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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by DavidWhite, Dec 11, 2012.
Anyone have one? I'm particularly interested in the better cooling claim.
If LoPresti made it, it's probably works well.
Everything David makes is awesome.
If you put every one of their speed mods on a 182, you spend about $1000/knot and gain 5 knots.
I like the big inspection doors, and the better cooling claim. I'm not serious enough to call and get a quote, but I think it would look really cool.
Now David: I tried to tell you about how tight Mooney cowls are, and how that's NOT a problem with Bonanzas...
Yes but my chief investor wanted me flying a product of the Mooney aircraft company. I like Bonanzas, too.
With the factory cowling you can get substantial cooling by just adjusting the cowl flaps to be 1/2" open or less when in the closed position without any speed penalty. I did this on my 201 and my problem now in the winter is to keep the temps above 320F.
I hadn't heard this before, I'll see if my mechanic can do it. Thanks!
Why not just crack them open?
Amen to that comment. I couldn't believe what he was asking for a Mooney cowl. Was expecting gold screws...
On mine, there are only 3 positions. Open, trail (1/2) and closed.
A lot of R & D goes into something like that. For a limited market, it is going to be a tad on the pricey side.
Anyone know how much they run? Google didn't give me an answer.
I don't remember exactly, but it's in the 5 figures.
True, but the Bonanza cowls aren't great, either. I remember Tim Roehl explaining to me that, through some tests they did, they found a great deal of the cooling air comes out the middle of the cowl directly behind the prop.
Keeps engines cool, though.
20,000 is what a guy who owned one told me.
In the ball park. And that doesn't include the paint job you'll need afterward.
That is ridiculous.
The new "Cowl-a-bunga" design for the C177's takes an already killer ramp look and makes it look even better. My original thought was it would be one of the first items on my upgrade list as soon as I became an airplane owner.
Then I saw the price...
How much speed are you supposed to gain? I've found with the Mooney it looks much better on the ramp with the cowl flaps closed.
Factor in what it costs them to produce and develop and it's less ridiculous.
Hubcaps for a 421C cost about $2k. But they also make a significant improvement.
They aren't ever going to sell them with a price tag like that.
The cowl I mean
They sell a few, and it's a question of business model and targeted market.
Do you know how much it costs to produce a cowl, especially with the FAA's certification requirements involved? How about the amount they put in for R&D, etc that they now expect to recoup with profits?
Seems to me they target the folks who are willing to spend $20k for 5 kts on a Mooney, and I'd bet there are a few out there. Would there be twice as many willing to spend $10k? Doubt it, and there would really need to be 2.5x or so as many because of production costs.
A RAM VI T310R is upgrade $180k vs a RAM IV upgrade which is $120k, and a standard overhaul is probably $70k. There are people willing to spend the cash.
My thinking is if you can afford to fly an expensive airplane and maintain it, you can afford the expensive mods because the money is not so much of an issue.
For those of us that fly very little and cannot afford a plane, those prices are ridiculous and the mods have no value.
It is all about your mindset/perspective and finances whether the mod is worth it or not.
It does take your breath away, doesn't it?
The first ones were cheaper. Apparently, they weren't selling enough to cover the investment and the cost went up.
I was chuckling when I saw you put this thread up -- I should have posted an alternate thread taking bets on how many posts it went before you ended up at your inevitable conclusion.
The wow cowl for the Comanches is $27k.
I get confused, is Lo Presti the guy in Bahama? If so, he has annual and twice a year fly ins where he offers deep discounts on some of his products.
I have flown an M20J with this mod. This was about 7 years ago. At the time I believe the mod with STC from LoPresti was $13,000 and it cost the owner that amount again for installation, paint etc. For sure it will be over $20 total. It does look cool though. OTOH I have no problem with cooling with the stock cowling.
The amount the cowl flaps are open with the knob in the closed position is easy to adjust. I suppose it's not one of the things a pilot/owner is allowed to do himself. But I have it on good authority that it takes minutes.
You nailed it. Most of these small businesses wouldn't understand a commercialization plan even if it was in front of them. I have owned my Mooney for 21 years and have never received a survey asking my opinion about my buying preferences, products I'm interested in or my demographics from ANY of the aftermarket manufacturers. It's not like I'm not in the FAA airplane database and they couldn't find me.
As you pointed out, you need to understand your target market. If Lo Presti had asked me about the Mooney cowl, I would tell them I would buy at $10k but not at $20k. Not for the speed gain, but for the more modern looking and improved cooling. Understanding what the market wants and is willing to pay is key. It should then help you decide whether to invest in bringing a product to market. I'm not an independently wealthy guy, have a kid in college and have a checkbook to balance at the end of the day (with less zeros than I want).
I think the same thing holds true for other parts of the industry. Your ability to adapt to changing market conditions will dictate your success. I remember when Bendix was King and Narco was a viable alternative. Look where these guys are today compared to their competition.
I'd be alot more interested at 10k, that's for sure.
I'd be interested at 10k if it was solid gold
Never hurts to call and ask. "Hi there, I'd really like one of your cowls for my 201 but I only have $10k, can we make a deal?" Wait till the 13th or 29th when payroll is coming due, they may decide to move that cowl on the shelf or an early prototype in the corner.
An extra thought on that figure what his overhead is before you bid, you may be able to bid with less than $10k opening.
The problem when you're looking at a small business with a small market is it's hard to have much of a commercialization plan. You're probably best off just talking to people at shows and using a bit of intuition to just guess what people want. In LoPresti's case, they sell speed mods. The unfortunate part is they've managed to figure out something that is relatively difficult to make, then has some certification requirements that are probably a bit more stringent than other areas of STCing, and then has a relatively small market. So, while one could argue they could have picked a better place to put their R&D efforts, I think some neat stuff has come out of them, and I wish they made cowls for the 310. One can't argue that they know how to build a cowl, whereas Cessna, Piper (oh especially Piper), Beech, and Mooney, all could have used some help.
I think (hunch only, mind you) you'd find that most people who'd be willing to spend $10k would also be willing to spend $20k. And depending on how their costs are structured, I would suspect that you'd need about 2.5x the buyers at $10k to make as much money as you can make at $20k.
I'd suspect that at $5k, they'd be selling very well (until, of course, the fleet was saturated). However, depending on what their costs are, they might have to sell 7x as many at $5k than at $20k to make as much money. I don't know how many 201s are out there, and if that would be feasible, but my guess is probably not.
I'd be more interested if I had an E or F model in want of a better/faster cowl. And <$10k makes more sense to me... $20k+ is out of the realm of consideration. I'd rather buy a newer/faster plane at that point.
An E or F is a lot cheaper than a J. I know some Mooniacs who have no problem spending insane amounts of money on their Js.
I agree. The cowls that began on the J and laters are pretty decent from the factory. I could see upgrading the cowl on a C-G model b/c the improvement would be noticeable, but not when the improvement is >50% of the cost of the plane itself.
Yeah I know.... I was shopping for a E or F with some speed mods (windshield and/or cowl) and ended up with a M20J. Loving it.
Experimentals are lookin better and better..:wink2: