What would you take ? Bonanza or Mooney ?

What would you take ? Bonanza or Mooney ?

Things i don’t like about the bonanza are no certified de-icing (why ???)

Things i don’t like about the mooney: passengers, landing on grass

… thanks for your remarks

Bonanzas are very nice aircraft but come on, $ 850,000 for a new 36 Bonanza ? Might as well be $2.5 million. How about a nice, 30 year old A36 with tip tanks for $100,000 and then I’ll change my vote. I like Mooneys and if Your proficient in one You can do very well on short fields, burn a whole lot less fuel than a Banana and maybe even cruise faster. Pluses and minuses to everything but Mooney for me !

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I cannot understand why they don’t put TKS de-icing on the bonanza… unbelievable ?

…and rocket powered parachutes!

I have owned two Mooneys (M-20C and a M-20E ) and they were reasonably efficient airplanes but a bit tricky to land (use the mooney trick-just as you are floating in ground effect, dump the flaps and gently pull back on the yoke for a perfect grease-on). One day a friend with a 180 HP Bonanza (with wooden prop!) flew side by side with me and to my surprise was able to walk away from me (I was sure that the Mooney was the most possible speed for the horsepower-wrong, wrong, wrong.) Since then, I have owned two Bonanzas-a F33 and a A36. Both were an amazing pleasure to own and drive and were easier to land than a Cessna trainer (and much easier to land than the mooney-I could confidently land the beech anywhere-once I was given a map drawn on the backside of a napkin for a drylake bed near a beach in Mexico-piece of cake) (I’ve landed Mooneys in non-airport environments as well, including the driveway of a female friend whose folks had a ranch at the base of the white mountains in Nevada (easy) and a friend with a junkyard in Fowler California (a bit tricky and finally I struck a Studebaker one day which turned the mooney into a salvage airplane (someone did get it going again after a time, but I sold it cheap) Mooney’s are very tough to work on as everything is very compact-not so with Bonanzas. Mooneys are not quite as comfortable nor as quiet as a Bonanza. But by far the Bonanza is the easier and more pleasureable plane to fly. I am now semi-retired and my children are grown up, so I have traded in the A36 for a Bellanca “cardboard constellation” If you don’t know the plane, you should look out for one someday. The Cruisemasters and Cruiseairs were made from the late 30s until the late 50’s. The first few had radial engines, but most had the 150 or 165 HP Franklin engine. Later ones had 190 HP Lyc.(avoid) or 230 HP continental (the one I have-a gem!) They fly at about 135-175 mph, are retractable (taildraggers) with great design style (having been designed in the 30’s, they have a 30’s look. The wings are wood and the fusselage is tube and fabric. They are dependable, fast, ecconomical and always bring a smile to the airport greeters. petersch@exwire.com

they really are for different missions. I see the mooney as the plane that a single guy would use (it has a very small cabin yet LOOONG range). The bonanza is a family plane to take across country.

I will take the bonanza’s though. Mooney’s future… :unamused:

The latest Mooneys are somewhat faster than most of the Bonanzas, but in previous times, the Bonanza was the faster plane. I work with a guy who commutes to California from Alaska in his Mooney Rocket-perfect plane for just him (another guy I worked with commuted from Prague-I have had two neighbors in the past ten years who commuted-one to Japan and the other to East Germany, but they all used public transportation so that’s not on topic) Anyhow, for about the same speed and economy but considerably more comfort and room for family/friends chose the Bonanza

Flight Into Known Icing is available on Bonanzas.


There are many Bonanzas flying with FIKI equipment.

So, who knows the differences between de/anti icing systems that are approved vs. not approved for flight into known icing (no cheating by looking it up)? Hint: I was surprised by how few they are.

Ok i agree to retrofit the de-icing systems on the Bonanza’s… but what with the maintenance cost of parts compared from Bonanza and Mooneys ?

but what with the maintenance cost of parts compared from Bonanza and Mooneys ?<<

I’m not sure what you are asking.

Aircraft parts are expensive. Beech parts are expensive.

Fortunately, Beech products are so well made that they don’t need parts often. Also, there are many sources for parts at better prices than from Beech.

The A36 has a FIKI certified TKS system.

The M20K (252 and Encore), M20M, R, S, TN are all on the STC as certified.

ortunately, Beech products are so well made that they don’t need parts often. Also, there are many sources for parts at better prices than from Beech.

Do you have a rough idea what it costs for maintenance including the spare parts that needs to be changed for a beechcraft on certain times ? I heard that is costing much more than other planes…

In all things, and especially with aviation, be careful of what you hear. Ask if the person you are listening to has actually OWNED the plane being discussed. I have heard this about Bonanzas for years – the maintenance and parts cost more than other planes. But . . . I have owned three Bonanzas, a Baron, and a Twin Bonanza, and I know many Bonanza owners. Never has any of them supported this idea, and my experience with five Beechcraft planes is that they are just so well made that they don’t need a lot of work.

I don’t listen to mechanics on any issues about what planes to buy or how to operate my plane or engine. I want to talk to people who own the planes and actually pay the ownership costs.

I would agree with that last statement. It appears that some of the Beech aircraft have a bad reputation when it comes to operating costs. I have heard the same thing for years about the Baron and Bonanza (and even the aircraft I manage and operate currently), and while I don’t own one, I have a nice chunk of time in them both. Additionally, I used to teach pilots about them at FlightSafety. I don’t think they are anywhere near as bad as the rumors.

It isn’t an absolute though. I used to manage and operate a Piper Meridian. The maintenance cost rumors are very true about that aircraft. Piper charges an outrageous amount for their parts, and most (but not all) Piper Service Centers are very proud of their work. To add insult to injury, the quality of engineering and construction on that plane is nowhere near that of Beechcraft’s quality.

In the end, I feel TomGresham is correct. The only way to get the true skinny on any aircraft is to talk to those who own and/or operate the aircraft. Additionally, I wouldn’t place my eggs in one basket – try to talk to as many out there as possible. IMHO a good starting resource would be the pilot’s groups (i.e. ABS for the Bonanza/Baron). You might also try talking with an instructor at FlightSafety – they know the aircraft better than most, but “don’t have a horse in race” and as such will be objective.


Hey, Chris. Do you fly the Starship? I thought there was only one left flying?

On the subject of maintenance costs, a friend of mine has owned and operated a lot of planes, and he said the Senecas cost more to maintain than the Barons. Actually, he said the Barons cost only a bit more than the Bonanzas, which I found to be true with my B55 Baron. (Fuel is more, but not twice as much).

Hey Tom,

Yes, I fly a Starship. There are actually 5 of us flying out there. If you would like more information on the Starship, try bobscherer.com. It is a great site. We are working on one of our own, but it isn’t ready as yet.

Back on subject, I think that you just hit the nail on the head. You highlighted what you have heard from those who have owned the aircraft. Moreover, you chimed in about your own experience with the Baron. In the end, nothing can trump personal experience. Rumors are just that rumors that should be taken cum granis salis!

Long Live the Starship!


Just for the record, I now officially hate Chris!

(Jealousy is ugly, isn’t it?)

And Bob’s web site is great, by the way.

(But I’m still jealous.)

Wow…feel the love…LOL…just kidding.

I am truly one of the luckiest pilots out there. I have had the opportunity and pleasure of flying 2 of these in my career. The first was NC-52 in the late 90’s and again with NC-29 now. After NC-52, I never thought I would fly another again.

Quite simply, it is my favorite aircraft to fly. I have flown a great number of aircraft, and this one keeps coming to the top.

Like the Bonanza, though, the Starship has an extraordinary amount of rumors about it. It cracks me up when I hear people talking about the aircraft who have no clue what they are talking about. They haven’t flown one, nor have they owned one; yet, they think that they know more about the plane than anyone else.

I think that is what got my attention in this thread – you mentioned talking with the owners/operators as opposed to falling prey to rumors. Hats off to you for making that suggestion Tom!

Tom, where are ya based?


Chris, I’m in Natchitoches, Louisiana. KIER. I’m flying about 350 hours a year, and I take the Bonanza pretty much anywhere in the Lower 48. This year, so far, I’ve flown to Oregon, Washington State (separate trip), New Hampshire, Arizona, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and a bunch of other destinations.

I was fortunate enough to have a TV series about general aviation for a couple of years (Wings To Adventure) and we went all over the country and saw a lot of beautiful new and old planes and met some great aviation people.

KIER, by the way, is a great stop. Pretty good prices on 100LL and Jet, courtesy cars, great restaurants, beautiful town (it’s been in a bunch of movies), a 5000-foot strip and a 4,000-foot crosswind strip (just refinished), LOC and GPS approaches. Oh, and you’ll see a Piaggio Avanti there from time to time. I never miss a chance to call it the “catfish” just to tick off the pilots.

While I’d love to have a pressurized turboprop, at 200 KTAS and 6:30 with IFR reserves (with a 900-pound payload), the turbonormalized A36 is a capable steed.