Thursday, April 15, 2010



Mooney Ranger
STANDARD DATA: (Ranger) Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,575. Empty wt. 1,525. Fuel capacity 52. Engine 180-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 169. Cruise mph 165. Stall mph 57. Initial climb rate 800. Ceiling 16,500. Range 1,047. Takeoff distance (50') 1,395. Landing distance (50') 1,550.

STANDARD DATA: (Chaparral) Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,575. Empty wt. 1,600. Fuel capacity 52. Engine 200-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 195. Cruise mph 182. Stall mph 57. Initial climb rate 1,400. Ceiling 18,800. Range 1,015. Takeoff distance (50') 1,010. Landing distance (50') 1,360.

STANDARD DATA: (201) Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,740. Empty wt. 1,640. Fuel capacity 64. Engine 200-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 201. Cruise mph 195. Stall mph 61. Initial climb rate 1,030. Ceiling 18,800. Range 1,295. Takeoff distance 870. Landing roll 770.

STANDARD DATA: (231) Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,900. Empty wt. 1,800. Fuel capacity 75.6. Engine 210-hp turbocharged Continental.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 231. Cruise mph 210. Stall mph 66. Initial climb rate 1,080. Ceiling 24,000. Range 1,258. Takeoff distance (50') 2,060. Landing distance (50') 2,280.

Mooney Chaparral

Mooney 201

Mooney 231

Like the B.D. Maule’s M-4 design, Al Mooney’s M20 airframe has evolved as the basis for virtually the entire line. In 1955, Mooney introduced the Mark 20 as a low-wing aircraft with retractable landing gear. This early version was powered by a 150-hp Lycoming. Its wings were constructed of wood and fabric, while its tail unit was a plywood structure with steel-tube framed control surfaces. The Mark 20A entered production in 1958 offering a 180-hp Lycoming engine as an option. These two aircraft continued in production until 1960, when the Mark 20 was discontinued, and 1961, when the Mark 20A was replaced by the Mark 21.

The Mark 21 was the first Mooney to feature allmetal construction but was otherwise the same airplane. In 1963, the Master was offered as a non-retractable version of the Mark 21, and in 1964, the Super 21 entered production with its fuel-injected 200-hp Lycoming. The Ranger replaced the Mark 21 and Master in 1967. It differed from earlier models by the addition of a one-piece windshield and the elimination of the dorsal fin. That same year the Statesman was added to the line with its longer fuselage and extra passenger windows; the Executive 21 was also introduced, utilizing the Statesman’s fuselage with a 200-hp fuel-injected engine.

Production of all aircraft ceased for a while in 1972, but resumed in 1974. The airframe was put through an extensive aerodynamic clean-up program by aerodynamicist Roy Lopresti. The previously uncovered gear wells were fitted with complete doors. A McCauley paddle-blade prop yielded increased efficiency at the blade extremities. A super-slick engine cowling shape provided minimum drag at cruise, while new cowl flaps were reworked to open wide during climb to keep down engine temperatures. The windshield was streamlined. The use of flush riveting was expanded to the leading 60% of the wing chord, and fiberglass fairings were used on all hinges. The result was the Mooney 201, the first aircraft in history to fly 200mph with 200hp.

The addition of turbocharging might seem a rather meager justification for calling an airplane “new,” but in the case of the Mooney 231, turbocharging was a big deal. When the 201 was first introduced in 1976, there was little question that a turbo version would follow. Like Rajay’s Piper Lance system, the Mooney installation is a sea-level unit designed to deliver 30 inches of manifold pressure right up to the critical altitude. Maximum operation altitude for the 231 was established at 23,000 feet. It flies at approximately 207 mph at 75% power. Of special note is the fact that 1980 was the first year Mooney surpassed Piper Arrow in sales since the single-engine retractable-gear Piper took the number one sales position away from Mooney.

For 1981, the Model 201 featured sculptured wing tips with integral navigation and strobe lights. First introduced on the 231, the new tips reduce parasite drag and help provide better roll response. They’re made of tough and resilient fiberglass. Improvement to range and payload for the Turbo 231 results from redesign of the fuel tanks. Eight gallons of unusable fuel have been reduced to three gallons; this and other changes result in a 35-pound increase in payload. Total usable fuel is up from 72 to 75.6 gallons.

In 1986, the 231 morphed into the Mooney 252TSE. The model added such exotics as speed brakes and an intercooler, but couldn’t survive the sour economy of the early 1990s, nor Mooney’s off again/on again financial woes. Production on the 252 ended in 1990.


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