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Bargain Buys on AircraftForSale: 1951 Mooney M-18 Mite

Few aircraft types offer the combination of economy, speed, and exclusivity as the Mooney Mite.

The Mooney Mite looks great from any angle. [screenshot from AircraftForSale listing]

For pilots of small stature looking for quick and economical cross-country capability, today’s bargain provides the feel of a tiny WWII fighter for less than the cost of many new Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This unique Mooney M-18 Mite is available for only $25,000 on AircraftForSale.

Designed for extreme operating efficiency, the diminutive Mite has only one seat mounted within a snug cockpit with a bubble canopy. Everything about the Mite is small, including the tiny retractable landing gear and the 65-horsepower Lycoming engine. But as the saying goes, small hinges swing big doors, and if you’re lucky enough to fit inside, you can expect to enjoy a 125 mph cruising speed. That works out to a stunning 2 mph per horsepower. Throttle back to 2450 rpm, and it returns a similarly stunning fuel burn of around 3.5 gallons per hour.

The long, thin wing of the 520-pound (empty) Mite performs equally well at low speeds. Original Mooney marketing material lists a stall speed of only 43 miles per hour, a takeoff distance of 290 feet, and a landing distance of 275 feet. Empty weight is listed as approximately 520 pounds, with a gross weight of 850 pounds. With a 15-gallon fuel capacity, useful load is approximately 240 pounds.

Any aircraft with a wooden airframe demands care and attention, and the Mite is no exception. Fortunately, this example was thoroughly rebuilt in 1997 and is in annual. Interior and paint are reportedly very good, and while the panel is relatively simple, it’s also tidy with a logical layout.

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Few aircraft types offer the combination of economy, speed, and exclusivity as the Mooney Mite. And with only 94 actively registered on the FAA registry, few aircraft types will turn as many heads at fly-ins as the Mite.

You can arrange financing of the aircraft through FLYING Finance. For more information, email [email protected]. Calculate your monthly payment using their airplane finance calculator.

Editor’s note: To view a great air-to-air photo of the plane submitted by a previous owner, Cliff Tatum, visit this site and scroll to June 2017.

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