there are other things to consider as well, like AD's and availability of parts. At least with the Piper, Beech, and Mooney they are still in production. The Commander is on/off as far as when the factory makes parts.
The Commander is probably the most comfortable/luxurious of the bunch, but it costs a good bit on the performance. The Mooney would be a great choice, and they have always been the speed demons for single-engine aircraft. Lot's to consider I suppose, especially since so many of those particular aircraft also have STC's for larger engines/mods that have been exchanged as TBO's have come and gone.
I have never sat or flown in any of them, so I would have to find them somewhere before making an investment decision anyhow.
The Mooney is the most efficient of the bunch but it is not an airplane that is fun to fly. Heavy on the controls but good for straight and level cruising. Commander is the most comfy but slow. Bonanza is a little tight across the shoulders and you have to watch loading it aft CG but a nice flying airplane. Make sure you only look at the 250hp and up models as the lesser HP are three place airplanes. Comanche has a roomy cockpit and is a great flying airplane (see my bias). I have over 100 hrs each in the Comanche and Mooney 201. Probably 25 in a couple Bonanzas (I like the F33 the best) and a couple in a 112 Commander. Don
That's saying something . . . a 6 seater that's a 3 place airplane? Wow
Originally Posted by yakdriver
A great many of the Bonanza fleet are 4-seaters.
Originally Posted by mattb
Matt,We're talking V35/ F33 not A36. They were all 4 place with some later models had an optional jump seat. FYI A lot of A36/B36 are three place airplanes with full fuel. Just cause you have 6 seats doesn't mean you can fill em. Don
On the same note the pirep on the new Beech Baron in last months AOPA Pilot listed full fuel payload at around 450lbs.
Basically all of the 33/35 series Bonanzas are 4 seaters, the 36 series are the 6 seaters. I've flown a 36 with six in it and you can feel the decreased performance and handling with all the extra weight, especially at Denvers' high elevation. The rear seats in a 36 are more appropriate for kids, not adults. The 33/35 series Bonanzas are out of production, only the 36 series are still being built. I saw a nice '68 E33A Bonanza for sale recently for $70K. That would be a very comfortable XC machine, cruising at about 165kts on about 14 gph. If you're looking for a normally aspirated speedster, the '64/65 S model V tails had a top speed of 184kts and a 178kt cruise. If you find a Bonanza with the extended range tanks (80gal), you can easily go 850 to 950 NM at maximum range settings.
The cabin of a Mooney is actually an inch wider than a Baron or Bonanza. The J model Mooney is about the most efficient single piston flying. It can go full fuel and 3 adults. 160kts on 10gph. Construction is second to none and I'd put the Mooney airframe and wing up against a Bonanza any day. The airplane has never suffered an in-flight failure (except for the guys who flew a J model into a Level 5 thunderstorm. Even then, the wings and tail stayed attached).
It's also cheaper to get in a J model than a Bonanza of the same vintage.
Of the planes you listed which are the most fun? Can you rank them?
Originally Posted by yakdriver
Both the Mooney and Bonanza will be faster than what you're used to flying. Older Mooneys have heavy aileron feel due to the integral wing leveler feature. Some people disable the feature to lighten the aileron feel. The Bonanza is one of the most satifying airplanes to hand fly because of it's nice control harmony.
Originally Posted by TheRealOrange
As far as transition, they are going to be fairly close. The Bonanzas run from 205hp up to 300hp depending on the model, and many older Bonanzas have had enough mods that they are hard to distinguish from newer ones. The older Bonanza will be faster, heavier than a same year Mooney. Some of the older Mooneys have manually operated landing gear, whereas Bonanzas have always had electrically operated landing gear. I personally didn't like the Mooney because of the smaller cabin, more engine noise and seating position puts you closer to the instrument panel. The Mooney is more efficient due to the smaller, lighter airframe.
I think the Bonanza makes for a more stable instrument platform and not having to interact with the wing leveler is nice when you're hand flying.
I also like the later Piper Arrow with conventional tail and the 6 cylinder Continental. Not as fast as the Bonanza, but it's a good XC machine. I used to pick them up new at Vero Beach, FL and fly them back to Denver in one day.
The F33 straight tail Bonanza is probably the nicest flying of the bunch. Fairly light controls with good harmony between all of them. There is an aerobatic version and they do nice gentleman aerobatics. The Comanche would be my second choice and choice for overall performance and comfort. The Commander is not a bad flying airplane, a little heavy on the ailerons but overall very pleasant. The Mooney is only good for going cross country straight and level. That it will do just great. As for going out on a Saturday morning to fun fly its at the bottom of the list. Very heavy elevator and slow roll rate. I was always comforatable flying the Mooney and I'm 6' tall 225 or so. Just wasn't a fun plane that you wanted to go out and bore holes in. Don
Originally Posted by dmspilot
I'd agree with the F33 model. If someone had a guy to my head to buy a Bonanza, that would probably be the one. We had a couple of guys that had them at the FBO I worked at. I believe one of them had tip tanks (its been 9 months, can't really remember). Sure looked nice with new paint, though.
Something tells me this is going to come down to what you like about each of the airplanes. Go fly one or more of each type. Don't just fly the pattern. Do some sort of cruise flight, to see the speed and fuel burns you get. Load them up to gross, see what the performance is. Heck, if you find two small guys, a Cessna 150 will give you a decent climb (not that I'd know).
But, I'm just a college student, who, when it came right down to it, would be happy to fly anything right now.
Never knew that . . . learn something every day. "Bonanza" is used a bit like a brand more than a model some times. Nobody says "Cessna" - they say "172/182/206/210" etc. - people don't refer to them as Beech's but Bonanza's.
Originally Posted by yakdriver
Does anyone know a good site that compares the various Bonanza models through the years? Or Mooney models for that model as well? I'm guilty of knowing little outside the Cessna world and although in my dreams I need an airplane that can takeoff and land like a 185 if I were to buy an airplane speed would be much more practical on a daily basis as I haven't landed on a runway shorter than 2500' in a long time and the last non-paved runway was intentional soft field (snow covered field) practice with a CFI.
Hope I'm not disrupting the thread too much . . .
You asked about Mooney's. I've got these two links, and I recall another website, that I can't find off hand. First, is a list of all the model's and their respective engines. Following that, is a flow chart, which shows number produced, basic model information, and all kinds of neat stuff, including production of the Mooney Mite, and the Mooney Ercopue.
On the Beech side, if I recall, someone has published a book with nothing but the history of Bonanza's. Don't recall it off hand, but I did find this. It has history of the BE33/35/36. So you get all of it, Debonair and Bonanza.
This thread is actually turning out quite well in my opinion. I welcome discussion of any and all makes/models for comparison. I like having the information in front of me and some first-hand experience with them.
Personally, regarding the 182T, etc, I doubt I'll have much reason to get into the teens much less the flight levels, so pressurization or oxygen-equipped/turbos are more of a luxury item, not a necessity for me.
The Bonanzas I would be looking at are defintely the 33/35, the 36's are just too far out of the price range. Besides, the A36's just don't have that symbolic V-tail everyone can spot a mile away. Much the same with a Mooney.
The Commander almost has a T-tail, so it can be spotted pretty easily too.
Great links - much appreciated
Originally Posted by KSCessnaDriver