Mooney vs Piper Arrow
Any thoughts on the tradeoffs between Mooney 20C/E vs Piper Arrow for first Retractable/Complex aircraft?
Issues on cost of ownership, maintenance, insurance, etc.
Phil, The Mooney is clearly the best choice. The Arrow is slower, heavierand less reliable.
At best glide, the Mooney will go at least 2X the Arrow.
I used to fly from LWS (N. Idaho) to Palo Alto, CA regularly, nonstop in my 1968 Mooney
Statesman (M20G) in about 5.3 hrs.
Concerns about the Mooney's laminar flow wing are overrated. It does NOT "fall out of the
sky in a stall.
I don't know that I can let that stand.
While it is true that a Mooney is faster, the Arrow has a greater range, greater payload, and is much more confortable to sit in. I personally prefer the handling of the Arrow, but either is easy to fly.
The two airplanes are really very similar under the skin. Both use the same powerplants and have about the same maintenance problems. I have a spreadsheet showing what we spend on our Arrow (it's a Turbo Arrow III) should you be interested. Roughly, it is about $50/hr dry for maintenance and engine reserve. It burns between 11.5 and 12 gph.
Hope that helps.
I have flown them both and I find the arrow to be a more relaxing and comfortable airplane to fly, albeit slower than the Mooney. The Mooney has a sports car feel whereas the Arrow is more like a family sedan. If you plan to do any instrument work the Arrow is a better instrument platform. Having said all that the choice is really a matter of personal preference and taste.
From maintenance point A&P/IA view the Mooney is a much better machine to maintain. Speaking of turbo itís more money and requires addition inspections under the cowling. Thatís not a bad thing, but sometimes a leaking turbo causes severe pitting corrosion on the engine mounts, big bucks for repairs/replacement. Which, everyone you decide make sure and get a prepurchase inspection contingent on the sale.
Denny of Oakland