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Mooney PM20K (Porsche) (also composite propellers)

Sometimes, a routine flight gives you a nice surprise.

Today I flew to Antwerp, where I saw this:

This Mooney flew around the world in 1985-1986 powered by a Porsche PFM3200 engine.

Too bad the pilot wasn’t around ! I’d have loved to chat about this exotic bird…

EBST, Belgium

I’d hate to know the maintenance costs for that engine and gearbox!

Why does the top cowl appear to be so ill-fitting…that bulge looks extremely unsightly…

Btw, isn’t the PFM Mooney known as an M20L?

Last Edited by AnthonyQ at 25 Aug 05:11
YPJT, United Arab Emirates

No, this is a prototype. A converted M20K, if I’m not mistaking. It does seem odd, but the Porsche-dials in the cockpit give it a serious cool-factor !

EBST, Belgium

The Porsche engine is fairly cheap to operate. My homebase is kind of world HQ for the Porsche Flugmotor (PFM), currently I believe 6 based aircraft. An ex Porsche employee took at lot of parts and machinery from Porsche and maintains the fleet. He’s got a lot of parts and there is no shortage. The base engine was produced in large quantities. The engine is supposedly very reliable, doesn’t have cooling problems thanks to the forced cooling. Spark plugs are rather expensive but still available from Champion because the same plugs are used on some racing cars.

Time for a trip to Heubach then !

EBST, Belgium

1988 article pans the PFM pretty comprehensively:

YPJT, United Arab Emirates

The article is full of bias with very little technical understanding.

Well, according to Avweb here and here Mooney PFM was not a successful story.

ES?? - Sweden

Knowing the classic six cylinder Porsche engine welll (for some time I had a 911 Carrera) I think that the main problem was that the engine is much more complicated than a comparable Conti/Lyco. The engine has many more parts than the Lycosaurus and adjusting everything correctly is not a job for a typical AP. The engine itself is a piece of art compared to an aircraft engine, … but maybe too much so.

Last Edited by at 28 Aug 17:40

even the colours matched the Porsche racing car colours at the time

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