Today a twenty-something kid named Bill Wheat made the first test flight of my little bird, N6030X.
It's July 7, 1960.
I was sitting at a desk at the time, learning how to write in huge block letters with a fat pencil on lined paper. My dad was flipping up flash cards to teach me addition, while Bill was out flying some of the first of his million miles of Mooney time without leaving the Kerrville airport airspace.
3 days before, the new U.S. flag with 50 stars was made official, with the addition of Hawaii.
2 months ago, Gary Powers was shot down in a U-2. And in 4 days, Senator Kennedy will be nominated as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.
The Beech Baron and Piper Cherokee just received their type certificates a few months ago, shortly after Narco introduced the new-fangled "transistor" into its line of avionics. Other avionics manufacturers start making their radios the same width as Narco, establishing the current standard "radio stack" width.
A little over a year ago, Buddy Holly was killed in a Beech Bonanza when his 21 year old charter pilot flew VFR into a blinding snow storm.
Mooney is emphasizing the dynafocal engine mounts ("less vibration"), 33 Amp battery, McCauley prop ("for greater smoothness"), and shock-mounted instrument panel as major features of its new airplanes.
And "Science and Mechanics" magazine does a flight test and finds the M20A will do 176mph TAS at 7500MSL and 0degF at 23" and 2300 RPM with 2 people onboard and 460lbs under gross.
N6030X costs roughly $15,000 and its operating cost is 8 cents per mile. Do you want to know what a loaf of bread costs? Nah. But you could buy a split-level 3 bedroom house in Syracuse NY, or you could buy 10 average cars for the same price as my plane.
The engine will get its first overhaul in 800 hours. Then another one 800 more hours later. After the third overhaul, it will run for 33 years before being replaced.
(This is a work in progress... Meanwhile, entertain yourself with some historical photos of N6030X and her previous owners)