Mooney Unveils Something New: A Two-Door Acclaim
Besides the signature reversed vertical fin, Mooney airplanes have always been characterized by a single cabin door. But no more. This week, Mooney rolled out the new M20V Acclaim Ultra, a significant redo of the company's best-selling Acclaim. In Fredericksburg, Texas, near the company's newly refurbished Kerrville, Texas factory, Mooney showed the test version of its new model to reporters and editors at a press event on Wednesday evening. The Acclaim Ultra is one of two new products Mooney is planning. The second is the Ovation M20U, a normally aspirated version of the same airframe.
Like Mooneys of yore, the M20V has a welded tubular fuselage cage joined to a monocoque riveted tail section. What's new is a second door on the pilot's side and both the passenger and pilot doors are four inches wider, which Mooney says will ease ingress and egress for rear-seat passengers. In place of the aluminum skin around the cabin cage, the M20V now has a seamless composite shell, another first for Mooney. The company says the composite shell allows tighter fits on the doors, making the cabin quieter. The tail section also has fewer discrete aluminum panels, reducing the production rivet count and complexity. Behind the panel and throughout the aircraft, the DC electrical system has been completely revised, eliminating up to eight pounds of wiring and dozens of individual connectors.
The Acclaim Ultra's interior, which was shown in mockup form, has also had a major makeover, with ergonomically redesigned seats upholstered in black and tan leather. The instrument panel has also been entirely redesigned with new switchgear and lighting. Like all recent Mooney models, the Acclaim Ultra has a Garmin G1000 suite, but with the addition of a keyboard control unit already found in other G1000 installations.
The aircraft retains the 280-HP TSIO 550-G engine used in the previous model and it claims a maximum cruising speed of 242 knots and a maximum climb rate of 1375 FPM, identical numbers posted for the Acclaim M20TN. Gross weight and claimed payload are nearly similar, but Mooney chief operating officer Tom Bowen told AVweb that the final weights of the new models haven't been determined. The company is well along with certification of the M20V and expects to show the completed airframe at Sun 'n Fun in April, along with a completed M20U Ovation Ultra. Fully equipped, the M20V is expected to sell in the $700,000 range.