CMartin

Costs comparison on aircrafts

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I'm just wonder if any of you guys have done a cost (fixed-not counting hanger) comparison on different aircraft? It seems for a complex, fast single, efficiency,  Mooney is the way to go? But maybe not if you want to haul much? correct? In the next year I am considering stepping up to something to gain complex time and I have started looking at Mooney's, Beech Sierra's and even Bonanza's. 

I don't know much about the fixed costs of a Sierra but I'm finding with the Bo I can expect triple just in the insurance ($3,000 yr range).

I've always leaned more towards the Mooney J models.

Thoughts????

 

Before you ask, my typical mission will be my wife and I chasing kids (college games, visits, short vacations, sight seeing, etc..) with a 450nm trip with the occasional 800nm. And a lot of short airport restaurant trips.  

So....why a Mooney??

Reliable? Forgiving? Room? useful loads? etc..

 

Thanks everyone!

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11 minutes ago, CMartin said:

I'm just wonder if any of you guys have done a cost (fixed-not counting hanger) comparison on different aircraft? It seems for a complex, fast single, efficiency,  Mooney is the way to go? But maybe not if you want to haul much? correct? In the next year I am considering stepping up to something to gain complex time and I have started looking at Mooney's, Beech Sierra's and even Bonanza's. I don't know much about the fixed costs of a Sierra but I'm finding with the Bo I can expect triple just in the insurance ($3,000 yr range).

Eliminate the Sierra. The Mooney-Beech decision for me came down to useful load. I loved all four of my Mooneys but none had nearly the useful load that I require today and that my Bonanza has. Insurance is very much a function of insured value of the airplane, there's no way a similar value Bonanza is three times what a Mooney is. Just . . . not . . . possible.

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You said it. Speed and efficiency is the benefit of the M20J. You can certainly spend more on fuel to carry more or to go faster. But for two people and luggage, it's really hard to beat a J. And even when compared to other airplanes with more useful load, compare the fuel required to get to your destination. You'll often find that the useful load is comparable when you learn how much fuel you can leave behind and still get to your destination. 

Example, my M20K only has 900lbs of useful load and carries 76 gal of gas. So the full fuel payload isn't very good at all. But full tanks give me almost 7 hours of range which can take me more than 1200nm easily. So for a 450nm trip, I can leave a lot of fuel behind and fill the cabin. Even an 800 nm trip won't require full tanks.

Believe it or not, the Mooney cabin is wider than most other piston singles. That includes all the Cessna's, the Pipers, and even the V-tail Bo's. The difference is that you're sitting close to the floor, like a Vette or Porsche.

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Your question leads me to believe cost of ownership could be an issue. If not and you have massive reserves of funding then I'm not qualified to speak to this...However, if you are looking for a relatively fast airplane that is not super expensive to purchase and operate then you can't beat a C,E or F. Our C has useful load of 1015 lbs burns 9gph at 140 to 145 knots. We can go over 500 miles and still have well over an hours reserve.

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3 minutes ago, bonal said:

Your question leads me to believe cost of ownership could be an issue. If not and you have massive reserves of funding then I'm not qualified to speak to this...However, if you are looking for a relatively fast airplane that is not super expensive to purchase and operate then you can't beat a C,E or F. Our C has useful load of 1015 lbs burns 9gph at 140 to 145 knots. We can go over 500 miles and still have well over an hours reserve.

Well said.  Honestly, the C E F & G are close enough to be about the same performance and cost as Bonal said.  There’s some personal preference in there with J bars and injected vs carb and maybe a few knots different between a G and an E, but honestly they are close enough in performance and cost.  C and E have a little less gas.  F and G are a little longer, mostly in the backseat.

Edited by Ragsf15e
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2 hours ago, bonal said:

Your question leads me to believe cost of ownership could be an issue. If not and you have massive reserves of funding then I'm not qualified to speak to this...However, if you are looking for a relatively fast airplane that is not super expensive to purchase and operate then you can't beat a C,E or F. Our C has useful load of 1015 lbs burns 9gph at 140 to 145 knots. We can go over 500 miles and still have well over an hours reserve.

If cost of ownership was an issue I wouldn't be considering a Bo.  But at the same time, if I can get a plane that fits my mission why spend the extra money? The way I see it, is if I can get in the best aircraft that fits my mission and it is more efficient and just as fast, that gives me more cash to spend on upgrades, fuel for trips and other life events.

That is why I'm looking to you guys for the "why" to buy a Mooney. I want to make sure it is everything I need.

 

What's the characteristics of a Mooney? How does it handle? How forgiving is it? Etc...

 

Thanks for your help! 

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3 hours ago, KLRDMD said:

Eliminate the Sierra. The Mooney-Beech decision for me came down to useful load. I loved all four of my Mooneys but none had nearly the useful load that I require today and that my Bonanza has. Insurance is very much a function of insured value of the airplane, there's no way a similar value Bonanza is three times what a Mooney is. Just . . . not . . . possible.

I've just heard Bonanza insurance can reach over three grand a year. That is the big hold up on my decision, the useful load of a Bo. I wont always need it but it would be there. But is it worth paying the extra upfront costs etc..?? Tough decision for sure!! The mooney is just so appealing because its so fast with a great fuel burn. 

 

How do the two compare are far as handling qualities??

 

THanks for sharing!!

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3 hours ago, KLRDMD said:

Eliminate the Sierra. The Mooney-Beech decision for me came down to useful load. I loved all four of my Mooneys but none had nearly the useful load that I require today and that my Bonanza has. Insurance is very much a function of insured value of the airplane, there's no way a similar value Bonanza is three times what a Mooney is. Just . . . not . . . possible.

A friend of mine owned a Sierra. To me it always seemed a little hard on landings. But it also appeard to have a great useful load. Why do you say eliminate it? just curious. 

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What I found after a LOT of research is the Mooney is the biggest bang for your buck in GA.

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58 minutes ago, CMartin said:

I've just heard Bonanza insurance can reach over three grand a year. That is the big hold up on my decision, the useful load of a Bo. I wont always need it but it would be there. But is it worth paying the extra upfront costs etc..?? Tough decision for sure!! The mooney is just so appealing because its so fast with a great fuel burn. How do the two compare are far as handling qualities??

"I've heard . . . " :rolleyes:

I pay $1,460 for $90k hull on an S35 Bonanza. That's a first year premium with zero time in type when the policy was issued. 

The Mooney is a very solid feeling airplane. It is very comforting and has a sports car-like feel. The Bonanza is so perfectly balanced that it is a joy to fly. It is effortless. But a Bonanza is not as stable as a Mooney, by design. The Mooney is more efficient. You have to be on speed when landing every time in the Mooney. You'll float 100 ft down the runway for every 1kt you're fast. Come in 15 kts fast or 5 kts slow in a Bonanza and you won't even notice it. There is no measurable difference in cabin widths between airplanes but the Bonanza feels so much larger inside due to the windows and curvature of the fuselage. The Bonanza is a much larger airplane on the ramp with a +/- 400-1,000 lb greater gross weight and +/- 100-400 lb greater useful load. They're different. One isn't better than the other. Get a ride in each and make your choice.

Edited by KLRDMD
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50 minutes ago, CMartin said:

A friend of mine owned a Sierra. To me it always seemed a little hard on landings. But it also appeard to have a great useful load. Why do you say eliminate it? just curious. 

If you think the Sierra is hard on landings, wait until you fly a Mooney. That can be addressed through proper transition training, though. You NEED a good Mooney specific CFI to do your transition training, not your buddy that did your private and is a 172 wizard but has no significant Mooney time. The Sierra is a very slow complex airplane. A 182 is faster (and a better choice).

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I looked at C172s and Piper Cherokee 140s

I  chose Mooney for the following...

Speed...

Efficiency...

Safety...

Four seats and more hp, at nearly the same price as the other planes...the big brand name seemed important to me... I thought I may have to sell if GA didn’t work out for me...

 

Then I stayed with Mooney...

Lowest cost annuals are the ones you do with your mechanic...

The Mooney is faster, and more efficient than the others...

The level of safety is top notch, but still requires the PIC to do the PIC job.

 

Then I changed Mooneys...

For a bigger cabin and faster plane....

Go O!

 

Then I upgraded the plane’s engine for a shorter T/O distance...

Go 310hp / TopProp wearing O!   :)

 

19 years later, i’m Still pretty happy about my early decision...

Best regards,

-a-

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This thread made me think about my last FR in April. My E was grounded so I went up with a CFI in a 172. OMG! I had not flown one for over a decade and all I could think was--this thing is so SLOW! The time available to make a decision was like YEARS and it basically landed like Mary Poppin's parasol. I had a great time :D

The Mooney is not that kind of airplane. It, unlike a 172, or even a 182, wants to fly. As you do your take-off run it is anxious, just wanting to leap into the air. Later, it really does not want to land, but if you want to land it you have to finesse it, convince it to take the ground. There really isn't anything like it with a single engine.

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@CMartin where are you located? I'll bet you we can get you a ride in a Mooney, and maybe a Bo as well. You won't go wrong with either.

I don't have nearly the experience of @KLRDMD. He's owned more airplanes than I'll likely ever even sit in. But I have owned an F33A and a couple of Mooneys. 

To me the Bonanza feels like an American muscle car and the Mooney feels like a German sports car. Think Charger Hellcat or 911 GT3. Both will quicken the pulse and put a smile on your face. But since it's your money, which would you prefer?

 

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2 hours ago, CMartin said:

If cost of ownership was an issue I wouldn't be considering a Bo.  But at the same time, if I can get a plane that fits my mission why spend the extra money? The way I see it, is if I can get in the best aircraft that fits my mission and it is more efficient and just as fast, that gives me more cash to spend on upgrades, fuel for trips and other life events.

That is why I'm looking to you guys for the "why" to buy a Mooney. I want to make sure it is everything I need.

 

What's the characteristics of a Mooney? How does it handle? How forgiving is it? Etc...

 

Thanks for your help! 

No offense meant, OK so just two for most flights and plenty to spend but don't want to spend  money unnecessarily then based on that I'd pick a top of the market M20E.  Short body's are really fun to fly. 

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9 hours ago, bonal said:

No offense meant, OK so just two for most flights and plenty to spend but don't want to spend  money unnecessarily then based on that I'd pick a top of the market M20E.  Short body's are really fun to fly. 

No argument here...

20181217_115305-1.jpg

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15 hours ago, Ragsf15e said:

Well said.  Honestly, the C E F & G are close enough to be about the same performance and cost as Bonal said.  There’s some personal preference in there with J bars and injected vs carb and maybe a few knots different between a G and an E, but honestly they are close enough in performance and cost.  C and E have a little less gas.  F and G are a little longer, mostly in the backseat.

Sure, my C has a little less gas, 52 gal. Math says that's 5:30 flying time. Experience tells me its 6 hours, and that the 4:45 trips I've made [landing with 1:15 or more in the tanks] are longer than I can sit comfortably in my Mooney.

But with 970 useful, that's me, full fuel and almost 500 lbs. Leave some fuel behind and carry even more for two or three hours, at 145 KTAS. That's nothing to complain about.

She's fast, stable in IMC, is in the air 1000' after oushing in the throttle. I've landed everywhere from 12,000' of superwide concrete to 2000' of slightly-curved grass. Versatile. Frugal. What's not to like?

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I have 64 gal bladders in my old E. I usually cruise at 8.2 gph LOP and 140 ktas if near gross, 145 if lighter. Range is awesome, over 800 nm no wind. At my age a gallon antifreeze jug is a necessary accessory.

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17 hours ago, CMartin said:

I'm just wonder if any of you guys have done a cost (fixed-not counting hanger) comparison on different aircraft? It seems for a complex, fast single, efficiency,  Mooney is the way to go? But maybe not if you want to haul much? correct? In the next year I am considering stepping up to something to gain complex time and I have started looking at Mooney's, Beech Sierra's and even Bonanza's. 

I don't know much about the fixed costs of a Sierra but I'm finding with the Bo I can expect triple just in the insurance ($3,000 yr range).

I've always leaned more towards the Mooney J models.

Thoughts????

 

Before you ask, my typical mission will be my wife and I chasing kids (college games, visits, short vacations, sight seeing, etc..) with a 450nm trip with the occasional 800nm. And a lot of short airport restaurant trips.  

So....why a Mooney??

Reliable? Forgiving? Room? useful loads? etc..

 

Thanks everyone!

For your mission I'd go with the Mooney M20J.

It sounds like you have the money to buy any of the planes you mentioned, you just want to spend your money wisely.  I'm wondering why you are worried about useful load if it's just you and your wife, but here is my reasoning:

M20J.  Summary: Relatively inexpensive to buy.  $4000 - $5000/year fixed costs not counting hangar.  Plenty of payload for 3 typical people or 4 FAA sized people.  Most efficient 4 seat production airplane ever built.  Pretty nice cruise speed.  Cruise at 155 KTAS at 9000' +/-.  That means your 450 NM trip is 3 hours and will burn about 30 gallons.  You will find J models with a useful load of just under 900 to just over 1000.  Ours is currently 985 but after we swap out the KFC200 for a GFC500 and remove the vacuum pump I expect us to end up around 1000 lbs.  30 gallons plus 10 gallon reserve is 240 pounds of fuel at engine start.  That leaves me with over 700 lbs of butts and bags.  800 NM non-stop (if your butt and bladder last that long) would be about 5+20 and a burn of 51 gallons.  With 10 gallon reserve that still leaves me with over 600 lbs of payload.

Bonanza.  Summary:  Feels bigger than the Mooney.  Better for grass/dirt runways. More payload.  Faster than the Mooney.  Fixed costs probably about the same as the Mooney.  However... Aft CG MAY limit your ability to use all that useful load.  Fuel burn will be about 40% higher to get an extra 10 - 15 knots.  Six cylinders are smoother than four but cost more.  I've never flown one, but from what I gather on forums, I think a typical V35 cruising at about 70% power will give you about 170 KTAS.  That's 15 knots faster than my J, but fuel burn will be about 12.5 gph instead of 9 gph.  The V35 should get you to your 450 NM destination about 15 minutes quicker but cost you about 6 gallons more fuel.  And instead of landing with 10 gallons you'll want to land with 13 gallons.  That means you'll have to carry an extra 9 gallons in the V35.  That's 54 lbs out of your payload.  So to match my 985 UL, you'd need a V35 with a UL of about 1040.  Even worse on the 800 NM trip.  Many, but not all, V35's have an aft CG problem.  Some put 25 lbs of ballast in the nose to solve the CG issue.  That 25 lbs comes out of your useful load.  I almost bought into one until I worked a sample loading and found I could not put 4 normal sized people into the plane without exceeding the aft CG limit.  When it's time to overhaul the engine, it will cost about 50% more.  And most 6 cylinder Continentals are more likely to need a top overhaul between engine overhauls than your typical Lycoming IO360.  That's money.

Beech Sierra.  Summary:  From what I've read, the only redeeming factor for the Sierra is cabin size.  Slow.  Weird landing gear.  Costs are, once again, probably similar to the Mooney and Bonanza.  Same engine as the M20J but about 25 knots slower.  That 450 NM trip will take about 30 minutes longer and burn an extra 4.5 gallons of fuel.  That's 27 lbs of payload that's gone.  And don't forget, that's 30 more minutes of run time on the engine which gets it closer to overhaul quicker.  While it is in good company (Spitfire), watching the mains retract outboard just looks wrong.  And a nose gear that has to rotate 90 degrees as it retracts and extends?  I honestly can't think of a good reason for a Sierra.  I'd much rather look at a C177RG with all it's gear and CG issues or a 250 Comanche.  Might even consider a Piper Arrow over the Sierra, and that's saying something.

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14 hours ago, CMartin said:

If cost of ownership was an issue I wouldn't be considering a Bo.  But at the same time, if I can get a plane that fits my mission why spend the extra money? The way I see it, is if I can get in the best aircraft that fits my mission and it is more efficient and just as fast, that gives me more cash to spend on upgrades, fuel for trips and other life events.

That is why I'm looking to you guys for the "why" to buy a Mooney. I want to make sure it is everything I need.

 

What's the characteristics of a Mooney? How does it handle? How forgiving is it? Etc...

 

Thanks for your help! 

I cannot speak with a great deal of Mooney experience.  I just purchased a Rocket and have put about 10 hours in it so far.  What I can offer you is a Mooney Noobs initial impressions.

-The aircraft handles like a much larger airplane.  It does not have a light sporty feel.  This is something I actually really like about it and makes it a great IFR aircraft, though I do not intend to fly in LIFR since it is SE.

-I have not done stalls so far in the aircraft,  however from what experience I do have you would have to really not be paying attention to get it into a stall.  It takes effort to get her slowed down as the air frame is pretty clean even with gear and flaps out, I find myself using speed brakes even when fully dirty.  This combined with a pretty low stall speed to begin with mean that you really would have to have your head up your butt to inadvertently get into a stall.  Again, I cannot comment on stall characteristics as I have not done any yet ( I know, shame on me)...  The flying has mostly been for acceptance and relocation.  It is in paint now and when I fly it next I will be doing stalls so i can report back.

-You absolutely cannot be fast on landing.  You WILL float and float and float

-You ABSOLUTELY cannot shove the nose forward to stop said float.  You have to hold the nose up on landing and if you are worried about landing long you had better go around.

-The Rear seats are surprisingly roomy.  I am 6'1" 240 lbs and Dare I say that the rear seats are more comfortable than the front.

-If you are Older/ out of shape or otherwise creaky, getting in and out might be a bit of a challenge... you climb up the wing and then down into the aircraft.

-these planes are fast (especially the rocket) It baffles me that mooney has everything but the experimental glass ships beat  when it comes to speed/ efficiency.  The more I look at other air-frames the more respect I have for what Mooney is.  I believe a great deal of their performance is due to the tail design.

-useful load is obviously different for each aircraft... However as another poster stated, there is usually fuel that can be left behind.  Be certain you are comparing apples to apples when you look at useful loads.  Don't look at a 900 lb useful load aircraft and automatically assume it has a lower FF UL than an aircraft with a 1000 lb UL.  It may hold less fuel/need less fuel to go the same distance.   I looked at BO's when I was deciding what to buy and do not think the Bonanzas are in all cases better than the mooney when you really look at the numbers.

 Final thought... I bought an aircraft to travel.  I wanted to be able to go 190+ knots and do it efficiently... Mooney has the only Piston Singles that can do this unless you look at experimental.

 

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23 minutes ago, Austintatious said:

I have not done stalls so far in the aircraft,  however from what experience I do have

Uhhh....who did your transition training? Seems odd that you wouldn’t have done stalls. Makes me wonder what else you didn’t do? Be careful!

This original question gets asked a lot, and I don’t think you’re going to find the “best” plane. People on Mooneyspace will like the Mooney, people on BeeckTalk like the Bo, people on Cirruscircus (or whatever the Cirrus site is called) like the Cirrus. They’re all “good” planes that will do what you want to do. So is the Cessna 210. And 310, etc... 

Go fly them. See what you like. As far as $3k insurance goes, I pay that on my Ovation and it’s all a function of Hull value and coverage. I have less than 1,000 hours so maybe that plays a factor as well but I’m assuming as I get more hours I’ll get older so I’m not expecting my premiums to go down anytime soon.

Edit: I wouldn’t describe the Mooney as “forgiving” or “easy to fly.” I would, however, describe it as precise, predictable and a pleasure to fly. If you fly it sloppily, it will bite you in the a$$. If you pay attention to what you’re doing, it’s an absolute pleasure to fly and will respond in the same precise and predictable way each time. When people have a hard time with the Mooney it’s not the plane’s fault.

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18 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

Believe it or not, the Mooney cabin is wider than most other piston singles.

When I first started looking at Mooney’s I measured the interior (panel to panel) with a tape measure and the Mooney was nearly 4” wider than a 172.  My intuition had previously told me that wouldn’t be the case.

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53 minutes ago, ilovecornfields said:

Uhhh....who did your transition training? Seems odd that you wouldn’t have done stalls. Makes me wonder what else you didn’t do? Be careful!

 

Insurance required 2 hours of instruction in the aircraft.  The PO was an instructor and we ended up doing several test flights after maintenance where I flew and he instructed.   I will do some stalls at altitude soon enough.  I am always careful.   Dont worry bout me, Ill be fine.

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8 minutes ago, Austintatious said:

Dont worry bout me, Ill be fine.

We ALWAYS worry about each other, and especially about new owners. Please be careful and do your stall practice 3 mistakes high!

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