I am one of three partners in a fixed gear Mooney out of KSTS, Santa Rosa, CA. Les, our primary partner, originally purchased her two years ago. She sat outside in the Bay Area for 9 years without being flown. Les did a lot of work with a mutual friend, Cris, on bringing her back to life. Thankfully, the engine had been overhauled and was in great shape. I, along with the other partner, Dave, joined Les about 4 months ago. Both Dave and I let our licenses lapse decades ago thinking we'd never get back into the air again. Les talked us into joining him as partners and a mutual friend of ours, and airline instructor, got us both recertified and back up flying again. 30U flies beautifully and seems to be elated she's in the air again. So are we. A while ago Cris did some exhaustive research on how many fixed gear birds are still flying. With the information he's gathered, it's very likely there are only three left. All the others have either been converted or salvaged. We only recently discovered the third one near Baltimore currently for sale on Ebay. It's possible there might be another one out there but all indications are these three are it. Dave has developed a friendship with an engineer at Mooney and they do correspond via email. We've been trying to get more POH Manual-type information on this model, such as more detailed weight and balance, range, etc. The test flights 45 years ago were not nearly what they are today and there's a lot we don't know. I have contacted both other fixed gear owners. We don’t know much about the one on Ebay and only received a short reply from her owner. However, the other owners are brothers from Princeton, NJ. Their bird was also found in rough shape and is currently getting a complete makeover. In an email to me they said, “It's still not flying yet but is getting a pretty complete makeover: engine overhaul, new prop, Tanis heater, new pitot tube, engine analyzer, Aspen glass unit to replace the AI/DG, new panel with a complete Garmin stack, refinished yokes, new insulation and interior, new windshield, fuel bladders, and probably more that I've forgotten about. The project didn't start off to be that ambitious but it's a slippery slope to fix up an old plane!” Our Mooney needed corrosion work that was the most extensive in the tail. We stripped and resealed both tanks and replaced her rudder. This year we’re looking at replacing the rubber landing gear donuts. We are very resistant to making the modification to retractable gear. She flies fast enough for us even with the gear down. In fact, yesterday I came “downhill” from 5,500 ft and reached 170 without blinking. She wants to stay in the air and you really have to work to get her slowed down and back in the hanger. To people who know what they’re looking at, she’s quite the novelty. We’ve even received comments and suggestions from controllers about forgetting to put our gear up. It’s fun telling them it’s a fixed gear Mooney and listening to their reactions. We also show her frequently at the Pacific Coast Air Museum at KSTS. General aviation buffs who know what they're looking at love her. Mooney built 100 M20D models in 1962 (serial numbers 101-200). The factory price was $13,995. In 1964, they built 51 more (serial numbers 201-251). The last fixed-gear Mooney aircraft were produced in 1965. It was a very limited run of only 8 aircraft (serial numbers 252-259). We have #125 built in 1963. All the rest have either been converted or have been salvaged. I'm told that after a new owner became comfortable in this model, it could be returned to the factory and after 3 days and $3000 would be converted to a retractable gear. We would love to find out if any more exist. We’ve exhausted all available avenues of research available to us and have multiple messages out on various sites. If the weather cooperates, we’ll be flying her to the Vintage Mooney fly in at Reid-Hillview in January '10. Otherwise, if you’re in the area and would love to see her in person, we have her hangered at KSTS and would be more than happy to show her off. You can see a picture of her here.