The Mooney Mite holds the world speed record!
Well, let us qualify that just a little... It did hold it — in 1969.
In the July, 1969 issue of the Mooney Mite Association News Bulletin, editor Bill Nolen reported that Don [Donald C.] Sinclair of Westfield, MA had set a new FAI World speed record for the 1102 lb. (500 kg) class in N4150, serial # 316. His Mooney Mite was strictly stock.
Don made five speed runs in a cross wind between departing jets at Bradley International in Windsor Locks, CT, holding his Mite on the "red line" at 143 m.p.h, and on the deck! As Don wrote: "I had my fingers crossed as I went across the jet turbulence each time due to departing jets, however, nothing came unglued. I really had a lot of fun and love the little Mite. The record could have been set at cruising speed - 130 m.p.h. - but I wanted to make it interesting for the next pilot who might just want to break the record."
Don bought N4150 just to set the record, and sold it soon afterwards (for less than $3000!). He received his certificate from the International Aviation Federation (FAI) for setting a new speed record of 219.20 kph (136.1 m.p.h.). Don also received recognition for the Most Meritorious Performance of 1969 from the National Pilots Association.
It all started last year when he read a magazine article listing FAI international speed records and noticed there was no record for Class C1-A. A few weeks later he bought the plane and began making plans. He found he needed an FAI certified three kilometer course certified accurate to within 200th of one percent. There were two in the US at that time, one at St. Petersburg, Florida and the other at Bradley Field set up by the Sikorsky Aircraft for its helicopter records. N4150 was powered by a stock 65 h.p. Continental C65-8.
As a matter of interest, the current record for the 500 kg class is about twice Don's speed, held by Jon Sharp of the USA in N18JS, a Sharp DR90 (homebuilt).
The present owner of N4150 is Ted Stewart of Mason, New Hampshire. Ted informs us that the Mite is not for sale!
Here is the original article from another publication, the May/June 1969 issue of Fred Quarles's MMOA Bulletin:
MOONEY MITE SETS WORLD SPEED RECORD! SPEED OVER 3 KILOMETER COURSE 219.20 KPH
Well, we have finally cornered the market in records, with the World Records for speed and distance in class C-l-a which every Mooney Mite Owner of course knew all the time.
CONGRATULATIONS, to DONALD C. SINCLAIR for bringing home the bacon.
Donald C. Sinclair, 49, of 66 Larchley Avenue, Westfleld, Connecticut set the record after months of preparation on November 2, 1968 in N4150 sn 316.
Indeed the name MITEY MITE is appropriately earned by the Mite, as it is called by some. Don writes, I am especially interested in details of Al Mooney's long distance flights. I have been toying with the idea of breaking some existing world long distance records and this information would be very helpful.
I work as an engineer in the heating industry and also have the letterhead manufacturing business for the items shown in the brochure I sent you ( 3rd Hand Chart Holder, $1.50, Airmans Information Manual Binder, and Fly Informed Knee Board $5.95 )
Further information on the SUPERMITE is as follows: Engine C-65-8 65 HP, M-18-C
The Mite is a stock model, and according to Don, there was no more danger involved than a cross-country hop. The only problem here is getting in and out of the air traffic.
Since Don was there to set a record, not break one because there was none to break, the record could have been set by flying at cruising speed of 130 mph. But, Don said he planned to make It interesting for the next pilot who might want to break the record.
It all started last year when he read a magazine listing FAI international speed records and noticed there was no record for Class CI-A. A few weeks later he bought a plane and began making plans.
He found he needed an FAI certified three Kilometer course certified accurate to within 200th of one per cent. There are two in this country, one at St Petersburg, Florida and the other at Bradley Field set up by Sikorsky Aircraft for its helicopter records.
Don's immediate cheering section was his wife Connie, daughter Joan and friend, son Mark and timer Jim Williams and his wife Agnes.
Once again Don, congratulations to you and Welcome to the MMOA.