Plane & Pilot
Monday, October 1, 2007

Ovation3: Reaching For 200

Mooney’s new Ovation3 pushes the cruise-speed battle closer to 200 knots—without a turbocharger

ovationOn the face of it, retractable gear seems almost an ideal solution to the problem of making an airplane fly faster. The whole idea is to reduce drag and increase cruise; cleaning up the underwing accomplishes that mission, though with varying levels of success.
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That’s not because there’s anything claustrophobic about the Ovation3’s cabin. The size of the Mooney cockpit has been unfairly criticized for years. It measures 43.5 inches wide at the elbows by 44.5 inches tall, and that’s better than the old F33A Bonanza’s enclosure, often held up as a paragon of aeronautical virtue. (The straight-tailed Bonanzas were fast, wonderful-handling airplanes, but their cabins were more than a little horizontally challenged.) Conversely, both the Columbia and Cirrus models are at least 48 inches wide, and a comparable measure tall.

Mooney has embraced the Garmin G1000 as standard equipment on the Ovation3, and the bottom line is $469,000. Actually, that’s more accurately the top line. You can still add such options as Stormscope, SkyWatch, TKS ice protection, air-conditioning, the Monroy long-range tanks, oxygen and a chandelier. Load the airplane with all those options and you’ll be pushing $600,000. You’ll also wind up with a payload of less than 200 pounds.

And who cares. You’ll be able to blaze by everything else in the sky fitted with only one piston engine and no turbo. That alone ought to be worth something.

SPECS: 2007 Mooney Ovation3


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