The fit and finish of new Mooneys is excellent and a plush leather interior gives you a great place to enjoy the flying and the flight. A Mooney is not the easiest airplane to get in and out of, but for normal-size people it's a comfortable ride.
For years, Mooneys didn't have rudder trim and even with much smaller engines than the Ovation's 280-horsepower Continental IO-550, it needed rudder trim. It's there now, electrically operated, and with the readout of trim setting shown on the MFD. This, and everything else, is carefully checked before takeoff.
The propeller on these airplanes has gotten a lot of attention. Mooney has used two-blade and three-blade props, always seeking the optimum balance between climb and cruising speed. The current airplane has a three-blade Hartzell scimitar prop that seems to be ideal for the airplane.
The Ovation2's IO-550 Continental engine turns but 2500 rpm maximum for takeoff to make 280 horsepower. The engine is rated at 300 or more horsepower in other applications where it turns 2700 for takeoff.
Takeoff acceleration is good, though not brisk. With takeoff flaps selected, the airplane flies cleanly away at 70 knots. The prop and throttle are left full-forward for climb and at 110 knots the rate is well over 1,000 feet per minute.
The optional Bose active noise-canceling headsets enhance the smooth engine operation by making it quiet as well. The atmosphere is serene indeed, even at climb and maximum cruise. Riding around at 2,500 feet above the ground at max cruise power, leaned to best power using the handy exhaust gas temperature feature on the MFD, the indicated airspeed was flirting with the yellow, which begins at 175 knots. The fuel flow was 16.5 gallons per hour.
When all the cruise options for trading off speed for range for altitude in the Ovation are considered, it comes across as being one of the most flexible airplanes around, even when compared with turbocharged airplanes.