In the September 1997 issue of Flying, we took a look at the “basic airplane at an affordable price,” and little has changed in the intervenin­g 24-plus years.

The 180-hp, tricycle-gear Maule Comet elicited kind words from former editor-in-chief Richard L. Collins, who picked that model out of the lineup in part for its similariti­es to another favorite of his, the Piper Tri-Pacer, but “with better lines.”

“All the tricycle Maules (160, 180, and 235 hp) have the aluminum leaf gear and all have the same size tires on all three wheels. That does give the airplane the appearance of a puppy with big feet, but it also enhances the rugged nature of the airplane.”

“The Maule seems to have superior low-speed handling qualities,” said Collins. “I did a stall, and it was gentle. On final approach, the recommende­d speed is 65 mph—you can go slower if you want to—and the airplane feels solid as a rock at that speed.”

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