Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Mooney's Glass-Paneled Ovation2 GX


The cockpit of an airplane with the soul of a sports car


Mooney's Glass-Paneled Ovation2 GXHave you ever driven a Ferrari? A Ferrari is like no other, a bit hard to climb into, but once you’re there, you become part of the car. Acceleration, braking, turning, a Ferrari does everything fast, with a solid in-control feedback you feel in your whole body. It looks as fast as it drives.
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Mooney's Glass-Paneled Ovation2 GXHave you ever driven a Ferrari? A Ferrari is like no other, a bit hard to climb into, but once you’re there, you become part of the car. Acceleration, braking, turning, a Ferrari does everything fast, with a solid in-control feedback you feel in your whole body. It looks as fast as it drives.

Mooney’s newest Ovation2 is like that. The difference is that the Ovation2 will beat a Ferrari on less horsepower—not around the corner, but across the country. As a matter of fact, it challenges all current piston singles to a race and bows to none. To top it all off, Garmin’s new G1000 panel transforms the Mooney into a serious 21st-century go-places airplane.

The interesting thing is that today, most airplane and car factories are modern examples of assembly lines and high-tech ovens (can you imagine baking your airplane?). Both Ferrari and Mooney make airplanes the old-fashioned way—by hand, one at a time.

Mooney has traditionally focused on speed by squeezing every erg out of the engine and shaping the airflow. In 1955, Mooney produced the 150-hp M20 for the first time; with wood wings and tail, the airplane would cruise in the 140-knot range. A metal tail followed in 1958 and metal wings in 1961. Simple, smooth and fast has always been the credo underlying Mooney’s product development. “Strong” also is a catchword for the M20—the main spar is a one-piece design tested over 9 G’s and the tube fuselage acts as a roll cage to keep the occupants protected. Creature comforts sometimes took a backseat to performance, so to speak.

Eventually, Mooney recognized the need for more room and extended the fuselage for the short-lived PFM Porsche-powered M20L. The longer fuselage evolved into the TLS and is the staple of today’s Bravo and Ovation line.

The Ovation2 Continental engine is a normally aspirated IO-550G, making the airplane Mooney’s most powerful to date. By limiting the rpm to 2,500, the engine is de-rated to 280 hp from 300 hp. The most significant effect of limiting the horsepower is the 300-hour TBO extension, bringing the engine to a 2,000-hour overhaul interval while still providing a 190-knot cruise at non-oxygen altitudes. For another $51,000, the turbocharged Bravo GX will post 214 knots at FL250. Either airplane will give any of the plastic airplanes a run for their avgas.

A standard-equipped Ovation2 is an incredibly capable airplane. Dual alternators, electrical buses and batteries add a comforting level of redundancy. Mid-Continent’s new 4300 Life Saver Electric Attitude Indicator with a battery backup is icing on the cake. The Precise Flight speed brakes enable you to get down from the flight levels in a hurry. But for going anywhere, anytime, options like the TKS Known Ice Protection System, REIFF engine heaters, oxygen systems, airbags, leather seats and air conditioning enable you to tailor your airplane for any mission and comfort level you can imagine. Add traffic and terrain awareness equipment and the airplane rivals anything that’s rolling off the factory floor today, including the heavy iron.





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