Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mooney Acclaim Type S: Still The Fastest!


If speed is your thing, The Acclaim Type S may be at the peak of the production pyramid


MooneyA few inches away, the world isn’t a friendly place. I’m cruising in a new Mooney M20TN Acclaim Type S at 25,000 feet over central Florida, and despite clear skies and warm temperatures on the ground, the air is cold and thin nearly five miles above the ocean. Without the Mooney’s protective bubble of aluminum and Plexiglas, plus oxygen masks to provide supplemental O2, I’d be in trouble.
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No matter what your mission profile, you’re almost certain to notice the room and comfort of the Acclaim Type S. That’s because its dimensions have always been better than most pilots realize. The myth is that Mooneys are universally cramped and compact airplanes. The myth is just that—a myth. Width at the elbows in the front seat of the Acclaim Type S is a significant 43.5 inches. To put that in perspective, it’s 1.5 inches wider than a G36 Bonanza or G58 Baron’s cabin. True, seating is more laid-back in the Mooney than in other airplanes, so the vertical dimension is admittedly shorter, but legroom is excellent, and overall comfort is better than you might expect. Baggage goes behind the rear seats in a huge compartment limited to 120 pounds.

If comfort is better than you expect, avionics sophistication is also equal to anything in the class. Mooney has embraced the Garmin G1000 dual flat-screen avionics suite, along with the Garmin G700 autopilot. The level of avionics sophistication is only slightly below that of a Gulfstream, and the Mach number is just under 0.40.

Make no mistake, no matter what its other talents, the Mooney Acclaim Type S is all about speed. It makes no compromise with comfort, yet flies behind less horsepower and still manages to go faster than anything else in its class. It’s designed for the pilot for whom nothing but the fastest will do. Roy LoPresti would be proud.

Mooney Acclaim Sets World Speed Records

Alex Coley of Jacksonville, Fla., recently set a new world speed record between San Diego, Calif., and Jacksonville in a new Mooney Acclaim. Coley, along with flight instructor Tim Wadsworth, flew from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field to Mooney’s home airport in Kerrville, Texas, refueled the airplane and people in 12 minutes and continued their flight to Craig Airport in Jacksonville. At an average speed of 265 knots, Coley and Wadsworth made the 1,848 nm transcontinental crossing in only six hours and 59 minutes.

Here at Plane & Pilot, we know a little about Mooney speed records. Back in March 1994, Senior Editor Bill Cox piloted a stock Mooney Bravo, the Acclaim’s predecessor, slightly farther (1,867 nm) from Los Angeles to Jacksonville in seven hours and nine minutes, for an average speed of 261 knots. Cox also set new, Class C1C speed marks for Los Angeles to Albuquerque (294 knots), Los Angeles to Dallas (285 knots) and Dallas to Jacksonville (258 knots). Fourteen years later, those records still stand.




SPECS: Mooney M20TN Acclaim Type S



Labels: Piston SinglesSpecs

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