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M20J/K still the best deal.


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I’ve owned my 1980 M20J for 2.5 years now and thoroughly enjoy it - For the same circumstances I would buy it again. Browsing through the listings, every other option I had on my list of 1st airplanes has skyrocketed in value, but it appears the M20J/M20Ks have only adjusted slightly according to the listings on Controller and TAP. There’s no way I could justify getting into a V35B or 182RG at the current price ranges I see today. It seems you could probably get a great 231 or an early model J for $120k or below, which is a great deal for the capability! I’m sure I’m not the only one seeing this?

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It’s true, but if you are looking at a 231 you need a good pre-buy by someone who will look the engine over really well. Too many of them have been routinely run too hot. It is a great little engine if treated right, mine is at 2250 (TBO is 1800), but there is a lot of misunderstanding about how to run that engine. Harder to hurt the normally aspirated engine in the J. On the other hand, harder to get above the cloud deck and into clear sailing too.

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On 11/22/2022 at 1:40 PM, geoffb said:

Bonanza asking prices have gone full stupid. 

They will come down.

I’m pretty much shocked that prices of any or all high buck non essential items haven’t already, am I the only one that thinks what’s happened to the market and current inflation is very serious, serious as in I think worse than 08 if it doesn’t correct soon.

Average new automobile cost 42K one year ago, it’s approaching 50K now.

This article was written in Jan, I bought a Tesla 1 yr ago, its blue book value one year later is more than I paid for it, that’s unsustainable.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a38748092/new-car-average-sale-prices-47100/

All I can contribute it to is the media essentially ignoring the economy and the fantasy that’s it’s strong. Somehow people have adapted, I think by running up debt, but I don’t think that can last as I assume debt is increasing and for an individual there is a limit to that.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/15/household-debt-soars-at-fastest-pace-in-15-years-as-credit-card-use-surges-fed-report-says.html

When the fall happens if you have cash you can get a Bonanza for pennies on the dollar, the longer it is before the fall, the harder it will be

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On 11/21/2022 at 10:06 AM, Parker_Woodruff said:

The M20K (including the 231) is probably the most underrated airplane of them all.  If people would get with a CFI that understands engine management, they'd accomplish a lot more with their planes on a lot less gas and spend less money on maintenance than they think they'll have to.

Agreed! Engine management is more an art than science (though it's based on science). I ran a flight yesterday (with dog and wife so stayed low) at 11,000. 2480 RPM, LOP, 7 gph, TIT at 1550, highest CHT at 320, highest EGT at 1520, 22 MP with cowl flaps closed....TAS was way low at 104 kts but had a push so GS was 140 kts.....engine setting  combo's seem pretty limitless based on the mission at hand. 

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23 hours ago, A64Pilot said:

They will come down.

I’m pretty much shocked that prices of any or all high buck non essential items haven’t already, am I the only one that thinks what’s happened to the market and current inflation is very serious, serious as in I think worse than 08 if it doesn’t correct soon.

Average new automobile cost 42K one year ago, it’s approaching 50K now.

This article was written in Jan, I bought a Tesla 1 yr ago, its blue book value one year later is more than I paid for it, that’s unsustainable.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a38748092/new-car-average-sale-prices-47100/

All I can contribute it to is the media essentially ignoring the economy and the fantasy that’s it’s strong. Somehow people have adapted, I think by running up debt, but I don’t think that can last as I assume debt is increasing and for an individual there is a limit to that.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/15/household-debt-soars-at-fastest-pace-in-15-years-as-credit-card-use-surges-fed-report-says.html

When the fall happens if you have cash you can get a Bonanza for pennies on the dollar, the longer it is before the fall, the harder it will be

This has certainly been the historical cycle.  I believe a shift will come as well, but I don’t think it will follow traditional patterns. I think it will be much milder. 
My reasons for this  are one, there are more being destroyed every year than made, of certified aircraft anyway.  Two, Covid has changed our culture for good, and many more people have “discovered” this modality of travel. Three, airlines suck, and I don’t mean like they have always sucked, but it’s awful now. 
Remember, there are only about 170k registered pistons in existence. 
if you take out the flight schools, the hangar queens and the ramp rats, what’s left?  Maybe 80k planes?  If 1/2 of 1% of people in the US want an airplane, there are 120,000 too few planes. 
Insurance has skyrocketed, interests rates are astronomical, fuel has doubled in, parts are hard to get, maintenance is more difficult than ever to get done and even with all this, the market is still strong. 
I think an adjustment is coming too, but I don’t believe it will be like the collapses we have seen in the past…

One caveat to my theory, if fuel is banned all bets are off.  Then the collapse will turn them all to scrap metal.  

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Time will tell. I hope it is, but I don’t think we will have a “soft landing”

We could have if the Administration had stopped spending, but they haven’t, this spending has forced the Fed to raise interest rates, but the spending continues, so where does the interest rate go, and what effect does rising interest rates have on the market?

I look at it this way, in the last year the market dropped about 20 ish percent, but more significantly the bond market dropped over 15%, bonds have always had lower returns, but were safe, not last year. I hope there has been some recovery but I don’t study it, would drive me nuts if I did.

Then add in the nearly 10% inflation, when you add those two together, roughly 25% of my assets are gone, “poof”

I don’t believe I’m alone in this, I remember well the early 1980’s, Mobile Homes sold well then because so few could buy a house, flea markets and resale shops were everywhere, the big bare bones stores that sold food in black and white boxes got their start then.

‘But anyway when times get tough you can buy Yachts, Vacation homes, Beach Houses and Airplane for very good prices, because people are dumping luxury items trying to save their houses, some will be upside down and they are the ones that will be in trouble, the people buying all this overpriced houses, airplanes etc and are heavily leveraged will be hurt.

Me, I’m Retired and don’t like that 25% of my assets went poof this year, if another 25% evaporate next year, I may be in trouble.

From where I sit, I’ve not seen the beginning of a recovery.

Before every drop in the economy, you can almost guraertee it when people start saying, “this time it’s different”

In my lifetime it’s never been different

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I do not think it will be different this time. I believe what you describe is the most likely scenario. What I do believe will be different is the impact to the airplane market. 
there appears to be few enough planes, and ample supply of wealthy people to at least mitigate the collapse in that area. 
That being said,  I’m not optimistic short term about the economy. We are in for rough times….

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I guess it depends on how you define Wealthy, my experience is Wealthy buys new, I bet the Vision jet is back ordered for a long time.

I believe with some exceptions people who fly 40 yr old airplanes aren’t what I consider to be Wealthy, and the middle class often doesn’t do well in hard economic times, where the wealthy often increase their wealth, because it’s a buyers market, and they can afford to buy, businesses, real estate whatever is a good investment.

In 08 I was debt free, had a decent paying job and did well, bought a boat and an airplane for well less than they sold for a year earlier, maybe should have bought a house in Fl but didn’t think far enough ahead.

Now I’m Retired and the plan was to have enough assets to survive a 29 era depression, survive, not live well.

Well we have had a HUGE economic down turn, and the general attitude seems to be “meh” no concern, led I believe by the media downplaying it, and even claims about how strong our economy is. It’s transitory it will be back to normal soon.

So as there has been no public outcry, not much is being done to recover, so I’m afraid we are spiraling the toilet.

So I think the airplanes the middle class buys like Mooney’s will take it in the shorts, but I think Gulfstream’s will still be on a waiting list, historically that’s been the case.

Yes there are fewer and fewer Certified aircraft, that fleet is shrinking, but it’s being replaced by LSA and Experimental

We had a fly in last month, and were a lot of types of aircraft, even a few helicopters, but there were so many Experimental’s and LSA’s that it struck me, way more than Certified. They may not out number Certified aircraft yet, but I think they do way more flying.

Only thing keeping me in a Certified is that I’m an IA. But the only aircraft I can afford are old ones with Certified, but I could swing a new of at least very late model used amphib or Experimental speedster.

I know of an extremely well built Lancair IV turbine I could pick up for 200K, seller is an extremely well known builder, what’s wrong with the aircraft is it’s still primer and interior is spartan. They own seven aircraft, thought they would do a lot of long distance traveling, but aren’t, the Lancair isn’t a grass strip airplane so they can’t keep it at home, so it’s a drive away, they just don’t use it.

So for 250K I could have a pretty new beautiful 300 kt turbine traveling machine as an Experimental, pressurized so no need for O2

If anyone is interested the builder is Steve Wolf, the Retired air show pilot, pretty easy to Google and see the aircraft he’s built, current project is a 60% scale P-47.

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23 hours ago, A64Pilot said:

We could have if the Administration had stopped spending, but they haven’t, this spending has forced the Fed to raise interest rates, but the spending continues, so where does the interest rate go, and what effect does rising interest rates have on the market?

Generally, the correlation between government spending and inflation is weak.  This time, a lot of government spending was money distributed directly to consumers -- and they spent most of it.  Still, "a recent analysis from the San Francisco Federal Reserve found that government spending only contributed to about three percentage points of today’s inflation" which jumped about 8.5 percent year-over-year:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/qai/2022/08/25/does-government-spending-cause-inflation/?sh=205c478861e7

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It started with direct payments, a lot of those were the last administration, but Trillions have been spent since then and they have not gone to the people, a lot of it is actually the green new deal, but under different names like American jobs plan, American families plan, build back better, and of course the infamous inflation reduction act.

Look I’m not beating on one political party, but if you keep spending at the rates we are now especially on things that have no economic payback, it will drive inflation, it has to be paid somehow, and doubling taxes would not go over well. The current war against fossil based fuel alone is breaking our back, double the cost of Diesel fuel and costs of everything will skyrocket.

We are giving 20 Billion for indonesia to quit burning coal, anyone who has done business there knows that’s not going to happen

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2022/11/15/rich-nations-banks-pledge-20bn-for-indonesias-coal-to-clean-switch/

We should be building infrastructure to recover and compress natural gas to LNG, if we wanted Indonesia to stop burning coal, sell the LNG at just a tiny bit less than coal cost them.

Sure I want clean energy as much as anyone, remember I’m the guy that extols the virtues of electric cars, but I know you can’t make it happen overnight, and wrecking the economy will kill it, because it costs more than fossil.

I’m off my soap box now, but I’m certain we aren’t near the bottom yet, but what blows my mind is it seems no one else is concerned.

Mostly they ignore it but when they address it it’s to say it’s temporary, economy is strong we will be back to normal soon. Until we accept we are in a recession, we aren’t going to do anything to recover from it.

We are following the “ Modern Monetary Theory” which basically says deficit spending is irrelevant, Japan has been doing it for years, but I think it eventually comes home to roost.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/business/modern-monetary-theorys-reluctant-poster-child-japan.html

I repeat I am not railing against one party or the other, but I think continuing our current spending will further our economic woes.

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Bonanza’s and Comanche’s are better planes in my opinion.  I wanted to by one of the two when I went shopping twelve years ago.  Guess what Mooney’s were a better value then as well and the prices on Comanche’s and Bonanzas were stupid high.  In terms of dollars to acquire and what they do Mooney’s are the best at that. 
 

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Beech, particularly the Bo has enjoyed the opinion of being the highest quality single, and they are well built but like everything else they have issues, some really big ones.

The average Bo owner has a real high opinion of themselves, will only drive a Lexus or Tesla or whatever the vehicle to have is current in their social group, how they are viewed by others is important to them

Mooney, especially the J has always been the frugal man’s airplane, he will drive a car for a long time, because it’s paid for, not because it impresses anyone, he’s not as likely to be a member of the Country Club etc.

Of course those are generalizations, but the Bo has always been the aircraft to have if your trying to impress and that has always kept it’s prices higher than the aircraft on its merits supports. It got the moniker Dr killer not so much because it was a killer, but because it was the Dr’s airplane.

When I was looking average J and average Bo were about the same price, but the average Bo was much older, almost 20 years on average, and has some significant AD’s scary ones, main spar AD’s and tail feathers that are made from unobtanium, did I mention aft CG problems?, but what really killed a Bo for me is that they wallow around so bad even in light turbulence that they make me sick, and the Wife could never handle that.

If I wanted a six cyl 300 HP single I would have looked at another C-210 before a Bo, 5 kts slower but much more roomy, more stable, no CG issues, longer legs and higher useful load, much higher useful, same fuel burn.

Amazing to me is that the useful load is about the same between a J and a Bo, when you back out the extra fuel the Bo has to carry to go the same distance. I believe average Bo has range issues as they don’t carry much fuel, 50 gls? And their book numbers are silly, 177 kts? really? They are faster than my J but certainly not more than 20 kts faster.

 

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Not sure I see the Beech or Piper superiority.


In my opinion, the Beechcraft marketing is superior to Beechcraft engineering.  Some interesting design choices in a BE35 airframe.  They do have nice interiors.  Watching Comanche wings oil can in turbulence isn’t super confidence inspiring.  Ever seen a Mooney wing skin with stopped-drilled cracks?  Neither fall out of the sky, but both have had more structural failures than M20s (metal ones), lots more?

Late -35s have excellent useful loads, but cg issues that make it hard to use.

 

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