Porsche Mooney N137MP
Performance? I flight plan for 155 knots TAS, about 5 knots faster than my 201. I didn't run my 201 hard, and don't run my PFM hard.
Surprises? Don't leave your master on. Remember, this is an all-electric airplane. Instruments are electrically driven and not cheap. When I left my master on, I burned out my flight director as the gyro spun until my battery ran down. Cost for repair $3500 for a rebuilt unit. A new one was $10 000. Ouch.
Support? I'm always a little scared... Gary Butcher at Porsche has been fantastic. He knows the PFM inside and out. If you don't get him on the first call he'll call you back within hours.
Wittenbrook Flying Services in Barnsville, Ohio, Mooney experts with PFM training, have provided all maintenance with no problems, but about $300 more expensive for annuals than my old 201. On my last trip they installed the free-from Mooney upgraded heater. The old one was barely adequate.
If you don't have a PFM-qualified A&P mechanic near, Gary has offered to fly in and train your local A&P for airfare and lodging. Now is that support, or what?
Would I purchase another one? You bet. It's not all that much more than a 201 the same model year, the features are light years ahead, and I love it when a tower operator asks, "Is that a Porsche? Nice airplane."
Rodney Cobb N137MP. Aviation Consumer 1994
“Porsche has built aircraft engines for over 75 years. This engine is based all on 1980’s technology versus 1940 technology done over and over by Lycoming and Continental.”
Darrell Duchesneau, defending the Mooney PFM design in letter to MAPA Log, Sept/Oct, 1994
Mark Twombly referring to the Mooney PFM (Porsche) engine and its replacement of mixture/prop/MP controls with a single control, AOPA Pilot, 1996.
Flew over some awesome pasture land, scattering a few Texas longhorns for good measure. A gorgeous day.
The sound , as Chuck suggested, was totally ethereal. When on the ground looking up, that Baby just sang like a 911, but you were hearing the sound over you and around you, not from a car on the ground.
We got to stay up an extra stint, because there weren't any riders waiting . Our Pilot ??? Who would have believed......he grew up in ND about 12 miles from the farm where I grew up !
At the Colorado Springs Parade, in 88, the word was out........the length of the line-up was atrocious......several hour long wait. We wish now we would have hung around and went again, as the sound overhead sent chills up your spine when they flew it over the Parade site.
But at the Michigan Parade in Traverse City we went again.
The pilots all raved about the craft, the engine, the whole deal. The plane was as smooth as silk.
Great memories.....Thanks for bringing them all back again."
When we flight tested and certified the PFM in 1988, we were concerned for the somewhat sluggish takeoff and climb performance that the PFM 3200 engine/prop combination exhibited. The PFM airplane was certainly certifiable, meeting all climb performance requirements per FAR Part 23. But the airplane did not climb like other Mooneys. Max power static thrust was low at lower airspeeds due to the slow turning, wide chord, two-blade propeller. This resulted in initial climb performance being anemic until accelerating to 100 KIAS or so. At 100 KIAS and above, static thrust would dramatically increase and the airplane would climb out rather well (800-900 fpm on a standard day, max weight).
Three things this PFM pilot should check or do: 1) Check for proper engine operation so maximum power is being developed at full throttle. This means maximum RPM, manifold pressure and the correct fuel flow. It's hard to find a mechanic who knows how the properly set up a PFM 3200 engine. This one sounds like it is way low on power. 2) Fly the airplane a little differently. Lift off, retract the gear with a safe, positive rate of climb and then allow the airplane accelerate to 100 KIAS or so before pitching up for the climb, 3) Keep the fuel load adequate for the mission, but don't carry unnecessary fuel for the flight at hand. Weight seemed to affect the PFM's performance more than the other Mooneys we flight tested. The PFM carries a lot of gas - well in excess of what is needed for most flights. Managing fuel loads in the PFM will pay back big in better takeoff, climb and cruise performance. Tankering fuel in the PFM really diminishes performance - much more so than the other Mooneys.
Just some thoughts from the Mooney/Porsche flight test program for any PFM pilots left out there.