2002 Cirrus SR22 vs. 1996 Mooney Ovation

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by bartscher, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. bartscher

    bartscher Filing Flight Plan

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    I was wondering if anyone has done an in-depth comparison of the Cirrus SR22 vs. the Mooney Ovation (not the Ovation 2, costs too much unfortunately). It looks like the values of a '96 Mooney Ovation and an '02 SR22 are roughly the same.

    Both planes appear to deliver similar performance (approx 180kt cruise) at around $170-180K.

    The Cirrus appears to win on having more cabin space, easier baggage access, newer plane, and better panel (when the Avidyne works). The Mooney has a slight edge on speed, and more range, along with known icing as a possible option.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any real world experience with the two planes on trips with 2 adults, 2 kids, and a moderate amount of luggage (650 to 700 lbs of people and luggage) on trips of 500 to 1000nm. I've got 300hrs complex so the insurance on the retract isn't an issue (actually from what I've seen the Cirrus might have higher rates)

    Any perspective would be appreciated on interior space, reliability, insurance, how much weight the TKS takes up, etc...

    Thanks,
    Eric

    Example aircraft:

    http://www.controller.com/listings/...717.htm?guid=8705018669534BE699FA0480F69A2397

    http://www.controller.com/listings/...166.htm?guid=8705018669534BE699FA0480F69A2397
     
  2. KennyFlys

    KennyFlys Guest

    Eric, I can't help you on the comparison at all but... Welcome to the board!

    There's a few "straight tail" pilots on the board. I'm not sure who owns or has owned a Cirrus that I can recall.
     
  3. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member

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    Joe Areeda is in a partnership in a Cirrus. He may chime in.
     
  4. Areeda

    Areeda Pattern Altitude

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    I do have a Cirrus (2004 SR22) with all the options like TKS and air conditioning so our useful load is probably less than the 2002 by about 100 lbs. We come in with BEW of 2372 so we have 1028 payload. Full fuel is 81 gal useable or 486 lbs, leaving 562. Tabs is 45 gal or 270 lbs leaving 758.

    We tend to fly LOP fairly high and true ,at about 165 kts and 12-13 gph. To get 180 kts you must stay fairly low 6-7,000 and run high power and burn about 18gph which we don't do very often. Longest leg I've flown is from KVLL in Detroit to KMKO (Muskogee, OK) 5.0 on the hobbs, 4.8 flight, 719 nm and 67gal.

    The interior is roomy, I'm 6'3" 250. I've sat in the back it's better than a coach seat (big deal). It's fairly quiet and comfortable.

    We haven't had any trouble with the Avidyne, Garmins, or STEC.

    I've only flown older Moonies, so I can't compare to an Ovation.

    I'm happy to answer any questions I can.

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  5. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Eric,

    I can't say I've done an "in-depth" comparison of the two, but I've flown a 2003 SR22 and an older Mooney M20J, and my uncle owns a 1996 Ovation.

    If you are either of the "short" (5'4" or less) or "wide" body types, you may not like the Mooney - But for us tall guys it's a GREAT airplane. I've heard that Al Mooney was 6'5", and he built himself an airplane. The OWT's about Mooneys are just that - It's one of the most comfortable airplanes I've ever flown.

    Of course, Avidyne isn't known for their reliability, and when that sucker goes, that's a HUGE repair bill that you'll need to be ready for. I think that you'll also find that at the same speed the Mooney will probably burn noticeably less fuel.

    Yup - People keep crashing 'em. There will also be a bit of added maintenance on the retract, though, but probably not enough to make a difference.

    FWIW, my uncle's comparison at the time he bought the plane (early 2000's) was between the Ovation and a new Columbia 300 (not too overly different than the SR22). A few months ago, he said that looking back he was very happy that he chose the Mooney.

    Either way, you're gonna end up with a nice plane. Enjoy! :yes:
     
  6. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Isn't Mooney going through some really tough times? They'll probably survive, but Cirrus, at this point--is a more stable company.
     
  7. bartscher

    bartscher Filing Flight Plan

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    Joe, thanks for the perspective on the SR22. I have a minimal amount of time in an SR20 and it definitely has a good amount of space. How much weight does the TKS take, both full and empty? Also, how useful is the TKS given that it isn't certified for known ice? Living in the Midwest I have always been grounded in the winter whenever it is IFR and it would be nice to be able to depart on days where there is only a thin cloud layer with clear above. Still doesn't help on the days when we've got thick layers, freezing rain, etc...

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  8. bartscher

    bartscher Filing Flight Plan

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    Does your uncle have the known ice option on the Ovation? I would be interested to find out how much useful load is left with the TKS full, and enough fuel onboard for 3 hours + IFR reserves. I sat in an Ovation at Oshkosh and was surprised at the amount of space inside. I always had the perception that Mooneys were small, and the short body ones were, but the longer ones were pretty nice.

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  9. Areeda

    Areeda Pattern Altitude

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    Eric,

    I have to look up the weights and get back to you.

    You are right this is escape TKS not FIKI. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't change the go/no-go decision but it does make chance encounters with marginal conditions much less stressful.

    When we were searching for a plane TKS was on my "rather not have" list. The plane came from the Northeast and had all of our other "must have" and "rather have" options. That's probably the only problem with lots of partners (4) the list of options you want grows.

    I agree with Kent the M20J and M20K I've flown have lots of leg room the shoulder room is a bit limited but it is very comfortable.

    Joe
     
  10. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't have a lot of time in either but have flown in both. My recollection on the relative comfort is that the SR-22 fits me slightly better, primarily WRT shoulder room especially when winter jackets are worn. There's definitely more space between the front seats and the lack of a wheel makes the whole cockpit seem more spacious.

    Payload wise, I think the Mooney will almost always win assuming relatively equal equipment. I wouldn't pay any attention to full fuel payload/range unless you expect to be making long legs with minimal cabin load. The full fuel payload numbers that many people look at penalize a design that includes the ability to trade more payload for more range. A realistic load+range comparison requires that you equalize one or the other (load or range) between the two airplanes and if possible match that to a flight you expect to make often. In your case I'd simply figure the range available with the cabin load you stated in your first post at both a high and moderate cruise speed using a cruise altitude of 6000 and 12000. I suspect you'll find that the Ovation wins every time, but you need to run the actual numbers to be sure. Then look at the range figures that produces and try to see if the differences mean anything to you. Don't forget to include at least an extra 100 nm for IFR alternates and an extra hour's endurance for your reserve.

    Keep in mind that with the Cirrus' higher fuel burn, you gain more payload for the same loss of range.
     
  11. Walt

    Walt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Eric,
    You do not describe your mission for the airplane you want to buy (or maybe I missed it). I have flown a Cirrus once so I cannot help you much with the Cirrus line. I have owned a couple of Mooney's, the current one is a TLS. I have a TKS system. The TLS meets my flying mission fairly well. I generally can fly anytime I want without undue concern about the weather. The TKS system works well (although it requires maintenance). The juice for it weighs 10 lbs/ gal. I would suggest you find someone to take for a good ride in in each of these airplanes (demo rides are not long enough). Landing a Mooney that has the TKS is a challenge, I don't know about the Cirrus.

    I do not use my TLS on grass strips very often and use runways over 2500'. You will want to use at least 3000' when you are starting. The Mooney is a good instrument platform and rides fairly well in turbulence. The low speed handling is not the best and if you bounce a landing you can get into serious trouble.

    You pay a performance price for TKS but it is a good system. One day after flying in ice for 20 minutes or so I landed at an airport where it was below freezing. A close inspection of the airframe showed that the landing light covers were the only parts of the plane with ice. How much utility you get from the system depends on how extensive your instrument experience is. Some people will take on more weather challenges than others. TKS is a tool but works best in the hands of a craftsman who knows his trade. Good luck in your selection.
     
  12. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No.

    Yep - even the medium-body ones (F, J) were okay, at least in the pilot seats. That whole thing about Mooneys not having enough room is an OWT, probably started by Beech pilots. ;) :rofl:
     
  13. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Mooney has been written off several times since the early '70s, but they keep coming back. I think that's because of the inherent value of the product, and the strength and loyalty of Mooney owners.

    Cirrus hasn't had that kind of ongoing financial challenge. They're laying off people and shrinking the business, according to the press, which is probably the right thing to do, but whether they end up bouncing back like Mooney has done several times, or totally cratering like Eclipse is a legitimate question.

    And I think product support is a consideration. If Mooney were to tank, a person or persons could come along, buy the TC, and the fixtures, and support the product, not making new aircraft, and still be viable.

    Could someone buy the TC for the Cirrus line and support the aircraft in the field as a cottage industry? I have my doubts - there's a pretty big difference between vacuum-bagging and autoclaving composite piece-parts, and fabricating basic aluminum and steel piece-parts.

    Please don't think I'm bashing Cirrus, though - I'd be thrilled to have one.


    Trapper John
     
  14. Arnold

    Arnold Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You are not alone in this perception. Even the short body aircraft are roomy enough in the front. The long body does make the back a bit more useful. It seems counter intuitive, but among the best tall person airplane (from what tall people tell me) is the Mooney.
     
  15. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    To some extent, I think that depends on where your height is located (legs vs torso+head).
     
  16. sba55

    sba55 En-Route

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    It's not an OWT. Of course, most Beech airplanes have 6 seats, so that's not a fair comparison. The 4 seaters have significantly more space (40% maybe) than the mooneys and cirri.

    Back on topic - having flown both an ovation and a sr22, I'd go with the mooney. It handled better IMO, looks better, and has a slight fuel advantage. Neither plane will cruise at 180; you're looking at 165 at reasonable burns...
     
  17. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Two of which are just along for the ride if it's a single...but the upholstery lasts longer that way. :p


    Trapper John
     
  18. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The problem is, the location of that space. The Beech has it in length. That doesn't do you much good except for to put the 3rd row of seats in. In the Beech, I feel more cramped in both width and height and I constantly hit my head even in light turbulence. :(

    The Mooney excels in legroom; the Cirrus beats both the Bo and the Mooney in terms of width and height.
     
  19. bartscher

    bartscher Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the information on the Mooney. The mission is 2 adults + 2 children with luggage, totalling 600 lbs for flights between 500 and 1000nm range. I'm assuming a stop is needed for 1000nm both for gas and for the kids.

    How much of a performance decrease do you get with the TKS? I see that 75% cruise on an Ovation is quoted at around 190kts. This brings up 2 questions:

    1) Does an Ovation actually cruise at 190kts?
    2) How much slower is an Ovation with TKS?

    I'll have to find someone in the region who wants some gas money to take a flight with in both an Ovation and an SR-22. Right now this is academic until the current plane sells.

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Well, we know that at least some Beech pilots have overinflated opinions of themselves and their planes, so it wouldn't surprise me. ;)

    I have no Cirrus time, but I've got about 75 hours in an M20F and spent some time flying an M20J with the Missile IO-550 conversion. I love the F, and the J was just that much better. What I like about the J is the control inputs are still precise and responsive, but significantly lighter than the F. Both of them have plenty of room. I'm 6'2" and have no issues. Keep in mind the F is the "big" Mooney, and I found its interior space to be about the same as a Cherokee. In other words, just fine. No, you don't want to stuff 4 full-sized adults in and go on a trip, but you really don't want to do that in most small singles. The M20F surprised me in that you can still stuff a pretty decent amount of stuff in it with full fuel. I seem to recall it being around 700 lbs, but I forget the exact number. I have flown it at gross and it flies just fine.

    I like the way Mooneys fly, and to me there is something inherenty cool about pulling the gear up as you take off and putting it down for landing. My first pick would be towards the Mooney for this reason if you're looking at the two planes. Even if the company might be somewhat volatile at the moment, parts should still be available.
     
  21. SteveinIndy

    SteveinIndy Line Up and Wait

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    I would go with the Mooney hands down.
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Based on...?
     
  23. SteveinIndy

    SteveinIndy Line Up and Wait

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    I've ridden in both and found the Mooney to be much more comfortable which seems to be the main thrust of the question being asked.
     
  24. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Just making sure. Descriptions of reasoning helps people make their own decisions.
     
  25. SteveinIndy

    SteveinIndy Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry....didn't think of that....it's been a rough morning.
     
  26. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A friend of mine used to have a M20J that he'd load up with two couples (all four folks were well below the 170-180 lb FAA standard adult weight) and their ski gear (including the four pairs of skis) to head west for a ski trip. They pretty much had to "wear" the skis (they went along the sides of the cabin) and I suspect that ingress/egress was severely restricted but they made it work. I think they even managed to stay within the published W&B limits.
     
  27. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Sounds like they weren't 4 full-sized adults. :)

    It is definitely possible. When I had the Mooney I fly at gross, it was me and a couple I know. He's probably a good 100 lbs heavier than me, and she's probably not a whole lot lighter than me. With their weight, their bags, my weight, we ended up right about at gross.

    Most of my friends, though, tend to be under the FAA standard weight, so I could see four of us getting in the Mooney for a trip. Just don't pack much luggage. Really, though, if it's four of us going someplace, we'd just take the Aztec.
     
  28. Walt

    Walt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Eric,

    You asked if an Ovation can cruise 190Kt. I have never flown one but I doubt it. Early models had a prop. that was optimized for cruise. The prop. helped the cruise but had terrible take off performance. I think 175Kt at 70% power is a reasonable expectation. If you get a little more speed you get a bonus.

    You might get 1000NM but you will probably have to kill some of your passengers on the way. I do 1000NM legs when I am alone and have a good tailwind. Ovations should have better range. The cabin is comfortable but 5.5 hrs is a long haul.

    I think the TKS costs 7-8kts. Keep in mind I am not a salesman so I am trying to give you a realistic expectation. Before I bought my TLS I rejoined MAPA so I could a broader perspective. It was well worth the $50. Google on MAPA to see their website.
     
  29. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Funny. I've sat in both (but not, in the spirit of full disclosure, flown in both) and I found the Cirrus more comfy front and back.

    THe Ovation -- that's one of those bigger-engined, turbo, less-efficient Mooney's isn't it? or is that the Acclaim. Seems I recall Mooney has left the efficiency thing behind in the quest for pure speed. J's are definitely thrifty.
     
  30. bartscher

    bartscher Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the recommendation to join MAPA. I'll probably wind up joining COPA and MAPA when I get closer to seriously looking (still have to ell the current plane). I thought the early Ovation had a prop that was worse in cruise than the later ones. The articles I read suggested the older ones were a bit slower and climbed better than the Ovation2.

    Eric
     
  31. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'd go with the Mooney..No idea why..It just seems like it has more soul :)
     
  32. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, there's no turbo on the Ovation. :no:

    They certainly aren't as efficient as the miserly M20J, though!
     
  33. bartscher

    bartscher Filing Flight Plan

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    That's the best reason I've heard yet to choose one or the other! I'll take the "soul-meter" along on the test flights and post the measurements...

    Unfortunately neither seems to have as much soul as my current plane, but I can't fit the family in a warbird...

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  34. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Mooneys do have a lot of soul and personality, for sure.

    They make plenty of warbirds that will fit your family! How about something nice and economical, like a B-17? ;)

    Actually, I saw a B-26 on eBay about a year and a half ago. Went for $125,000. Very, very tempted to pick it up, but that would've been about $600/hour just in fuel, nevermind keeping those R-2800s maintained and everything else. :(
     
  35. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Marauders are cool. There was one at my home airport that was used to spray for mosquitos. It was quite a sight to see it making low passes. One of just a few planes on the field that used 115/145 avgas. Unfortunately it got totalled in a landing accident. I don't know if there are even any airworthy ones left...


    Trapper John
     
  36. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    So why are you selling the Pilatus?? that plane has more "Soul" than any Mooney/Cirrus.
     
  37. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think that was already answered (no room for kids). -lance
     
  38. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    Hmmm must have missed that...thanks Lance
     
  39. bartscher

    bartscher Filing Flight Plan

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    The Pilatus is great, but doesn't really work for transporting 4 people and luggage. I've debated the Piaggio / Focke-Wulf 149 since that is about as close to a 4 seat Pilatus P3 as I could find. However for transportation, I'd prefer something a bit newer and something set up better for modern IFR flight.

    Still it will be sad to see the Pilatus go. None of the other planes on the list have quite the same level of "soul". Fortunately it is taking a while to sell the P3 and I'm not in a hurry to get out of it.

    Eric
     
  40. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    Yeah there's a nice looking Pilatus in our hangar in Madison. Looks like a fun airplane to fly. You may want to talk to Steve See about his IAR-823. It's a Romanian 4 seat aerobatic liason/trainer. That may be what you're looking for.