Can Mooney and Cirrus save General Aviation?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by FloridaPilot, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Cirrus sales tracked the recession which slammed all aviation companies. The peak Cirrus sales were in 2006 with 714 planes delivered. In 2016 Cirrus delivered 320 planes or almost 40% of the total piston single market. Total Cirrus revenues are achieving a 20% growth year over year and climbing as the economy recovers (not counting jet sales). At present Cirrus is limiting the number of piston singles it will make due to part of the factory in Diluth being carved out to make their SF50 jet. Cirrus backorder on the jet is over 600 planes or about five years at current projected build rates.

    Mooney shipped 7 planes in 2016 and has no backorders.
     
  2. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    THIS :yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat:
     
  3. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    First let me say thanks for the stats. But it's declining so much how come there are waiting lists for hangars all over the country.
    Maybe the auto industry would have the same problem if everyone kept their cars for 60 years. We're losing pilots faster than we are losing planes.
    Good news is I have noticed an uptick in prices of used Mooneys Js in the past couple of years, but probably a reflection of a better economy then anything else.
     
  4. EminiTrader

    EminiTrader Cleared for Takeoff

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    Very true story in Florida. When I rented my hangar we had 8 or 9 available. Now we have a waiting list of 35. I have been on the waiting list at KSGJ (St Augustine, FL) for YEARS and there is no way to know when I'll finally get a hangar down there. They literally wait for older pilots to die...
     
  5. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    And the huge numbers of Ga aircraft from the 50s and 60s are really running out of life, so maybe just maybe GA manufacturing will start to improve...


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  6. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Could be as the cost of airplanes and the costs of keeping them airworthy have escalated fewer people are willing to keep their expensive asset tied down outside any more?

    35 years ago at the airport I fly out of the "wealthy" pilots owned Skylanes or V-tail Bonanzas, and us middle class types had Cherokees, 172s and Grummans, many of which were at tie-downs. Now I fly a twin and hangar it, and the airport has quite a few G1000 182s, Malibus, Cirrus SR22s, and a handful of TBMs. The number of hangars has probably increased by a factor of 10 times. Not more airplanes. Just a lot more expensive airplanes.
     
  7. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    Fair enough - I've only been in one once. . .my bigger point is (my perception) that most of the GA pilot population is looking for a traditional kind of flying machine - benign handling, four seats or so, for straight-and-level traveling or mucking about. When I was a young guy, that sedate kind of flying wasn't of much interest to me - it's basically driving, with a better view. It didn't draw me to aviation; I do more of it now, but it's not compelling. If I was starting now, Cirrus or Mooney wouldn't appeal over-much - cool machines, for sure. But not inspiring. . .
     
  8. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Hmm...looks like a user story.... Labbadabba starts writing a business plan...
     
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  9. German guy

    German guy Line Up and Wait

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    Just a single data point, but I was very disappointed by the complete lack of interest of the Mooney sales guys, during the last year's Airventure. They were just standing around, chatting. None of them approach me, even though I spent quite some time checking out their planes. If they are not hungry for success, replace them with sales guys who are.

    +1 on the proposal to hire a good marketing company. Mooney has a sexy product, I would compare it to a Porsche 911, whereas the Cirrus is more like the BMW 5 series - there should be a market for either of them.
     
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  10. JustinD

    JustinD Line Up and Wait

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    in regards to this I bought a new 182 at the end of 2011 (as a 2012 model for build/delivery in 2012) and even with every option I took it was less expensive than a new 172 is today, and its a a larger/faster/more capable plane than 172! Cessna I think had the prices appropriate for the market about 5-6 years ago, but now all GA new pistons are starting to get beyond the point of even reasonable for those looking for a new plane

    I think there is a market for the Mooney but to be honest If i was buying a new one today Id probably buy the Cirrus, I sat in both at Sun N Fun and the Cirrus is more comfortable with more creature comforts, and for roughly 30 knots less in cruise the other benefits of the Cirrus to me would outweigh that speed of the mooney, useful load, comfort, etc.
     
  11. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Only Pilots of America can save GA
     
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  12. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Yep, unfortunately this is true

    A 172 in 1956 was $8,700. Adjusted to today's dollars that is $78K
    If *new* airplanes were still $100K or under we'd see GA surging... but it's not.

    I can understand Cirrus, and Mooney wanted a premium for their planes, as someone else said they're the Porsche and BMW 5 and Tesla of the skies.

    But I can't figure out what Cessna and Piper are doing with their prices. I am genuinely curious why an individual with the ability to spend $400K would do so on new a 172 or Archer. And while there have been some refinements I in no way believe that a 172 today is 4X the plane it was in the 1960s
     
  13. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    "Trainer class" - really? Unfortunately I think the beloved makers of yore have abandoned the GA world and are just trying to pump their planes to flight schools and colleges and raising the prices as much as possible while the universities will still pay them. As I wrote in the other thread licensed pilots about to spend big money on a new plane don't want to be thought of as buying "trainer class"
    upload_2017-4-10_16-47-22.png

    Cirrus again got this right, the SR20 on their home page says it is the perfect dual role plane for newer pilots and business use
     
  14. EminiTrader

    EminiTrader Cleared for Takeoff

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    My first plane was a SR20. Bought it a week after my check ride. It's a great aircraft. However it climbs for sh** in the summer and in florida it's always hot. If it were just me and maybe one other flying around Florida it would be perfect. But flying around with a family of 4 and luggage- no way can the SR20 handle it. Price wise they are a great value. I bought my 2002 SR20 for 119K and that was back in 2014. Flew it for one year and 380 hours and sold it for 107K and only maintenance I did was oil changes (i did those) one flat tire (but replaced all of them) and one jug.. So for the guy (or gal) that wants a great machine and is travelling light - it's great.
     
  15. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    The reality is though that a Cirrus (even a sr20) or worse yet a Mooney are not good training airplanes.

    A warrior or 172 is.


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  16. EminiTrader

    EminiTrader Cleared for Takeoff

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    There's a local CSIP that takes many people from zero time to PPL in his SR20. I don't know how many hours they need or anything but it's certainly plausible. Although I'm sure it's much more expensive.
     
  17. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    We had a guy, now a Cirrus owner, tell us all about his primary training in a Cirrus. Samurai Husky was his screen name. Sure didn't seem to make getting his cert very easy...


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  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    I don't believe it to be a good training airplane either, the stall characteristics are far more finicky than that of a piper or Cessna and I too found engine temps always something to keep a close eye on in warm climate areas. However, as first time airplanes I think they're a great machine and for the high price of new Skyhawks and Archers you seem to be far better off purchasing an SR20 that is slightly used..
     
  19. EminiTrader

    EminiTrader Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes the engine temps are closely watched during takeoff. I was usually able to keep mine below 380 but on a hot 95 degree day it was very difficult. You get used to saying "Jax approach 1Charlie Delta Slow Climb to 8 thousand"
     
  20. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Again, government is the root of most all of these issues, from making cert parts so damn expensive, to making small podunk airport looks like prisons and not accessible to kids.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  21. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    I think the new stc stuff, part 23 rewrite, LSA, and so on is all moving the right direction, let's give some credit. And my airport is relatively podunk, but the flight school is hopping and it is most certainly kid accessible. It's not all gloom and doom!


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  22. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Yup! I'm familiar with that "Socal approach, with you 4,500, climbing 8,500... slowly"
     
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  23. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    I don't know if that's true. Purdue University has a fleet of SR20s that they use for primary student training.
     
  24. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah and I believe they are lousy primary trainers personally.


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  25. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If people wanted food instruction, they'd all be in 7ACs, J3s or gliders.
     
  26. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Amen!


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  27. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How many aircraft has Mooney sold since 2001 ?
     
  28. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan Pattern Altitude

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    The irony of all this is that Al Mooney was very accomplished at getting his designs certified. His last day with Mooney Aircraft was the day that certification was received for the M20.
     
  29. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'd be all for a Cirrus if they learned how to put the tail on in the right direction. ;)

    Al Mooney was a cool guy and developed some interesting aircraft (not always for Mooney), but Mooney as a company has been a mess pretty much since they produced the original M-18s.
     
  30. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Everyone is different, IMO Cirrus SR22 is NOT a good airplane to learn how to fly in. The spring loaded yoke doesn't give you the feel of what is going on with the wings. The Cirrus SR22 is an awesome bird but not very good for training. It's best to learn the basics first, it might save your life one day.

    If you ever buy a Cirrus SR20 you are going to want to immediately own an SR22, The price difference is not that much but the performance is totally different!

    I didn't go this route but the best way to learn how to fly is: #1. Glider #2. Tail dragger and then #3. 172
     
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  31. drotto

    drotto Cleared for Takeoff

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    As has been mentioned Cirrus is top sales wise right now. The only two companies that seem to be innovating and getting headline other then Cirrus are Diamond and if it doesn't turn to vapor Pipistrel.

    All three companies are looking to put new design, innovative planes on the line and are far more likely to change the market then Mooney, Cessna, or Piper. When was the last time any of them had a clean sheet plane?

    The legacy makers are just looking old and slow. The chance to revitalize GA is there, and the companies need to both find their place and get prices somewhat down. To use car analogies......

    Cirrus is a BMW
    Mooney is a Corvette
    Cessna is a Toyota
    Piper is a Ford
    Diamond is a Chevy

    If they companies look at themselves honestly, and develope planes along with prices to fit their roles it would help the industy.

    In my dreams there would a be a capable 100k new plane, but I do not see that happening. I think it is possible for somebody to hit the 250k to 300k mark, and if they did it would help.

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  32. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    I really believe if a company can find a way to mass produce airplanes safely, effectively and somehow reduce build costs considerably make a 4 seater with adequate speed (Somewhere in the 120-135 kt range) decent useful load, (1000 useful) and cost 50-60k. I would love to see how well an airplane like that would do in the marketplace. I believe it will do well!
     
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  33. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I had a 15 year old (now 16) student learning in his own 22. He's getting ready to take his PP and IR in July once he turns 17. It's not really a special plane and is easy to learn on.
     
  34. Jeff Cutler

    Jeff Cutler Pre-takeoff checklist

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    20 years ago there use to be what I'd call 'traveling sales' people that would fly the new stuff around. Ran in to one guy on the ramp in what was then a brand new Mooney, must have been the first Bravo. It was really something to see. And the guy was very friendly, and extremely knowledgable - asking people if they wanted to go up and fly. Today, it's either major air shows or fly to the factory with only serious buyers that get a demo flight. Down sizing has hurt the knowledge base of flying Reps if not totally eliminated, or say another way - that level of Reps have seen a brain drain since those companies have gone through hard economic times, buyouts, or worse bankruptcy and re-emergance... don't know if flying Reps would work today, its always hard to measure proposition value to PR.
     
  35. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    I think they should bring it back, (Flying reps). That is a great marketing tool, (admittedly, an expensive one). A sales person flying around in a new Acclaim would get sales depending on how knowledgeable he/she is. They can go to all of the flying events and have people get in the Acclaim and go flying in it MOST people will love it I believe except the "Brand Loyalists".

    Nothing wrong with taking that path, but are you certain he/she is going to know what to do when things fail? Like the G1000, It's not a matter of if it will fail it's all a matter of when.
     
  36. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Meanwhile I met a cirrus rep I was pre-ppl. Talked about how I loved the planes and she offered to take me up. Went spent an hour and a half flying, doing landings and maneuvers. I was in no way thinking I would or could buy one and I even told her that.

    Almost two years later, it actually happened. And she's nice, knowledgeable, excited, never once put the pressure on (even when I told her I was considering a purchase).

    So it's not just amazing planes and slick brochures. It's the whole package. They are doing it right, as the sales figures and number of planes on frequency indicate.
     
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  37. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yes because we practice PFD/MFD failures and all his cross countries were done with a paper nav log using dead reckoning and pilotage with the MFD blacked out.
     
  38. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    This to me is the biggest gripe on why Cirrus is not a good training airplane. Cirrus is an awesome airplane and I would love to own one one day however as a training platform you really need that initial first-hand feel for the airplane, how it approaches a stall, how it maneuvers and feels full flaps on the final, Etc. No doubt someone can learn to fly the plane and get their private pilot license in it, and actually is a relatively straightforward plane, however you do miss something in your initial training with that aggressively spring-loaded side stick

    True dat! people can debate all day about retractables, Mooney vs Cirrus verse others, however Cirrus has found a way to give you the entire package. It is not the fastest or most capable plane out there, and for the very high end buyer it does leave some elements to be desired, like pressurization, but overall the entire product gives you the least amount of compromises
     
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  39. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    What I would like to hear is how a 15 year old can afford to own his own SR22?
    Now there's a lesson in aviation. ;)
     
  40. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    *His* plane but really his dad's plane!