STANDARD DATA: M30 Seats 6. Gross wt. 4,000. Useful Load. 1,600. Fuel capacity 100 gallons. Engine 360-hp Lycoming TSIO-540.
In response to Cessna’s success with the pressurized 210 Centurion, and with similar pressurized products on the drawing boards at Piper and Beech, Mooney began work on a pressurized single called the Mooney 301. The design was to have a 360-hp Lycoming TSIO-540 for a speed of 262 knots, or 301 mph, and was the responsibility of the renowned Roy LoPresti. The first prototype flew on April 7, 1983, overweight and slower than expected. Mooney’s financial troubles hobbled the continuing research and development. The company entered a joint venture with the Socata division of French Aerospatiale, and in 1987 the Mooney 301 was shipped to the factory at Tarbes, France. Ultimately much of the aircraft’s design was incorporated into Socata’s TBM 700, the ‘TB’ standing for Tarbes, France, and the ‘M’ for Mooney.