The Mooney Mite sets a Long Distance Record
(From the MMOA Bulletin of June 28, 1970 - Fred Quarles, editor)
BULLETIN NO. 12. MOONEY AIRCRAFT, INC.
June 28, 1950.
Story of the long distance flight of MOONEY MITE from Brownsville, Texas to Watertown, South Dakota on June 24th, 1950.
Over the past several months many owners of MOONEY MITES have been intrigued by the long range possibilities of the model, and have made inquiries and suggestions regarding the possibility of exceeding the International Record for light airplanes in Category One, which includes aircraft weighing up to 500 kilograms (1102 lbs) as loaded and ready for the flight. MOONEY AIRCRAFT, INC. had freely advised with each interested owner, giving all engineering direction required.
As a result of this activity, Mr. Robert C. Farris of Superior Aircraft Company, MOONEY Dealer in Wichita, Kansas, prepared his MOONEY MITE, Model M-18L, Serial No. 62, Registration N101C, for such a flight by installing 45 gallons of fuel capacity, along with other necessary equipment.
Before going to the trouble and expense of arranging Official N.A.A. and F.A.I. Certification of such an attempt, and in order to get accurate flight test data to use in an Official flight, MOONEY Aircraft, Inc. arranged to borrow this aircraft for the purpose of making a long distance test flight. The Official Record is 555 miles, and it was decided to primarily attempt to exceed this record, and secondarily to continue in flight until all desired data could be obtained.
Brownsville, Texas was selected as the starting point, with the course due North from Brownsville. June 24th was selected as the flight date, if the weather was fairly favorable, since it was Al Mooney's 25th anniversary as an airplane designer, which he wished to celebrate in a fitting manner by making the flight.
With favorable weather except in the extreme North, Al took off at 5:31 AM Saturday, June 24th, with 45 gallons of fuel, and at a gross weight of just under 1100 lbs. Since he weighed 210 lbs, 45 gallons was the limit he could carry and remained in Category One. The airplane lifted this load easily, and from the accompanying log of the flight, his progress can be retraced. As he passed over the Texas-Oklahoma border near Burneyville, Oklahoma at 10:00 AM he exceeded the record. The original Flight Plan was filed for Oklahoma City, and this was extended to Wichita, then to Lincoln, then to Sioux Falls, and finally to Watertown, South Dakota.
At Watertown, at 4:15 PM, the flight was concluded after 1312 miles had been flown. With all of the desired data in hand, and with the record increased to 236% of the Official figure, Al prudently landed at Watertown because of very unfavorable weather at Fargo, North Dakota and beyond, even though 8 gallons of fuel remained on board. A great deal of very favorable publicity was obtained because of this flight, and it is anticipated that before long, an Official Record flight will be made by Mr. Faris in the same airplane, when the details of sponsorship and certification arrangements have been settled.
Al sends all of you his best regards and with the hope that his effort will help you in your sales promotion. His flight clearly demonstrates the truth of our performance figures and slogans.
(signed) Bill Taylor, Sales Manager.
Log of long-distance flight of MOONEY MITE
N101C from Brownsville, Texas to Watertown, South Dakota, June 24, 1950. Pilot
Al. W. Mooney.
|Station or location||Time at Sta.||Miles||Time to Stn.||Speed to Stn.||Speed, Sta. to Sta.||Altitude at Sta.||Remarks.|
|Brownsville, Texas||0531||0||-||-||-||0||45 Gallons fuel.|
|Arroyo, Colo. Inlet||0547||31||0:16||117||117||3800|
|Burneyville, Okla.||1000||555||4:29||124||134||2900||Exceeded record|
|Yankton, So. Dak.||1500||1174||9:29||124||122||3400|
Thunderstorms & Headwinds ahead.
*Turned back several miles north of Watertown after receiving unfavorable weather report from Watertown Radio concerning conditions at Fargo, No. Dakota.
Radio Contacts: Brownsville, Waco, Fort Worth, Ardmore, Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Wichita, Norfolk Weather Station, Sioux Falls, Watertown.
The present International Distance Record for airplanes in Category 1. (less that 500 kilograms ready for flight), is 554 miles. This was exceeded by a wide margin, in this test flight to determine MOONEY MITE'S capabilities.
Total Fuel consumed was 37 gallons for an average of 3.44 gallons per hour, and 35.5 miles per gallon. The fuel cost $10.80 which is .82¢ per mile at an average speed of 122 miles per hour. One pint of oil was consumed. Thus both fuel and oil cost was less than one cent per mile.
Equipment: Lycoming 65 H.P. engine; Flottorp 63L60 propeller; Bendix Radio PATR-10. Fuel: Aircraft Mobilgas 80 Octane. Oil: Aero Mobiloil Grade 40.
JUST ONE MORE PROOF OF THE MOONEY MITE'S VERSATILITY.