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MU-2 for the adventurous.

RobertL18C wrote:

Not exactly a type for a weekend bimble, arguably to be flown with professional, full time crew.

And there it is. I’m not saying that the aeroplane is inherently dangerous, it has many good features, but the FAA acted for a reason

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

I wouldn’t say they’re planes that need to be flown by a professional crew. It’s well within the capacity of a well trained PPL – which is most of the owners. But you have to fly them professionally and strictly by the book, that I would agree with.

An interesting note is the spoilers have no to very little adverse yaw, so you can fly them virtually feet off in turns. Another note is that the short bodied models have the MLG behind the wing, which makes them very hard to land without slam dunking the nose wheel onto the tarmac. The longer body model moved the wheel to a better spot.

Here’s an interesting clip with young Barrington Irving talking about his MU-2. He’s got some of the facts wrong about the history of the aircraft (it was not built around TPE331’s, it was originally built for Astazou’s), but interesting nonetheless:

A MU-2 would fit much better in my hangar. Early on I looked hard at them. But they don’t have the range of the later Turbo Commanders. A -10 engined long wing TC will do almost 2000nm, whereas a Marquise might be able to stretch to 1400nm. Not that I can afford any of that right now anyway – just pontification.

Last Edited by AdamFrisch at 10 Jun 16:13

One more tricky thing about MU-2’s flaps is a very long transition time between 0° and 5°, something on the order of 30 seconds. The flaps first slide out horizontally and only then get deflected.

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

An awesome plane…
Anybody has an idea on operating a MU2 in Europe regarding service and spare part availability?


Manitu wrote:

Anybody has an idea on operating a MU2 in Europe regarding service and spare part availability?

I did once investigate it a bit and it turns out the massive MTOW and noise of the plane would really drive cost. Over 4 tons charges really go up over here, you get mandatory handling at some places etc. Then the avionics, autopilot etc. are really old, the cockpit layout is a mess. And it likes to drink fuel. The cabin differential pressure is not that great either. Finally the later more powerful versions with the -10 engines are not that cheap. So in the end a single engine turbine is the better deal for Europe.

@Manitu, I recently took an internship with a Part-145 maintenance organisation that has two MU-2s in its care, a -26 and a -60. The type is supported by the TC holder and spare parts are mostly available, though on some occasions they had to resort to dismantlers or manufacture some parts in house. Regarding old avionics, the one I worked on (a -60) was converted to GDU620 + GTN750 + GTN650. I wouldn’t call the cockpit a mess, but it’s certainly fairly complex. Regarding fuel consumption, it may be relatively hungry on an hourly basis, but it flies faster that most similar types and is actually quite economical per mile flown.

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

1. It’s not true that they’re thirsty. In fact, the opposite. It will burn 65gph going 300kts, which is about the same as a PC12 that’s going 30kts slower. TPE’s are fuel misers compared to PT6’s. You will not save a penny on operating costs on a PC12 vs a MU-2, not even when you factor in both engine reserves.

2. The MU-2 wins year after year in best factory support and despite being out of production for decades, Mitsubishi fully supports it. On top of this they’re built stout and rarely break down.

You could do a lot worse. Good bang for buck. But they are loud on the ground, which might trigger some noise taxes at sensitive airports. They need a yearly SFAR type rating type training. And they slam down on landing like a trash truck – hard to let them down smoothly, I hear. Especially the short bodies.

Last Edited by AdamFrisch at 21 Aug 12:31

Adam I wonder what stories that MU-2 might tell given it’s provenance:)

Could it be made airworthy with an airframe inspection, a HSI for the engines, prop overhaul and some avionics upgrade? Sounds like $200k -300k before it flies, and you are still left with a ‘69 no logbook MU-2. More if the engines are junk.

How much is the annual SFAR, is it just in the SIM or does it need an actual checkride?

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

It is an interesting plane… But once you have bought it, you sit on it, so much is clear.
But the performance is intriguing. I am looking into a smaller body Solitaire.

. 320 kt cruise
. range up to 1600NM
. useful load 1560kg
. lots of space
. and above all a robust make

and I am trying to work out OpEx for this plane. Any further comments appreciated.

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