Used Aircraft Guide
October 2012 Issue
Used Aircraft Guide: Pre-201 Mooney
Less refined than late-models, earlier Mooney M20s offer economy, speed and sports-car-like appeal.
Owners who have the eventual need for more speed might eyeball the used Mooney market. The search might logically start with the M20J or 201, which first appeared in 1978. While lacking some creature comforts and panel space, these machines are known for having respectable cruise speed, fuel efficiency and simple systems, while delivering the flying sports-car appeal that pilots love about flying Mooneys. If you find an older pre-201 Mooney thats been well maintained, has a low-time engine and the most popular mods, theres a lot to love. But its not all roses. Since the biggest numbers of pre-J models were produced in the 1960s, age is a concern, as is Mooneys serial bankruptcy and perceived economic instability, although most shops we spoke with have little trouble getting parts and support. The earliest models had wooden wings. Some of the rest had corrosion problems, fuel tanks with sealant trouble and an aftermarket bladder mod from O & M Aircraft that has an AD. Resale value is another issue.
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