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    1981 Rocket (231 conversion)

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  1. Pretty sure @PJClark has a GFC500 installed in his Rocket. Here's a thread with a pic of his panel:
  2. We just got our plane back from HTS in April (2022). We selected him mainly based on location. Unfortunately our experience has been somewhat mixed. While I think he's a meticulous A&P who knows Mooneys and does a good job, I think he might be taking in more work than he has capacity for. Our reseal job began mid-July 2021 and the reseal, annual, and replacement of two cylinders took nine months, and that's with frequent nagging towards the end. I'm not sure how long Wet Wingologists and Weep-No-More are taking, but it seems like a long time. Most recently, a leak developed in one of our tanks and so the plane is going back. While he guarantees his work with a seven year warranty, I'm hesitant to take it back based on how long it took the last time. OP--if this is your first leak, I'd start by asking your A&P to patch it up. If it leaks again though, I'd schedule the reseal, especially given the lead times. With multiple leaks, it's likely the sealant is brittle; you'll likely end up chasing leaks and in the end pay about as much as doing it right.
  3. We've had this issue on and off. A&P and prop shop have said that a little oil is not a big deal, and to try cycling the prop fully on the ground a couple times to reseat the seal. If it continues to leak heavily, then it may be time to replace the seal.
  4. We purchased an overhauled one from http://www.aircraftspecialties.aero/. The overhaul was $1400 with a $3000 core. This was for a TSIO-520-NB though (642085). It started leaking a little some months later, and while the part repair was warrantied, the labor was not. Our A&P had bad experiences with Niagara and didn't want to work with them, but seems that others have had no issues... YMMV. The R&R was an all-day job. I was concerned about the weight of the Energizer starter so I looked into lighter ones. Eventually I ruled out the lightweights (e.g. Skytec). Anecdotally they seem to be fine for four-cylinders, but struggle with large bore sixes. Hartzell has a line of "midweight" starters (e.g., PM1207) that are supposed to be as durable but ~10 lb lighter, but I had no luck actually sourcing one. I went as far as talking with Hartzell factory directly. In the end, the starter tested ok so we decided to just keep it for the time being.
  5. I've puzzled over the Rocket's peculiar CG for a long time now. I've asked others for comparison, but the numbers are inconsistent from plane to plane. We decided to put the plane on actual scales recently, and measured an empty weight of 2390 lbs and 42.3" CG. Others I've asked are 100-150 lbs lighter but I haven't figured out why. With these numbers, if it's only me in front (140 lbs), then I can carry 60 gals fuel if I also carry 120 lbs in the baggage. With two people in the plane and one person in the back, I can add another 10 gallons. With two up front, I'm limited to something ridiculous like 20 gallons before hitting the forward limit, even with full ballast. Part of this is due to the forward CG of the Rocket, and for me, it's exacerbated by the high empty weight. I can't load much before hitting the top "slope" of the limits. In short, it's a fussy experience. Your setup looks similar to mine. A few additional notes: If you have Monroy tanks, the station is at 71" (about the same as the aft seats). It begins filling once there are about 20 gallons in the main. This is specified in the flight manual supplement. Mine didn't include one, but apparently later ones did. See the pics attached. Remember that the front seats full forward and full aft stations are different--34" and 39", respectively. If you need ballast, a case of oil is about 20 lbs. If you need something more compact, check out the lead weights for wakesurfing boats. I use two 50 lb bags and a case of oil to get 120 lbs. On fixing the issue, someone already mentioned the composite prop. Performance improvements aside, it also takes ~36 lbs off the very front, but last I checked it's about $20k. It's an expensive proposition if you aren't looking for a new prop. The service manual describes how to add up to 19 lbs of counterweight (aka charlie weight) in the tailcone at station 197.5". I'm trying to figure out how to go about adding more. By my estimates, 60-70 lbs there would get the CG into the "meatiest" part of the limits and solve my issue completely. Supposedly there's someone who did just that (which was reported secondhand to MS), but I'm haven't had any luck getting more details. Can you ignore it? As already mentioned, in the Rocket it's primarily an elevator authority issue. If you're landing and the elevator stalls in the roundout, your nose is going to slam down. With the already low prop clearance, you're probably looking at a prop strike. I wouldn't "just fly it". Some may suggest it obliquely, and I suspect many do anyway. Remember that once you're outside limits, you're a test pilot #1. edited for grammar
  6. My mistake. I'm not sure what I was thinking of, but thanks for clarifying.
  7. On the support, I'm not terribly concerned. For one, it's not the current reality. On the contrary, Rocket Engineering provided excellent support, for example when we replaced the exhaust recently and when the engine truss was repaired before that. The engine itself is standard in a Cessna 414 and so it's not going anywhere. The drawings are in the manual for everything else. I'm actually more concerned about Mooney parts in general than Rocket Engineering specifically. Rockets in general are forward CG on account of the big engine, so I'd look for a 252 Rocket conversion. They're more rare but I believe the longer body solves the CG issues of the 231 conversion. Lastly, if you need lots of useful load, then this isn't the plane. Between the bigger engine and the ballast, it's basically a two-seater.
  8. In addition to getting above wx, there is hardly any traffic in the 12-18k range. It's too low for jets and too high for naturally aspirated planes. Depending on your region, this may give you significantly better routing when IFR. If you do a lot of long distance flying, I'd definitely go for the K.
  9. It was an M20K but not a Rocket, as I recall. He sold it recently, but still provides upset and transition training. He was my transition CFI for the Rocket I fly. OP congrats! Definitely get that engine monitor, it will help make that engine last. Also, keep in mind that Rocket Engineering's "economy cruise" setting came before CSB09-11A, which specifies 2300 RPM minimum in cruise (http://www.tcmlink.com/pdf2/CSB09-11A.pdf).
  10. Right, I've heard that too, but with the CG this far forward, the remaining envelope just isn't useful. With two adults up front (say, for a flight lesson), even with the max 120 lbs in the baggage, the plane exceeds the forward limit with more than 40 gals fuel, i.e. 30 minutes of flight with a minimal reserve. For a two-person trip, my passenger needs to sit in the back. I'm convinced a a mistake was made in a calculation somewhere, but without the old papers, I can't prove it other than with an actual reweigh. Last question--do you have Monroy tanks? If so, have you seen anything in your POH that says they're at a different station than the mains? An A&P (not one I usually work with, but someone familiar with the Monroy tanks) indicated that the LR tanks should be at a different station because they're aft of the spar, but I don't have any supplements that say this.
  11. Can I ask what your empty weight CG is? I'm in an 81 231 Rocket with 19 lb weights in the back too. The empty CG is 42.9" @ 2346 lbs. This doesn't really make any sense; with two people up front and another 50 lbs of ballast in the baggage, I can fill up with 39 gallons before exceeding the forward limit. To get any sort of range, I have to load up the back to the max and put the passenger in the back seat. This seems off, but at the same time there's no recourse because I don't have any of the old CG papers anymore. We're considering a reweigh to sort things out.
  12. The battery chemistry isn't the same as your ship battery. Those are typically lead acid and require venting because they produce hydrogen when they're charged. Batteries for small electronics (like the GI 275) are typically NiMH or Li-ion. Like your phone, they are are sealed and have no venting requirements.
  13. Mooneys are already pretty slippery as-is, so aerodynamic mods will only net you a couple knots here and there. An often overlooked way to increase speed is to reduce weight either from the plane or the meat bags inside. This is doubly beneficial because it also improves useful load for when you need to load to max gross.
  14. It's a reasonable number. Their system only delivers a pulse of O2 on your inhale. In contrast, traditional systems deliver O2 constantly on both the inhale and exhale, and so you end up wasting about half your O2. The only downside I can think of is that it's an electronic device. If it fails or runs out of power, then it won't deliver O2. However, I think that if it fails, it's more noticeable because you won't feel the puff. It requires less active attention than having to constantly check a flowmeter.
  15. Another vote for the Mountain High O2D2 EDS units. It's by far the most efficient--more so than the oxymizer + flowmeters and much more so than the factory constant flow. At ~$100 per O2 fill in your K, it should pay for itself eventually. With the EDS, you don't need a special conserver cannula. Any regular cannula (albeit with the right narrow tube at the end) will work; they cost about $8 from MH directly. To use the EDS with ship O2, you'll also need an appropriate regulator. Here's the kit that includes everything: https://www.mhoxygen.com/product/o2d2-x-str/ The regulator has a Scott fitting inlet on one end and the outlet to the EDS on the other. I also have a USB power cable which powers the EDS unit, so no batteries required. If you're cheap like I am, email MH and ask if they have any refurb units. They have them on occasion and practically speaking they're as good as new. One upside of the portable system is that O2 from welding supply stores is cheaper. There used to be a difference between medical, aviation, and industrial O2, but no longer. This can also save money over getting O2 from the FBO + recurring inspections for your factory O2. If you already have a factory system installed though, might as well use it since you're already taking the hit on weight.
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