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Aviation Week Pilot Report – AWST June 5, 1961
The improved flight characteristics of the all-metal Mark 21 are an unexpected boon to Mooney Aircraft Co. and add justification to its shift from the Mark 20’s wood-and-metal construction.
Mooney engineers believed that converting the Mark 20’s wooden wing and tailplane to the Mark 21’s all-metal construction would have no effect on the performance of the new aircraft as the physical and aerodynamic dimensions were identical. With the conversion implemented only to eliminate production bottlenecks, the improved slow flight and stall characteristics as well as smoother taxi performance of the Mark 21 are attributed by Mooney engineers to the stiffness of the all-metal structure.
The new Mooney Mark 21, the first design details of which were reported by Aviation Week on January 16, is an 8-foot-4.5-inch-tall, 23-foot-2-inch-long, low-wing four-seater aircraft powered by a 180 -hp. High compression Lycoming O-360-A1A engine designed for 91/98 octane gasoline (recommended 100/130), with a McCauley constant speed of 74 inches. aluminum alloy propeller.
With a small dorsal fin marking the only difference in appearance from the Mark 20, Mooney’s all-metal fuselage consists of a welded chrome-molybdenum steel tube frame with flush riveted aluminum skin. The fuselage tail cone section has been redesigned of unibody construction for added strength, with a spring steel tail pad for protection against a low landing and a tie-down ring attached to the lower section of the aft bulkhead of the tail cone.
Read the full article in the Archives of Aviation Week & Space Technology 100+ years.
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