out excess resistance. 3- loose bridle cable, allowing the servo to move excessively before the ailerons catch up.
  14. The information is in their AFC-W300 installation manual, and they elaborate on what works and what doesn't. Basically you want the breather exit inside the lower cowl with no direct exposure to suction effects of the slipstream.The scat hose shown in the photos would be the worst possible placement and orientation for that hose.
  15. The breather exit must not be in the slipstream, or siphoning will occur. You can read more on this at the Airwolf website, they have good instructions on how to place breather tube exits so as to prevent siphoning.