Mooney M-20K (Mooney 231)

Mooney M-20K, G-GCKI

Mooney aircraft have a reputation for speed and range that is well deserved. This particular Mooney M-20K (Mooney 231) , G-GCKI, has appeared at a number of GVFWE events; here we see it at Hullavington, with some of the Second World War hangars in the background. The Mooney appears to have a forward-swept fin, but that is an optical illusion – the leading edge is actually vertical, with a highly-swept trailing edge.

The Mooney was powered by a 210hp  Continental TSIO-360-6B, which gave it a cruising speed close to 200mph, and a range of over 1,000 miles. However, this supercharged engine had NO intercooler, which meant that there was a tendency to overheat, without very careful engine management. The next generation Mooney of this type had an intercooler. Most Moony’s are classified as ‘complex aircraft’ (like the Beech Sierra) due to the nature of their systems, and as such can be used for part of the training towards a Commercial Pilot’s Licence.
On the recession front, the bad news is that, even after re-organization, Mooney had to let go all but 50 of their workers in December 2008, due to unsold inventory.

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