Thursday, April 15, 2010

MOONEY M-18 “MITE”


1947



STANDARD DATA: Seats 1. Gross wt. 780. Empty wt. 520. Fuel capacity 14. Engine 65-hp Continental.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 138. Cruise mph 125. Stall mph 43. Initial climb rate 1,090. Range 440. Ceiling 19,400. Takeoff distance (50') 525. Landing distance (50') 860.

The Mooney Mite, first flown in 1947, was constructed by Mooney Aircraft, a company formed by two former executives of the defunct Culver Aircraft Corp. This single-seat monoplane was originally powered by a converted 25-hp Crosley automobile engine. With this engine, the Mite had a top speed of over 100 mph, a cruising speed of 85 mph, and a climb rate of 400 fpm. To improve the aircraft’s takeoff and initial rate of climb performance, the company installed 55 and 65-hp Lycoming engines and designated it the M-18L. The final engine was the 65-hp Continental in the M-18C.

The Mite included “safe-trim,” a trim-control system that consisted of a gear linking the tail trim with the wingflaps. It automatically established proper settings for takeoff climb, approach, and landing. The little personal plane was constructed with a single spruce-and-plywood D-spar wing structure with fabric covering aft of the spar. It had a metal-covered steel-tube fuselage forward and a wooden structure aft.



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