Mooney Website

Albert Mooney and his brother Arthur founded the Mooney International Corporation in 1929. Together, they established the company in Wichita, Kansas. However, they faced the perils of a crashing economy. When the Great Depression struck in 1930, Mooney went bankrupt. While the brothers worked other jobs, Albert fed into Mooney Aircraft Incorporated – eventually bringing in financial bankers Charles Yankey and W. L. McMahon.

Mooney’s first aircraft was the Mooney Mite M-18, a single-seater aircraft designed to entice ex-fighter pilots post-military service. This plane remained in production until the 1950s. By 1953, Mooney moved to Kerrville, Texas. From there, the M20 sped production and took its first flight in 1953. It received its certification in 1955. Sales started slow but picked up as the aircraft became known for its speed through its Lycoming O-320 engine.

Since its founding, Mooney has experienced many setbacks and hardships, mostly due to the economy. Mooney has filed several bankruptcies and has had many different owners. Mooney once even operated under Chinese leadership through its ownership by Soaring America. While production resumed in Kerrville, Chinese investors had other developments and projects in mind. One such project included the introduction of two new M10 models in 2014. However, the entire project was canceled in 2017.

Mooney shut down in 2019 and again in 2020 – furloughing or laying off its employees due to the pandemic. Even after reopening, Mooney continued to search for an investor. By the fall of 2020, a group of aircraft owners and pilots named US Financial, LLC, bought a majority share of Mooney from Soaring America. Mooney’s current owner and CEO is Jonny Pollack.

Early Wood Construction

Before its metal til appeared in 1958, Mooney’s earlier M20 models featured wooden wing and tail construction. These models showcase their strength and durability in earlier advertisements and marketing campaigns. However, these aircraft are becoming rare as their wood properties require careful inspection and expensive maintenance. Furthermore, wood-made components are susceptible to rot, which is catastrophic to the plane’s integrity.

Mooney’s wooden wing and tail construction allow the aircraft to fly at a faster pace, but there are a confirmed number of incidents of wooden tails breaking up in flight due to water damage and resulting rot. The breakup of these parts while in flight proves it to be more dangerous than a similar model made of metal and other fortified materials. Because of the severity of these incidents, Mooney delivered 166 M20As before halting production.

Country of Origin: America

Mooney 231 M20K Statistics (1985)

  • Maximum Speed: 200 kts
  • Maximum Range: 980 nm
  • Maximum Occupants: 4
  • Range Of Years Manufactured: 1979-1985
  • Total Aircraft Build: 1,118
  • Current Operational Aircraft: Unknown
  • Useful Load: 950 lbs
  • Average Sale Value: $140,967
  • Average Days On Market For Sale: Unknown

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Mooney M20K 252TSE Statistics (1990)

  • Maximum Speed: 219 kts
  • Maximum Range: 980 nm
  • Maximum Occupants: 4
  • Range Of Years Manufactured: 1986-1990
  • Total Aircraft Build: 1,118
  • Current Operational Aircraft: Unknown
  • Useful Load: 778 lbs
  • Average Sale Value: $207,039
  • Average Days On Market For Sale: Unknown

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Operational Resources

Operations Manual

Maintenance Document

Local Resources



Mooney 231 M20K & M20K 252TSE Details


In addition to its improved performance, the interior of Mooney’s 231 seats four with optional leather upholstery. It has 17 cubic feet of baggage space that extends to nearly double the size when its rear seats are down. Panel updates include internally-lit instrumentation, more accurate oil-pressure, and fuel-pressure transducers, and other small changes.

Mooney’s turbocharged M20K 252TSE seats 4 with an increase in shoulder and elbow room and center armrests for front and rear passengers. Side window treatments match the rest of the aircraft’s theme with accent paint.


Mooney’s 231 is a two-blade propeller aircraft powered by a turbocharged TSIO-360LB1B engine that runs cooler for added performance. A major upgrade to its engine includes zinc and phosphate-coated cylinder walls, which protects them from corrosion. This aircraft also has cylinder walls enhanced with nitrite, a hardening agent, and a cast steel compression ring guide in each piston.

The M20K 252TSE is a single-engine retractable aircraft with a turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-MBI engine. The engine for this aircraft improves the flow of air and fuel through the engine so that it runs cooler. The turbocharged version also has a two-blade propeller and a single electrically-operated cowl flap for better climb and descent.


A 1985 Mooney M20K 231 may or may not contain the following standard avionics:

  • King Silver Crown Avionics Equipment
  • KFC 200 Flight Control System
  • Sperry WeatherScout Color Weather Radar
  • 3M Storms Cope
  • Texas Instruments 9100 Loran Receiver
  • 76-Cubic-Foot Oxygen System (Optional)
  • Propeller Deicing System (Optional)

A 1990 Mooney M20K 252TSE may or may not contain the following standard avionics:

  • Garmin 430 Nav/Com WAAS GPS
  • Apollo MX20 MFD
  • King 155 Nav/Com with ILS
  • KR 87 ADF
  • S-TEC 60 Autopilot with Altitude Select
  • PMA 7000S Audio Panel
  • Insight TAS 1000 System with Wind Indicator
  • GTX 330 Transponder
  • D&M 121.5 ELT


Mooney 231 M20K:

  • Max Seats: 4
  • Max Take-Off Weight: 2,900 lbs.
  • Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Retractable Gear
  • Wing Span: 36 ft. 1 in.
  • Length: 25 ft. 5 in.
  • Height: 8 ft. 3 in.
  • Take-Off Run (50 ft.): 2,200 ft.
  • Cruise: 174 kts
  • Range: 1,182 nm
  • Take-Off Run: 1,250 ft.
  • Landing Roll: 1,147 ft.

Mooney 252 M20K:

  • Height: 8 ft. 4 in.
  • Length: 26 ft. 8 in.
  • Wing Span: 36 ft. 6 in.
  • Gross Weight: 2,900 lb.
  • Empty Weight: 1,800 lb.
  • Fuel Capacity: 75 US gal
  • Range: 890 nm
  • Max Speed: 219 kts
  • Cruise Speed: 201 kts
  • Stall Speed: 59 kts
  • Take-Off Ground Roll: 1,250 ft.
  • Take-Off Ground Roll (50 ft.): 2,200 ft.
  • Landing Ground Roll: 1,140 ft.
  • Landing Ground Roll (50 ft.): 2,300 ft.
  • Rate Of Climb: 1,080 fpm
  • Service Ceiling: 28,000 ft.

Mooney M20 Models


Early Mooney models featured wooden structures in the wings and tail that proved to be a safety hazard after several incidents resulted in broken tails while in flight. 1960 saw the last of these wooden features. This particular model has a Lycoming O-320 engine, and Mooney made a total of 200.


This 1958 variant saw an engine change to the Lycoming O-360 – kicking up its horsepower to 180 from 150. 499 of these were created from 1958 to 1960.


The first Mooney aircraft without wood parts, this 1961 model kept the same engine as the M20A. After getting rid of its older wooden features, all future M20s include materials made of all metal and other necessary elements.

M20C Ranger

In this 1962 model, the M20C made a few tweaks to reduce some of the issues the M20B had. It changed to the Hartzell 74″ Constant Speed HC-C2YK/7666-2 propeller with Hartzell governor, D-l-4, and a reduced cowl flap opening. The Ranger’s sound and lighting improved. Other changes include its weight, balance, and a few other alterations. This aircraft’s exhaust system becomes a Hanlon & Wilson exhaust, which is more lightweight and efficient.

M20D Master

The 1963 M20D featured a Lycoming O-360 engine with 180 horsepower. Mooney made a total of 161 of these models.

M20E Super 21 / Chaparral

Horsepower on this 1964 aircraft increased to 200. Additionally, it featured a Bendix fuel injection and altitude power boost. It also saw an engine shift to the Lycoming IO-360.

M20F Executive 21

The 1966 M20F kept the same horsepower as its predecessor. Furthermore, its fuselage extended by 1 foot and its cabin by 10 inches. This model maintains the same engine as the Super 21 with the Lycoming IO-360, but now with Power Control.

M20G Statesman

The 1968 Statesman M20 model returned to a Lycoming O-360 engine, returning its horsepower to 180. The M20G also had an upgraded long (F model) fuselage, fuel capacity of 52 gallons, power control, and a one-piece windshield.

M20J 201

The introduction of the M20J is when many started to take notice of Mooney in the aviation industry. The M20J model was often referred to as the Mooney 201 because it could fly at 201 miles per hour (323 km/h) using its 200 horsepower (150 kW) engine. Here, the propeller is squared off and has a drag reduction similar to that of the F model.

M20K 231

Deemed “the right approach to the eighties” by The AOPA Pilot Magazine (March 1980), Mooney’s 231 adjustments include addressing its heat-management problem with a reworked Continental TSIO-360 engine to run cooler during operation. The base price for this aircraft in 1984 started at $86,950 with add-ons available.

M20K 252TSE

Also supercharged, this 1986 M20K model came with a Continental TSIO-360-MB engine with the same configuration as its 1979 M20K relative.

M20K Encore

This 1997 M20K Encore model featured a supercharged engine through the Continental TSIO-360-SB. This kicked up its horsepower to 220 compared to its predecessor at 210. Only 27 of these were made.


This 1988 M20 model had a horsepower of 217 but was not turbocharged. This model is unique as it has a Porsche PFM 3200 engine, created using the engine design of Porsche’s 911 Carrera. This model saw a few changes to its throttle with a replacement mixture and propeller controls using single power control. The M20L PFM’s mixture and propeller rotation speed was adjusted automatically based on the setting of this single control. This particular model lasted only a short time, and only 41 were ever made.

M20M TLS / M20M Bravo

Unlike the M20L, the 1989 M20M made an engine switch to the Lycoming TIO-540. This turbocharged aircraft had a horsepower of 270 until 2006, with a total of 314 units.

M20R Ovation / Ovation 2

The 1994 Ovation saw a rise in horsepower to 280 using a Continental IO-550-G engine. This model featured an extra long body until 2001 with 266 units.

M20S Eagle / Eagle 2

The 1999 M20S continued using the same Continental IO-550-G engine as the Ovation with a reduced horsepower of 244. This model also featured a long body, 2-axis STEC autopilot, and 75-gallon capacity.

M20TN Acclaim

This 2006 model changed engines to the Continental TSIO-550-G and had a horsepower of 280. Mooney only produced this turbocharged model from 2006 to 2008.

M20U Ovation Ultra

As one of the most recent models, the 2017 Ovation Ultra has a Continental IO-550-G engine and 280 horsepower. Mooney’s starting price for this model is $689,000.

M20V Acclaim Ultra

This 2017 model uses a Continental TSIO-550-G engine with a horsepower of 280. It is turbocharged and has a set price of $769,000.

Top Mooney M20 Questions

The following are FAQs for Mooney’s M20.

How much does it cost to operate a Mooney M20K?

The average Mooney operating cost is between $60 to $80 per hour, depending on the exact make and model.

How fast is the Mooney M20K?

Mooney’s M20K has a maximum speed of 200 knots.

How fast is the M20K cruise?

At 75% power, Mooney’s M20K has a cruise speed of 191 knots with a maximum operating altitude of 24,000 feet.

Is Mooney’s M20K fast and efficient?

Because Mooney offers turbocharged variations, pilots favor its speed and responded fairly quickly in the past to be more responsive to customers’ wishes. Of course, after ditching its wood features for an all-metal structure and meshing its M20J airframe with a turbocharged engine, its speed, and additional features continued to impress pilots and aviation enthusiasts.

Related VREF Resources

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Aircraft Spotlight Mooney M20J 201/205
Is Buying An Aircraft To Build Flight Time A Good Idea?

Find Extensive Data On Mooney’s M20 Series

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