Mooney Acclaim Type S: "Unquestionably the Fastest"

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After a year or two of back-and-forth with Columbia Aircraft, with both companies claiming to have the fastest piston single airplane, Mooney now says its Acclaim Type S model will take the top spot, no questions asked. The Pilot's Operating Handbook for the Type S (S is for "speed," of course) will show a 10-knot hike in top speed, to 242 knots, David Copeland, vice president of sales, announced at AOPA Expo in Hartford on Thursday afternoon. The extra knots come from a new Hartzell propeller as well as several "aerodynamic enhancements" that the company is not yet ready to reveal, Copeland said. All current Acclaims from number 50 on up will get these enhancements and earlier models will soon be offered speed-boosting retrofits. The current Acclaim model will continue to be available as well.

Priced at $599,500, deliveries of the Type S are scheduled to commence early next year. "The Type S has benefited from a series of refinements that, by themselves, wouldn't appear to be significant, but taken together, have notably increased performance," Copeland said. He also announced the launch of Mooney Mania, a three-month program offering incentives to current owners who bring in new buyers, plus financing breaks and trade-in assistance. Copeland also said he welcomes the expected takeover of Columbia by Cessna. "That's a positive development," he said. He added that Cessna would be a "worthy adversary" in the high-performance single niche, and he expects they would "correct the misconceptions in Columbia's advertising." He also announced that a devoted Mooney owner will be at the booth here at AOPA Expo on Friday afternoon with his own tattoo artist, to tattoo the Mooney logo over his heart -- "displaying the kind of Mooney passion that all of our owners share." Temporary tattoos, he added, will be available for those who "have to go home and face your spouse."