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Welcome to The Airplane Intel Podcast, the weekly General Aviation podcast for aircraft owners, operators, pilots and mechanics. We deliver practical advice, tips and strategies to make aircraft ownership simple, safe and cost effective.
In this episode, we discuss the infamous Mitsubishi MU-2 turboprop aircraft with MU-2 expert and check pilot Dick Allen. Plus, we have some special announcements then tackle aircraft ownership news, the tip of the week and your feedback.
The Mitsubishi MU-2
The MU-2 is a Japanese-built, high wing, high performance, pressurized twin turboprop aircraft made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries starting in 1963. Production ended in 1986 at factories both in Japan and here in the U.S. in Angelo, TX where a total of 704 aircraft were produced.
The MU-2 was a real speed demon with typical speeds between 295-315 kts depending on the model. Even today, few turboprop aircraft can outperform the MU-2 and are limited to the much more expensive Cheyenne 400LS and King Air 300/350 series. During production, the aircraft competes with the Cheyenne, King Air 90 and Turbo Commander and today also competes with the PC-12 and King Air 200/300 series.
As I just mentioned, the aircraft was built both in Japan and in the United States. In 1963, Mooney Aircraft was given the rights to produce the aircraft in the U.S. as well as sell and support the aircraft. Major components came from Japan and the Texas factory assembled, tested, and delivered the finished product to North American customers. Following Mooney’s financial struggles, Mitsubishi took over the Texas plant in 1969. Subsequent aircraft were equipped with the Garret TPE-331 engines with a wide scope of model designation variations. For simplicity sake, the MU-2 can be broken down into two main categories: the short body and the long body. The long body is some 6 feet longer than the short body and can be easily distinguished by its landing gear pods on the bottom of the fuselage. The short body model became known as the Solitaire, and the longer version became known as the Marquise.
With both the long and short bodies, many model improvements were seen over the years. Some of the model improvements included -10 engine conversions , 4 bladed props, increased gross weight, improved pressurization and more refined interiors.
Some quick figures based on the MU-2Lmodel, which is a long body variant, has an empty weight of about 7500 pounds, gross weight of 11,575 pounds, Garret -6 engines with 775 shp each, 295 kt cruise speed, range of about 1200 nautical miles and ceiling of 29,000.
In a moment, Don is going to tell you about some of the MU-2s for sale, then expert Dick Allen is going to tell us more about the aircraft, but one thing I want to stress here is proper training. The aircraft has experienced a damaged reputation that can almost be linked to lack of training. In 2008, the FAA issued as special FAR, SFAR 108 under Part 91 which specifies mandatory training. Today SFAR 108 has been superseded by Part 91 Subpart N.
Our Guest Dick Allen
Our Guest Dick Allen is an MU-2 expert with nearly 40 years experience on the aircraft. Dick is an FAA designated instructor pilot and examiner, and considered the most experienced and knowledgeable pilot on the MU-2. Whether you want to learn more about the MU-2, purchase your own, or learn to fly one, Dick is your guy.
You can contact Dick Allen by phone at 570-470-1301 or by sending an email to MU2Flys@ptd.net
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Plane Partnership Program
We are excited to announce the launch of a new program called the Plane Partnership Program. This program brings people, planes, and pilots together by matching potential partners to purchase, lease, or cost share an aircraft. This program is open to anyone interested in saving money on owning and operating an aircraft--from pilots, buyers, owners, flight instructors, mechanics, and even passengers. Membership is completely free and we do the work for you to find a potential partner in your local area. If you're interested, send an email to Don at Prebuy@Gmail.com.