What airplane is overall better Bonanzas or Mooneys

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by mrjones30, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. mrjones30

    mrjones30 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And why....

    Speed, Reliability, comfort. Interested in flying retractable gear airplanes and going to sell my Cirrus soon for one.
     
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  2. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    A common thread with an uncommon mission. From what I have read in the past most pilots would like to do it the other way around. For some retractable gear is too much of a hassle.

    Different mission type manufacturers, You are going somewhere with family...Bonanza, Going with just a friend Mooney and it will generally get you there faster with more efficiency.

    With that said I love the Bonanza A36/G36 series of aircraft!
     
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  3. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    They are both pretty awesome both built well. What's your mission parameters? Mooney is faster, lower slung, more efficient, heavy firm pushrod controls, and more challenging to land. The Bo is a little slower, slightly narrower but you sit upright, lighter on the controls, a joy to land and fly.

    I own a Mooney, I went that way because I like to fly long distance and want a stable IFR platform. Went nonstop from Savannah GA to western ma today after an eclipse trip, and did it on 55 gallons of fuel, with two adults and two kids on board in a little over 4 hours.

    My annuals average about $2500-3000, and I fly 175 kts on 13gph lop typically - fiki M20R. Normally aspirated io550.

    Greg

    (Lots of buildup dodging causes the meandering line)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I'd keep the Cirrus. You're really not making an advancement by upgrading to either one of these. If you're just wanting to get into something just for the sake of it being a retract, you're going to be disappointed.
     
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  5. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    Mooney guys are going to tell you the Mooney is superior and Bonanza guys are going to tell you the same thing. I'd bet that there are few guys here who have flown and/or owned both.

    I've owned both. Assuming you buy decent examples of either airplane I think the maintenance costs are about the same. I hate working on Mooneys however, and really grew to hate working on them as a result of owning the one I had. Bonanzas don't seem nearly as bad to work on.

    I thought the Bonanza had a better control feel and was more "fun" to fly. I also felt the landing gear was more rugged if grass or rough surface operation is a consideration. The Mooney burns slightly less gas for the same speed but I feel the difference in consumption is negligible. The seating position is different between the two as well so I would suggest sitting in each to see which one you like better. Fit and finish seems about the same between the two.

    I agree with Ryan, I wouldn't dump the Cirrus just because you want to have a retractable gear airplane. You're basically making a lateral move rather than an advancement.
     
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  6. pilotmichael

    pilotmichael Filing Flight Plan

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    Curious why on you want to do this? As far as I'm aware the Cirrus ticks boxes one and three of your list at least there. Retractable and reliability really don't go that well together as far as I'm aware. Comfort and Mooney don't really either (AFAIK). What's wrong with the Cirrus?
     
  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Wow. That's highly presumptuous.
     
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  8. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    RV-10 because you can build it. My wheels are permanently retracted into nacelles.

    I have 10 hours in an old M20 so my opinions are generally fact free here, but the answer is whichever of the 3 fits your eye. Obviously the Cirrus doesn't so which one do you want? Can't see the need to look any further.


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  9. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've flown older models of both and preferred the Mooneys to the Bonanzas. I can't give you any technical reasons but to me the Mooneys felt better and more fun. To compare them to cars, I thought the Mooneys felt like sports cars while the Bonanzas felt like Lexus SUVs.

    If I had the money for one of them, I'd pick the Mooney every time. But, Both are good aircraft. Fly each and decide which you like more.

    If you like Mooneys, I highly recommend the book, "The Al Mooney Story" by Gordon Baxter.
    https://www.amazon.com/Al-Mooney-Story-They-Through/dp/0940672340
     
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  10. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    Beech is known for quality, but they're both nice. Which Bonanza? There are about 40 models to choose from, and they vary pretty widely as far as capabilities go.
     
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  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I hear what you are sayin'. But, I've got a friend who has a 300 hp Tornado Alley V-35. It ain't no SUV I can assure you. :D ;)
     
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  12. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Mooney, too. Are you comparing a mid-'60s M20C against a G36 Bonanza, or a V-tail Bo with an E-series engine against a Mooney Acclaim Ultra?
     
  13. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What do you hope to gain by a move to either of those aircraft ?
     
  14. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Buy a good example of either, you cannot lose.

    I chose Bonanza, because my wife liked it better, and that matters. But Mooneys are legendary, too, plus the added advantage of being built in Texas!

    I definitely prefer the seating position of the Bo, more upright, but "prefer" means "preference," so that's not a good or bad characteristic for either.

    Fly each, decide, enjoy.
     
  15. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    First, the OP didn't say which Cirrus, assuming the 20...it's range is 627nm and burns fuel at 11.6gph. The Mooney 201 can do the same speed at 9.1gph and go 934nm.
    So yea, I'd said there is something to gain. If that longer range saves you a fuel stop, then it makes it effective speed vs cirrus much better.
    Only the OP can judge if their seating position is comfortable or not.
     
  16. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Buy whichever of the two gives you the warm & fuzzies the most.
     
  17. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    If you're small.....get a Mooney. o_O
     
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  18. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Meh....not true. More efficient....yes, faster, nah.
     
  19. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    Buy the one that your back side likes the best. Then say it is the best airplane of them all.

    But remember- a shiny bonanza is the best of them all ;)
     
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  20. GBSoren

    GBSoren Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think you'll really miss the 2 doors.....just saying. But just like seating position, only you can be the judge of that. For me personally, 2 doors was a "gotta have".
     
  21. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Run them both at the same speeds, and I'd bet fuel burn is almost a draw. We went Mooney because a possible rebuild on a 4-banger was easier to swallow than one on a 6.
     
  22. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    You give three criteria: Speed, Reliability, Comfort.
    Note: The following is based on sitting in, flying with a few friends, and researching the heck out of them.
    • In the Mooney your caboose is about 3 inches off the floor. While on the Bonanza you are in a more normal seated position. With pilots as a general rule getting "older" and older generally means sitting on the floor is harder. The end result is more people will prefer the Bonanza.
    • On a year by year comparison, the Mooney will have a very slight edge compared to the Bonanza for reliability. The reason is because the Mooney for the same model year has more manual/simple systems. Best example is the landing gear. The Johnson bar is dirt simple, the gear motor is not.
    • Speed. Define it. Short range, Bonanza often wins due to bigger brute force engine. Long range, Mooney often wins because it sips gas.
    At the end of the day, your mission, and the related example aircraft will have a larger factor than any other on the above.

    Tim
     
  23. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    newer Mooneys do not have the Johnson bar landing gear.....
     

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  24. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Correct, but the gear mechanism is still very rugged and simple compared to most aircraft, it's just electrically assisted on the newer planes.
     
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  25. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    Actually no, you made need to buy rudder petal extensions, if you're tall (as much as 6'9"), you'll fit fine.
    If you're wide, you can fit fine just by staggering the seat positions.

    If you're not athletic (bad knees, bad back, or just gravitationally challenged), then you may have a problem getting in and out.
     
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  26. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    Unless you like flying off grass most of the time. Both aircraft can do it. But the longer beefier legs of the Bo have a slight edge.

    At the end of the day, it is apples and oranges. I love my A35 - cool airplane. But if I ever decide to use GA for business, the Acclaim is a potential fit given my developing mission.
     
  27. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    There is more speed variation within models of each of the aircraft you mention than there is looking at comparable examples from each company (e.g., SR20 at 145KTAS vs SR22T at 200+KTAS, same deal for early 4 cyl Mooney vs. Acclaim Type S).

    But I tend to agree with those who question what you are really looking for. Depending on which Cirrus you have, you may be improving speed but probably not reliability and comfort really would depend on whether you plan on carrying 4. I don't really see how a Bonanza or Mooney is going to be more comfortable than a Cirrus for the front seaters. So as much as I like Mooneys and Bonanzas, I'm not sure you would really get an upgrade if you're coming from an SR22 in particular.
     
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  28. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    I like Bo landing gear, but I hate the yoke design (crossover or whatever it's called)
     
  29. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    if you're going to fly off grass often, the Bo has a huge advantage, it rides like a dream on grass strips compared to the Mooney. Also on the Mooney a rough field combined with the rubber biscuits will accelerate wet wing leaks if the seal job is old. I've only taken the Mooney to Gastons, which is fairly smooth.
     
  30. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Chute....Am I the only one who missed the Cirrus in the thread title? :D
     
  31. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    You would lose:
    G36. 65%. 14.8gph 167K
    201. 75%. 10.8gph 169K
     
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  32. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    I've seen several guys on the mooney forum change to Bo's and Cirrus depending on their needs. Kinda curious why you'd be stepping over from a cirrus. Retracts are cool, especially when compared to similar frames that are fixed gear. The newer fixed gear planes are pretty slick, so the advantage lessens.

    I guess the true answer depends on which cirrus you have, and which mooney or bo you need for your flying.
     
  33. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    And as far as aerodynamics, drag coefficient
    Bo: 0.019
    201: 0.017
    Cirrus: ~0.024 (estimate, AFAIK they didn't publish it)
     
  34. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    You dispute the one thing that's demonstrably true. Factual, documented, easy to verify. Yep Mooney is faster. Faster than a same engines Bo and faster than a same engines Cirrus. Sorry.

    ps there is a correlation between more efficient and faster in aerodynamics given the same power ;)


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  35. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    now....throw in a real Bo...V-35A TC and you'll see 195kts and 16 gph
     
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  36. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    Not sure what your methodology is but I'd be surprised if the Cirrus Cd was that high. The reason for that is that I think it has a much bigger cross section (front plate area) than either the Bo or Mooney airframes. Given rather similar speed / power output, that would suggest a lower Cd* when multiplied by a bigger front plate area. But I don't have facts, purely conjecture here.

    The other argument is that while fixed gear will obviously increase Cd, the rest of the Cirrus airframe is pretty clean compared to the other two (no exposed rivets, smoother skin, more blended airframe, designed in the late 90s vs. 50s, etc..) so I think some of that would offset the draggier gear.

    * I mean lower than 0.024, not lower than the Bo and Mooney figures you quote above.
     
  37. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Ok more nonsense. Tall people like Mooneys, Al Mooney was 6'5". And a M20 is wider than the bo by an inch and a half. But it's lower slung for sure which makes it compact...


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  38. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    There is a Mooney in that engine class too ;)


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  39. PilotRPI

    PilotRPI Line Up and Wait

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    Cd for aircraft should be based on wing area for calculating equivalent front plate area.

    Anyway, get a QU-22.
     
  40. mrjones30

    mrjones30 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just had a 25,000 annual including a parachute repack. The most I ever spent in an annual flying airplanes. Something with an io 550 or similar performance.
     
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