Letter from Lewis Baughan
April 14, 2005
Thanks for the compliment. [My aircraft} is a 1967 M20E [Mooney] which has all the modifications to make it a 1978 M20J (so called 201 from 201 mph) except for the cowling. It even has a 201 engine. It also has many other meds and add-ons. I get many compliments on it, especially in the Mooney community. I have attached a description (Microsoft Word.doc file) I keep it for which better describes it. If you have any questions about the data, let me know. The E model is the fastest of the pre 201’s. It is called the short body. The F models were stretched 10 inches to give more leg room in the back seats. It just me and my wife so the extra speed, better take off performance, rate of climb, etc best fits my mission profile.
About the flight training at Corpus. I had selective flight at NAS Dallas (8 hrs, we weren’t allowed to solo). I think we had 3 phases in primary in the N2S-3’s and -5’s (I remember the -3 had the swivel tail wheel and the -5 had a steerable tail wheel) I remember the s-turns to a circle, the precision spins (never ran into that again), the max forward slips to a circle, and the aerobatics. And the bird dogs in the patrol Steermans marked with a red band around the fuselage (and I think the upper wings?). Then the instrument training in the J’s [SNJs] and the formation flying and the cross countries. When I flew the SNJ/T-6 later in the AF [Air Force] during the Korean War, they had been modified up to the G model (would be Navy-7). Basically, that amounted to modifying the hydraulic system so that you used one lever to select gear position and one lever for flap position (did not have to hit the power push to cause the action – each was totally controlled with one lever), replaced the radios [hand-crank medium frequency] with push button crystal controlled VHF radios, and we had a nice ADF. There were a couple of other minor mods. They were restricted from split-s’s however, but had no restrictions on secondary spins which were a real thrill in that airplane.
Do you remember the cook who was bucking for a section 8 [mental discharge], as the story goes, who cooked up the light bread using cake dye – we had pink bread, blue bread, green bread, etc?
We used to rent a large sail boat with a crew that would tow a hawser astern that had knots on it for hanging on and we would take turns hanging on to it and being towed inside the breakwater in the Corpus harbor. When I hear jokes about shark bait these days, I recall how dumb this was – but lots of fun then. Whee!!