mooney rocket vs 252

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The 252 and rocket version of the mooney is about the same price out
there. Would like any info from any mooney drivers out there regarding
which one is the better deal. THe 252 is from the factory and might be
easier to service than the stc rocket but the rocket is quicker and
you can always bring back the power to get similar GPH

-- Craig Jaces, March 5, 2010


Skip the rocket. The extra hp is too much, and has caused airframe failure. No stock mooney has ever had that problem, but mods have.

If you plan to keep the plane a while, you are much better off with an ovation or acclaim or even J. While the late model turbos are better designs, the older ones are more problematic. An Ovation will cost less due to maintenance, and is more comfortable. 30 year old planes also don't hold value as well in some cases, and I forsee the small mooneys having this problem despite the aiframe longevity.

-- Eric Warren, March 6, 2010

Eric obviously has an expensive Ovation to sell.

He talks about airframe failure, yet provides no links. That's because there aren't any that I know of. This mod was approved by the FAA and tested for 1000 hours by Rocket engineering to get the STC.

That said, the Rocket is indeed fast AND economical. Up high, I have seen 230kt at a tad over 18GPH. With the 105 gallon tanks, it gets you places. I have crossed from east coast to west coast in the same day, VFR, below 12,500ft. If you don't want to suck on the O2, you can flight plan a comfortable 200kt at 10,000ft. Climb is forever at 1500fpm and the turbo is a joy to get OVER mountains, where something like a J, which I also fly, will start wheezing after about 8000ft.

The downside is that with all that engine and the short fuselage, the W&B exercise is a tradeoff of useful load and fuel. I could get 240lb me, 105gallons of fuel, and 60lb in the baggage compartment, or two tweens and me with about 3 hours of fuel on board with reserve - a few gallons shy of the factory tank capacity. Bring back the power, and you're pretty close to J kinds of efficiency and speeds INDICATED.

If you don't fly a whole lot of people, the Rocket is a great choice. If you want a pickup truck or minivan, get a 182.

-- Drew Teerudi, July 29, 2010

Drew, I can assure you that all owners, including you and I, are biased in favor of their choice of plane. Furthermore, you give no links or documentation either do you?

You can look at my many posts here and elsewhere to evaluate my bias and credentials. If you want me to research airframe failures for you, you can sign a consulting agreement. If you want to do it yourself, try google or call Mooney. We had one at a local airport a while back.

Many pilots make an informed choice to buy rockets and other modded aircraft, but others should be aware that the STC process is less rigorous than the certification process (which really aggravates the manufacturers). The rocket could not be built and certified as a new design. That doesn't mean one shouldn't buy one, but you need to know what you are getting into.

Lastly, buying a mid 90's Ovation isn't that much more than a much older turbo. It will be newer, larger, and easier to own. It will take less maintenance, and has similar performance and efficiency for the flights most GA users make.

For someone who regularly flies the type of mission the rocket is good for, it's still a good choice. It's just not for everyone, nor is an Ovation.

-- Eric Warren, August 3, 2010

i heard rockets&missiles not best workmanship. and ofcourse not tested to certification levels. a possible w&b problem.

-- l w, May 1, 2013