The Mooney Mite sets a Long Distance Record

(From the MMOA Bulletin of June 28, 1970 - Fred Quarles, editor)

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
Corpus Christi 0630 125 0:59 127 131 3600
Goliad 0700 193 1:29 130 136 3600
Gonzales 0730 248 1:59 125 110 1000 Under overcast.
Elgin 0800 308 2:29 124 120 1800


Temple 0831 364 2:59 122 112 2100 Broken clouds
Woodbury 0900 428 3:29 123 128 2800
Kellor 0930 487 3:59 122 118 2800
Burneyville, Okla. 1000 555 4:29 124 134 2900 Exceeded record
Paul's Valley 1030 613 4:59 123 112 2700
Arcadia 1100 676 5:29 123 126 2900
Three Sands 1130 740 5:59 124 128 2700
Wichita, Kansas 1203 810 6:32 124 127 3300
Durham 1230 870 6:59 124 133 3100
Morganville 1300 937 7:29 125 134 2800
Daykin, Nebraska 1330 994 7:59 124 114 2900
Surprise 1400 1050 8:29 124 112 2900
Norfolk 1430 1113 8:59 124 124 3300
Yankton, So. Dak. 1500 1174 9:29 124 122 3400
Salem 1530 1233 9:59 123 118 4700
Hayti 1600 1295 10:29 123 124 4800
Watertown, S.D. 1615 1312 10:44 122 *68 0

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.