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Key Takeaways

  • The top speed of the Mooney Acclaim is a staggering 278 mph.
  • It has a cruising speed of 273 mph at 25,000 feet and 100% throttle.
  • The Mooney Acclaim is the world’s fastest single-engine general aviation aircraft.
  • It’s powered by the Continental IO-550-G turbocharged engine.

If you’re thinking about buying a Mooney Acclaim, you might want to know how fast it goes. Learn all about the speed of a Mooney Acclaim in this expert guide.

The Mooney Acclaim (and the Mooney Acclaim Ultra) have a top speed of about 278 mph, or 242 KTAS. The plane’s cruising speed is a bit lower at around 273 mph (237 KTAS). These speeds make the Acclaim one of the fastest civilian-owned general aviation single-engine aircraft of all time.

SkyTough has managed to become one of the top aviation sites on the web by focusing on providing nothing but the best content that we can. With a topic like this one, we dove into the specifications and information from the manufacturer and other reliable sources. We also talked to other aviation enthusiasts to get their opinion on the Acclaim to give you the complete picture.

Table of contents


What is the Mooney Acclaim?

Before getting into any of the specifics about the Mooney Acclaim and how fast it flies, let's take a minute to go over what this aircraft is since it's been known as a few things over the years. The Mooney Acclaim is just one variant of the popular Mooney M20 lineup of planes. Originally produced in 1955, the M20 is a four-seat piston-engine general aviation aircraft, with more than 10,000 being produced over the years.

Although there have been breaks in production since its inception, the M20 has remained Mooney's flagship model for much of its life. This is especially true of the Acclaim, which was first introduced in 2006 as the Mooney M20TN at the Sun 'n Fun event. This production run was short-lived however due to the financial crisis in 2008. But then in 2016, the newest model in the lineup -- the Mooney Acclaim Ultra -- was released before production again ceased in 2019.

If you're interested in the Mooney Acclaim, you might want to know about both the original M20TN that started it all in 2006 and also the new Acclaim Ultra (M20V), so we'll look at both models as we go along.

What is the Top Speed of a Mooney Acclaim?

Anyone that wants to know how fast airplanes fly typically want to know the top speed of planes since that's always the most exciting number. We'll start off with this since that's what you're probably after, but we're also going to look at a couple of other types of airplane speed to give you the full picture of how fast the Mooney Acclaim truly flies.

The TN20 Acclaim is powered by its Continental IO-550-G engine, which pumps out 285 horsepower during takeoff and 262 horsepower while cruising at altitude. When it was revamped into the Acclaim Ultra, the engine was left largely unchanged: the Continental TSIO-550-G, putting out a similar 280 horsepower.

The Mooney Acclaim (M20TN) has a top speed of 278 mph (~242 KTAS). This speed is technically designated as the Vne, which means the "never exceed velocity", or, in other words, the fastest that you should fly the aircraft. As for the newer Mooney Acclaim Ultra, the top speed does not change, sitting tight at just about 278 mph.

What is the Cruising Speed of a Mooney Acclaim?

So we've gone on and on about the top speed of the Mooney Acclaim, but what about its cruise speed? This metric is equally as important (arguably even more so) than an airplane's top speed because of what it represents. When you're talking aviation, cruise speed refers to the speed at which an aircraft typically flies at once it reaches its cruise altitude, or the time of flight between the climb during take-off and the descent of coming in for landing.

Cruise speed is always going to be lower than top speed because you don't need to always be operating at 100% top speed. Think about your car, for example. The speedometer might go up to 180mph (or higher), but you certainly aren't going to be driving to work in the morning at those speeds. Sure, it might shorten your commute, but you'll run into all sorts of other trouble. Similarly, with planes, there is no need to fly at 100% open throttle at all times. It's just not what they're designed for.

For the Mooney Acclaim (M20TN), the cruising speed is 273 mph (~237 KTAS). And for the newer Mooney Acclaim Ultra, the cruising speed is also the same (just like for the top speed). This is expected since the engine is almost identical and the plane is largely unchanged from model to model. This cruising speed here is just the maximum cruising speed at 100% throttle at 25,000ft. At 55% throttle, for example, the cruising speed is a much more relaxing 207 mph(180 KTAS).

What is the Stall Speed of a Mooney Acclaim?

The other main velocity or speed that you want to keep in mind when talking about flying is an airplane's stall speed. This is the speed at which the aircraft no longer has enough lift to stay in the air and will potentially stall and start to fall from the sky if it's not corrected. It's important for pilots to know what their airplane's stall speed is because you always want to stay above this speed unless you're intentionally stalling the aircraft for some reason.

Although there is some conflicting information out there, the most accurate stall speed we could find is 50 mph, or about 57 KTAS. This speed is also only when there is zero bank and you've applied full flaps. So keep that in mind if you're ever getting near these lower speeds, and ensure you're doing everything necessary to generate lift and stay in the air!

Is the Mooney Acclaim Fast?

This question might sound a little subjective at first, but it's actually fairly easy to answer. The short answer is yes, the Mooney Acclaim is a fast airplane. Not only is it one of the fastest planes you can get your hands on, but it has also held the record as the fastest single-engine general aviation civilian aircraft in the world. With top speeds of nearly 280 mph, this plane is significantly faster than most of the other planes in its class that you can get your hands on.

The key to all of this is, of course, the engine that powers the Acclaim. The Continental IO-550-G is turbocharged and intercooled to keep intake air temperatures cool while producing as much power as possible that's easy to use in the powerband. In short, the Mooney Acclaim (and the Acclaim Ultra) are very fast for what they are. So if you have the chance to fly in one, take advantage and have fun!