Cost of Ownership: Arrow II vs M20J

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by shinysideup, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    The cowling is tighter because Al Mooney made the decision to reduce effective frontal are to gain speed and efficiency over the competition. It goes faster and farther on the same amount of fuel.

    The cowl is removed during servicing and annuals so everything is now in front of you. Yes, there are a couple of components that are a little cramped to get to. Your shop bills at what, $80-$100 per hour?

    Do the math. I set up a spreadsheet years ago that listed speed, burn rate, and fuel costs to get cost per nm and cost per year based on distance flown.

    Even if the shop bills you a couple of hours more in the annual to change the oil filter and check the mags because they are close to the firewall, your savings are many times that on an annual basis if you fly any kind of distance.

    If your flights are 20 miles to the next airport for a burger every other Saturday, then meh. Arrow works fine.
     
  2. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude

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    You need to determine if your mission is hours or distance based. For example, a weekend range which is about two hours of flying time one way for many people. This makes up the majority of hours used in a year. So if you get a faster plane the distance increases but the time is fixed. The end result is you need to be concerned about cost per hour.
    If instead you go to a specific destinations a majority of the timr, you need to focus on cosy per mile.

    Tim



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  3. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Nope. I've owned both.


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  4. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    This is something that I was going to bring up. I think a lot of the time my recreational flying is time-based. But, I plan to do a lot more distance-based flying (weekend trips) when I own again.

    I think I am now gravitating towards a Mooney. Aside from the potential fuel tank woes, it seems like you get a lot more bang for the buck. I can hopefully mitigate added labour time removing cowlings by doing the work myself, and the two airplanes otherwise have identical motors and similar systems. Presumably also similar insurance and annual costs. The main difference now seems to be the acquisition cost delta. I suppose if you consider that most aircraft over 30 years old don't really depreciate beyond SMOH figures, the point ends up being moot.
     
  5. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    On a my J, removing both top and bottom cowl is less than 5 min.

    Go fly with someone who has one. You will either love or hate the seating position.

    Just remember they come in 3 lengths.
     
  6. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    The only really expensive item you'll find on a Mooney that you won't find on many other aircraft are the wing seals. They're all getting old, and lots of them leak. They are spendy to repair properly. If its been done in the recent past it probably won't be an issue for you. That said, by "done" I mean by one of the two shops known to do a good job of stopping and resealing. If its "the field mechanic patched it and it doesn't leak anymore" don' worry, it will.

    The Lucky Strike (my M20c) has bladders, which are a permanent fix. I believe Cirri (or Cirruses, perhaps?) have wet wings as well. I bet toward the middle of the next century they'll be dealing with the exact same issue. If they last that long. All that said, I have a machine built in 1962 that gets better mileage than most cars going 160 miles per hour. I just can't see the down side of that.
     
  7. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    Yeah, the fuel tank resealing is the big item that scares me with Mooneys.
     
  8. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bladders do get old and fail.
     
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  9. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    It shouldn't be a big concern when comparing them to the Arrow, plenty of those tanks have been resealed too. It's just a bit simpler since you can remove the tank and send it to a shop for the work rather than having to take the whole plane to the shop.
     
  10. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    You severely understate the deltas in expense and propensity for repair between these two jobs.

    Just so the OP understands, in the Arrow the tank is bolted to the wing. In the mooney, the tank IS the wing. The spar flexing is the reason for the mooney trend for leaks. Piper leaks are non-existent in frequency by comparison. A dry rotted bladder has more in common with a piper integral tank leaking, than a wet wing mooney ought to be compared to a piper tank honestly.
     
  11. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I've done both. Yes, the Mooney was more expensive and annoying but my point was primarily that both airframes have tanks that may spring a leak. Personally, I would not place much weight on this concern during an airplane evaluation and purchase exercise unless the airplane I was specifically looking at had a leaking tank.
     
  12. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

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    201 vs Arrow

    This will be a bit long, but you ask for it.

    I have owned a Arrow IV, a Mooney M20F with most “J” mods, and currently own another Arrow IV. So, here is my opinions on the plus and minuses.

    The first Arrow was a 1980 which I purchased in 1985 and was the first complex, real IFR airplane I owned. Back then dual VOR’s and DME was ‘State of the Art”. It was a very good IFR platform and I put in many actual IFR hours with many approaches to minimums. When I was forced to sell it after five years I cried.

    10 years later and back on my feet I wanted an airplane similar to what I had. At the time the Arrow IV was out of my price range and I found a Mooney M20F at a “really good” price.

    Unfortunately it had some “problems”, least of all was the landing gear. The seller never disclosed that he had a problem with the gear extending “once in a while”. (The F model had electric gear, not the Johnson Bar.)

    Mooney:

    If you look up the incidents / accidents for Mooney the number one is, gear up / gear collapse.
    If you decide on a Mooney, note:
    THE MAINTENANCE MANUAL HAS A PROCEDURE FOR CHECKING THE LANDING GEAR TO BE PREFORMED ON EVERY ANNUAL.
    If you follow the procedure your landing gear will work very well. Make sure the shop you use knows this procedure and you are good to go.

    The other item mentioned above is the “Wet Wing”. If you can detect the oder of gas when you are in the airplane you will need to have the tanks resealed. The best place is in Wilmar, MN and it isn’t cheap, but trying to patch a leak is like trying to . . . Never mind, it doesn’t work.

    The IO-360 is known to be a “Bitch” to “Hot Start” in a Mooney and many pilots have run the battery down trying to get restarted after a quick fuel stop. Learn the “Hot Start” procedure.

    Another item mentioned is comfort. The reason I sold the Mooney and bought another Arrow is comfort. After a two hour flight I would have leg cramps. You do not state your age and size, however, I would recommend taking several long flights in the Mooney too make sure you “fit” the airplane.

    Also, “201” is a new airplane, MPH, with a test pilot, leaned to peak, at full throttle. Your performance (ie. speed), may very. My “F” with all the “J” mods would true about 140 Kts @ 11 GPH.

    Arrow:
    I may be a bit biased as I am now on my second Arrow, actually my second Turbo Arrow IV.

    The Turbo Arrow IV is a LoPriesti redesigned Arrow and much faster than the original Arrow.

    The Mooney did not have a WAAS GPS or an autopilot, it did have the wing leveler. It was cheaper to buy another airplane than to install a WAAS GPS. So, when I reached my cramp comfort limit I decided to go with another Arrow. I have done four – five hour flights in the Arrow which I could not have done in the Mooney. My Turbo Arrow IV gives a 160 Kts true at 12 GPH, which is just slightly (fuel/distance) better than the M20F with J mods.

    Turbo Arrow is a TSIO-360 six cylinder Continental, smoother than the Lycoming IO-360, both 200 HP, but 1800 TBO vs 2000 TBO. Read: Lycoming = cheaper overhaul.

    Mooney:
    http://flightaware.com/photos/aircraft/N9426V

    Arrow:
    http://flightaware.com/photos/aircraft/N82906

    Hope this helps.
     
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  13. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    And can be refurbished in situ for about 1AMU according to Joe Cole, who runs a Mooney Service Center in Southern Georgia.
     
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  14. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    @A1Topgun thanks for your insight - just the kind of input I'm looking for. I'm guessing you enjoyed a lot of the "new airplane smell" owning an Arrow IV in 1985!

    I'm a bit surprised to hear that your modded F only trued to 140 kt. The Arrow II I currently rent trues to about 135 kt at 10.5 GPH, not enough of a speed delta to justify stepping up from an Arrow for me in that case (IMO).

    I've flown in a J for a couple hours and very much enjoyed the speed. The cockpit wasn't terribly cramped for myself (5' 11") and one other individual, but over a several hour journey I can't say. My gut feel is that the Arrow is roomier, if only by a little.
     
  15. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Your F was slow, my C model (180 hp, carburetor) trues out at 145-148 knots on 9 gph block time. Friends' F models generally run 155-ish around 11 gph or less. My only speed mod is the 201 windshield . . . . There is something to be said for checking the rigging if your plane is not approaching book speed.

    My annuals are less than $1000, owner assisted. I open and close all inspection panels; grease the landing gear; clean, gap and reinstall the plugs; lubricate bell cranks, joints, etc.; and anything else the IA delegates to me. I can open her up in one evening, all panels, spinner and one-piece belly, and put it all back together in another evening, call it 3 hours each time. But I know the condition of the plane, how it's put together a d his it is supposed to work, which helps diagnose problems.

    Wet Wingologists in south Florida did a great job resealing my tanks in 2010 at a great price, less than what a bladder kit alone costs.
     
  16. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

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    A fellow pilot building hours got a corporate job flying Piaggio's out of Long Island. He is about 5' 8" tall and fits a Mooney well. He bought a M20C for commuting and he get around 145 Kts on his Mooney. Still, I find the Arrow is more comfortable as you are sitting more erect whereas in the Mooney you are more reclined with legs out forward.
     
  17. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

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    Another point to consider is construction. Mooney is a welded tubular frame fuselage, very strong. The wing, however, is monocock construction, no main spar.
    The skin takes all the stress loads. If the wing skin takes a significant crease you become a test pilot in an airplane with unknown structural integrity.

    Bird Strike - A Big Ass Hawk!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Surprisingly, Mooney Corp. had the part in stock, (The full wrap around wing skin) and their technical support worked well with the local shop (Jacking and cribbing before drilling rivets) to insure a proper repair.
     
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  18. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    The reality is that the Mooney is so strong that until recently one had *never* broken up in flight. Overbuilt with a steel roll cage for the people. Can't say that about a Cherokee. The Cherokee was designed for ease of building. I like it a lot. But it's no Mooney.

    [​IMG]


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  19. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    When I see that picture I always wonder how deep did the tires sink into the turf?
     
  20. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah I wonder how closely they inspected the landing gear after! Then again soil in TX is like concrete....


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  21. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Who comes up with nonsense like this??? No freaking wing SPAR? Mooneys have a main spar, and a secondary spar just in front of the flaps. Here is a picture of a Mooney wing opened up for repairing the leading edge after hitting an immovable object. That big, tall aluminum thing going from the wingtip under the fuselage to the other wingtip is the spar.

    590a00d904c53_20161102_135939_resized1.thumb.jpg.66ea3628fb13eeece104541b15997483.jpg

    Spar caps are often inspected during prebuys, since they pass under that back seat where children spill drinks that can lead to corrosion over time.

    No wing spar??? Monocoque construction? Not on a Mooney.
     
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  22. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

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    I stand corrected!
     
  23. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'd like to see them do that in the air. I mean, c'mon, mooney, convince me!
     
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  24. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    I didn't realize a mooney had broken up in flight.
     
  25. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah I believe it finally happened. But it's not uncommon in other types, whereas it's happened only once to the Mooney wing in I believe a tornado/severe tstorm if I remember correctly, in the whole history of Mooney.


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  26. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    IIRC, one broke up in a TS over San Diego a few years back
     
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  27. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OK, I've held off long enough, someone has to say it. If you're considering an Arrow, you should consider a Tiger also. You'll get about the same KTAS with a fixed gear, fixed prop plane with 950 lb or more useful load depending on equipment. Simple systems with good parts support. They are more fun to fly, and have a nice sliding canopy instead of one door.
     
  28. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Very nice planes, I considered them once. The canopy is nice as is the performance. But as I aspired to bigger faster planes and maybe a career one day, the complex time was important. I wouldn't have been able to upgrade to my current plane if I hadn't built a bunch of retract time in my Arrow. I was able to do my commercial in my Mooney. Just other considerations that may or may not matter to the OP.


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  29. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    Exactly right. As much as the Tigers have excellent cruise performance for their simplicity, I do want to build more time in complex aircraft. Plus, swinging a gear just puts a smile on my face ;)
     
  30. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    NTSB shows 3, all extreme cases:
    [​IMG]
     
  31. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Just read em. The second one the wings did not fail.

    First one the pilot fluttered the tail off past Vne in icing and then the airplane pitched down violently which did the wings in. The third one was a thunderstorm in flight break up which is the one I was thinking of. So that's two anyway....

    Put in perspective I did the same search against Beech, and got 44. Against Piper (more planes built) and got 100.

    Don't mess with ice or t-storms!


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  32. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I've pointed to big thunderstorm clouds and told my wife "Bad Juju." It stuck. She points them out now and says "Bad Juju." and laughs. But she knows I don't fly there...
     
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  33. pkuhns

    pkuhns Pre-Flight

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    Finally! Geez!