gsengle

New 4 seat Mooney from retooled M10?

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So which is it? Stall spead or landing gear? Or both? It seems to me, strengthing the landing gear is attainable. 300 pounds of usable load worth of strength? I don't know. 
 
 


Both. Remember bulking the gear and the wing attachment adds weight too...


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It'd cruise at 201mph, burn mogas, cost newmoo.thumb.png.c269b26c0e91e86380bb521e5a655a55.png
 


I won't accept a fast fixed gear Mooney!


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The most expedient fix for the M20 would be a weight reduction program...Getting a wing that is twice as strong as required should be good enough instead of 3x or 4x as one example.

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I think the best thing for Mooney and general aviation is to go back to its roots and build an affordable plane.  Sure, people want the latest and greatest, but few people can afford to buy $800k+ planes.  In another ten years at the rate of price increases we are seeing we will be looking at planes that cost a minimum of $1.5MM.  This is not sustainable and will destroy general aviation.  They should take a tried and true airframe like the M20J and build them through automation like a 21st century Ford factory.  Have CNC machines make all the parts so they're 100% identical to reduce the labor need to get everything fitting together.  The only thing I would add is a chute, which I don't care to have, but would make a lot of your modern day overly cautious types (e.g., wives) get on board.

If you really think about it, the materials that go into an airplane are relatively inexpensive.  The labor of building them by hand is relatively expensive.  Of course certified parts like engines and modern avionics jack up the cost, but if you vertically integrate and hopefully get a relaxed regulatory environment then you can cut those down substantially.  

I'd buy a new M20J that cost $250,000 new and that flew a good 160kts TAS over a new $800k Cirrus that had a few more bells and whistles that didn't add to the true aviation experience any day.  And if that was the price then I think a lot more people would be buying planes.

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3 minutes ago, Ben E. said:

I think the best thing for Mooney and general aviation is to go back to its roots and build an affordable plane.  Sure, people want the latest and greatest, but few people can afford to buy $800k+ planes.

Vans Aircraft has captured that market.  Production planes cannot compete at that level.

If you want affordable, go experimental.  If you want a full-service air machine, cough up a half a million.  (Oh, do you want TKS with that?)

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There will never be enough volume in GA to pay for large scale automated production. It would never pay off to install all of those machining centers, welding robots, drilling/riveting robots, etc.

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46 minutes ago, gsengle said:

 


Both. Remember bulking the gear and the wing attachment adds weight too...


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Well, you've got 2 knots to play with as things stand today according to your Ovation POH. Bet you could do what Cirrus did and get another knot by lowering the flaps just a tad more. Then there are VGs that are good for 4 more knots. I don't have my calculator but I'm fairly positive 282lb gross increase (to 3650) is within that 3 knot margin.

As to landing gear, that would require a redesign to a modern short throw shock instead of rubber, that's the primary issue, but I see no reason why landing gear could not remain as compact as it is. With what already is a trailing link gear, Mooney would become a easiest piston to land if rebound was properly controlled.

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Just now, AndyFromCB said:

With what already is a trailing link gear, Mooney would become a easiest piston to land if rebound was properly controlled.

Mooney fly-ins would be a bore if all those Cirrus and Bonanza pilots found out they could get by landing a Mooney thanks to the new gear though... <_<

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20 minutes ago, Mooneymite said:

Vans Aircraft has captured that market.  Production planes cannot compete at that level.

If you want affordable, go experimental.  If you want a full-service air machine, cough up a half a million.  (Oh, do you want TKS with that?)

I know that's the general consensus, but they used to compete at that level.  Planes used to cost a lot less, even when compared to income levels.  And I think if they don't learn to compete at that level again soon then they will all go out of business.  

 

14 minutes ago, KSMooniac said:

There will never be enough volume in GA to pay for large scale automated production. It would never pay off to install all of those machining centers, welding robots, drilling/riveting robots, etc.
 

That's the great thing about modern industrial automation and 3D printing.  You can take solutions developed for other industries and adapt them without much work to something like airplane building.  I think this will be even more viable in five years or so.  There's been amazing advances in what can be done cheaply.  

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Find a dynamic magnetic damped shock to replace the doughnuts with...


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Just now, Ben E. said:

 And I think if they don't learn to compete at that level again soon then they will all go out of business.  

I think the handwriting is on the wall   :angry:.  Personally, I think Mooney may be one of the early victims if the Chinese pull the plug.  Mooney attracts the "economically efficient" segment.  Experimental aircraft give a lot of bang for the buck and are very reasonably maintainable.

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The rapidly rising prices started in the early 80s due to the over zealous legal problem. Friends of mine plotted the price of a new 172 from it's introduction through the 90s as compared to an average starting salary for a new engineer...it was essentially 1:1 until about 1980 when the divergence started. Now it is 8:1. That is what has killed GA, and if it weren't for 40 year old planes most of us wouldn't be active. Nobody in the middle class can even remotely dream about buying a new plane like they could 40 years ago.

Find a way to truly put the legal cat back in the bag and that is how the problem will be solved.

Additive manufacturing is exciting, but as far as I have seen there isn't any for high strength to weight materials that are required for flying vehicles.

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Nah legal isn't the problem at all. It's pilots. It's Nintendo. We haven't sold our hobby. We haven't made it broadly interesting.


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Forgot to mention..."what can be done cheaply" is done on multi-million dollar machines. And for a complex assembly, many different machines are required. If Mooney had $100 million dollars to spend on machines, how much cost would come out of the end product? Even if the imaginary reduction doubled sales to 20 planes/yr, or in fantasy land they got up to 100/yr again, how long would it take to pay back the cost of those machines?

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For the record, I work in the industry and have worked for the smallest companies in GA and the biggest in the commercial end, and one in the bizjet space. I've seen a lot of manufacturing and have tried to think of a way to make GA affordable...and it just can't happen until the legal climate is really reformed. Product liability insurance zaps 15-20% of the cost of every product in this industry, and it gets compounded as parts pass through the supply chain through many vendors since any of them become a target.

Imagine the raw material that gets made into a bolt and sold to an engine company. They make an engine and sell it to Mooney. Mooney sells the plane. There are at least 4 entities in that chain that now have liability exposure, and the cost of the bolt more than doubled as a result. Maybe even more than doubled. It is a terrible problem.

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13 minutes ago, KSMooniac said:

For the record, I work in the industry and have worked for the smallest companies in GA and the biggest in the commercial end, and one in the bizjet space. I've seen a lot of manufacturing and have tried to think of a way to make GA affordable...and it just can't happen until the legal climate is really reformed. Product liability insurance zaps 15-20% of the cost of every product in this industry, and it gets compounded as parts pass through the supply chain through many vendors since any of them become a target.

Imagine the raw material that gets made into a bolt and sold to an engine company. They make an engine and sell it to Mooney. Mooney sells the plane. There are at least 4 entities in that chain that now have liability exposure, and the cost of the bolt more than doubled as a result. Maybe even more than doubled. It is a terrible problem.

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Garmin's Aviation margin is 17%. Even after the lawyers. . 

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Imagine if we tripled the ga Pilot population what would happen


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Garmin's Aviation margin is 17%. Even after the lawyers. . 

Good for them...That is hard to get in this industry. They've beaten most of their competitors and earned it. Some of their decisions and pricing though are leaving room for competitors to play in our market and hopefully keep pricing pressure on them, lest they end up like Bendix-King.

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Imagine if we tripled the ga Pilot population what would happen


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We'd have more pilots that can't afford new planes?

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1 hour ago, Ben E. said:

I think the best thing for Mooney and general aviation is to go back to its roots and build an affordable plane.  Sure, people want the latest and greatest, but few people can afford to buy $800k+ planes.  In another ten years at the rate of price increases we are seeing we will be looking at planes that cost a minimum of $1.5MM.  This is not sustainable and will destroy general aviation.  They should take a tried and true airframe like the M20J and build them through automation like a 21st century Ford factory.  Have CNC machines make all the parts so they're 100% identical to reduce the labor need to get everything fitting together.  The only thing I would add is a chute, which I don't care to have, but would make a lot of your modern day overly cautious types (e.g., wives) get on board.

If you really think about it, the materials that go into an airplane are relatively inexpensive.  The labor of building them by hand is relatively expensive.  Of course certified parts like engines and modern avionics jack up the cost, but if you vertically integrate and hopefully get a relaxed regulatory environment then you can cut those down substantially.  

I'd buy a new M20J that cost $250,000 new and that flew a good 160kts TAS over a new $800k Cirrus that had a few more bells and whistles that didn't add to the true aviation experience any day.  And if that was the price then I think a lot more people would be buying planes.

So, do you think a weight reduction could net 50lbs? What could you do without having recertification issues? 

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23 minutes ago, jetdriven said:

Garmin's Aviation margin is 17%. Even after the lawyers. .. I am skeptical of that 17% number. Please share your source. 

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We'd have more pilots that can't afford new planes?

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No, fixed costs would get amortized over triple the business and prices could start to fall on everything from fuel to new aircraft and a virtuous cycle might begin, as opposed to the price population death spiral we are in....


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1 hour ago, Ben E. said:

I think the best thing for Mooney and general aviation is to go back to its roots and build an affordable plane.  Sure, people want the latest and greatest, but few people can afford to buy $800k+ planes.  In another ten years at the rate of price increases we are seeing we will be looking at planes that cost a minimum of $1.5MM.  This is not sustainable and will destroy general aviation.  They should take a tried and true airframe like the M20J and build them through automation like a 21st century Ford factory.  Have CNC machines make all the parts so they're 100% identical to reduce the labor need to get everything fitting together.  The only thing I would add is a chute, which I don't care to have, but would make a lot of your modern day overly cautious types (e.g., wives) get on board.

If you really think about it, the materials that go into an airplane are relatively inexpensive.  The labor of building them by hand is relatively expensive.  Of course certified parts like engines and modern avionics jack up the cost, but if you vertically integrate and hopefully get a relaxed regulatory environment then you can cut those down substantially.  

I'd buy a new M20J that cost $250,000 new and that flew a good 160kts TAS over a new $800k Cirrus that had a few more bells and whistles that didn't add to the true aviation experience any day.  And if that was the price then I think a lot more people would be buying planes.

I agree with this. They could even allow for a variety of options depending on how much the buyer wants to spend. I think the price would need to be under $250,000 though. In order to allow more affordable planes to enter the market, we'll need some assistance on the regulation end of things. Part 23 re-write would be huge. Imagine if Mooney could sell an M20X that used technology and parts designed for experimental planes. For most of us, that would be just fine. Easier to work on, cheaper to own/maintain and upgrade and we don't use it for commercial purposes. We need the law/regulations in place in order to do that, though.

I'm not sure where AOPA or EAA is at on this but it seems like something they'd be able to take the lead on.

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1 hour ago, gsengle said:

Nah legal isn't the problem at all. It's pilots. It's Nintendo. We haven't sold our hobby. We haven't made it broadly interesting.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Although Nintendo isn't the problem but more so the solution. Just imagine how much less costly your life would be if you were as sensible as all the other energetic, adventurous, ingenuitive would-be-aviators out there that chose Nintendo instead?

I believe that a large portion of the 60's era aviator community became pilots for the Nintendo aspect of it. There was no Nintendo so those wanting to get a "fix" of controlling complex mechanical scenarios were drawn into cars, boating, amateur radio, and aviation. The video game world provides that sort of "fix" much more effectively, comfortably, conveniently, and affordably. For all but the most bold or traveling, that is a sufficient dose of the excitement that we find in piloting. I don't think aviation will ever get that demographic back. They got their Nintendo, what's the point of a costly, dangerous, problematic real airplane?

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It's also outdoor activities in general. Visits to national parks are way down - as one example.


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