So, what would vicarious flying be without dreaming of the aircraft that one would own if money and other realities of life were no object? For myself, that aircraft is the Mooney Acclaim (specifically now the Acclaim Type S, only recently introduced). Before even knowing what a Mooney was, I remember seeing the signature tail and thinking of what a great aircraft it looked like. Some years later I came upon the Mooney website and was greatly impressed with everything I read. Speed, distance, style, construction, the Mooneys have it all.
After comparing the Acclaim with comparable aircraft, the decision was official: dream aircraft.
Why, exactly? A listed top speed of 237 knots, more than enough to satisfy my need for speed. A service ceiling of 25,000 feet, letting me get high up above things if the situation demands it. A max range of 1,445 nautical miles, letting me more easily explore the country and world as I please. All for only $579,000…
Somewhat more realistically, I do plan to some day buy a Mooney, so it’s not just a dream. Naturally, by the time I can buy one, the names may have changed, but the model I would pick if I had the money today would be the Ovation 3. Sure, the ridiculous speed of the Acclaim is nice, but it’s not nice enough to justify the significantly higher price tag, at least where I stand. The Ovation, starting at $469,000 (with fewer standard options than the Acclaim, granted), has a listed max speed of 197 knots, a service ceiling of 20,000 feet, and a max range of 1,860 nautical miles. That’s more than enough for what I would need, since even getting a Mooney in the first place will likely be a relative extravagance in and of itself. But hey, I won’t be working as a lawyer for my health. I’m going to have to put that money to good use!
But this is all an exercise in dreaming, since I’m years away from even my license. I’m sure an experienced pilot would read all this and think of how naive I must be, and how I’m going to get my license then get my in expensive toy Mooney and kill myself, but it’s really not like that. Naturally I’ll progress slowly to my dream aircraft stage and prepare myself as much as is possible for safely and intelligently flying a powerful beast like a Mooney…oh-so-many, years from now.