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Thu, Apr 19, 2007

Mooney Basks In Acclaim From Speedy Transcontinental Trip

Record Set In An Acclaim... That Name May Not Be A Coincidence...

Do you really think a single engine piston aircraft is able to fly transcontinental in less than eight hours? Yes, it can... and aviation writer Scott Perdue proved it last month in Mooney's new M20TN Acclaim.

In a press event held Wednesday at the Lakeland Fly-In, Mooney representatives noted the impressive trip goes a long way towards re-establishing the Mooney as a business tool for busy professionals who need to travel long distances... without the torture of the airlines, removing their shoes and throwing away their nail clippers.

"The results of this trip reinforce the airplane's exceptional versatility and illustrates that it's a viable and economical choice for personal travel," said David Copeland, Mooney's VP of Sales and Marketing.

Perdue departed Gillespie Field at 2:38AM local time and climbed to an altitude of 23,000 feet, cruising at 223 knots TAS for 4 hours and 4 minutes, on a fuel endurance run before descending for a refueling stop at Norman, OK. The turnaround was accomplished in 10 minutes and Perdue took off from Norman at 9:13 AM local, climbing directly to 25,000 feet, achieving 237 knots TAS. He was overhead the Charlotte VOR at 1:05PM local. His time between Oklahoma and Charlotte was 2 hours and 52 minutes.

Details of the flight have been submitted to the National Aeronautics Association (NAA) for review and certification for piston powered aircraft in the 2,205-3,358 lb. category. Each segment of the flight, as well as the transcontinental trip as a whole, are under review.

The numbers are quite impressive. Perdue averaged 242 knots between San Diego and Charlotte, 243 knots between San Diego and Oklahoma... and 283 knots between Oklahoma and Charlotte.

Scott "Gunny" Perdue is no stranger to high speed flying. He served in both the US Marines and US Air Force, flying RF-4Cs and F-15Es. He has also written extensively for Plane and Pilot and even authored a novel entitled Pale Moon Rising. Some people may also remember his short lived, yet highly acclaimed Outdoor Channel program "Wings to Adventure."

The Mooney Acclaim is said to be the fastest production, single piston aircraft today. The cruise speed is published at 237 knots with a 25,000' service ceiling. 

Perdue said he was very impressed with his flight in the Acclaim. "I easily achieved the 237 KTAS advertised speed with plenty of power to spare and I'm positive I could have gone faster, but my objective was to fly the airplane as any other Mooney pilot would.

"I've run out of superlatives to describe the performance of the airplane and the seamless integration of the G1000 panel. It was cool, there's no doubt about it!"



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