As some of you may know, I've been considering trading the Maule M5-235 in for either a 180 or a 182. I'm really digging into the research side and was looking for some feedback. I've been considering this for some time, but am giving it serious thought after returning from my Yellowknife trip, where I went with 2 other guys with early model 180's, P-Ponk motors, and Aerocet 3500's. I was pretty impressed with their performance - quicker take off time (significantly with same load in plane - 900 lbs give or take), 15 mph quicker cruise, and same or less fuel on every fill up.
I like my M5, but some things id like would be 1. more leg room and seat adjustability 2. more floatation with storage(i have 2440's) 3. A little more HP. 4. metalized fuselage. I did some posting earlier this year regarding a 182 but now my eyes have been opened to a 180. Russ on the site here gave me some good 182 info. Most people I talk to, say to get a 180 for float operations. This is most of my flying although as I get a little older, i may want to substitute floats for wheels in the winter for flying down south. People tell me the 180 is a better float plane out for the box, where a 182 needs the mods. I'm not too concerned with cost, and if cost was not an issue, and I was prepared to upgrade a 182 with motor, motor mounts, float kit, etc. - I'm wondering what the performance difference would be between that and a 180? The only reason I'm considering the 182 is the additional cabin room.
On the 180 side, I'm looking for some information. Everyone so far that I have spoken to, says to get the earlier model as they were lighter. My reasearch so far tell me that its 100 lbs or so. Is it worth it? Is that the only advantage? What is considered early model? '58 and earlier? Anything else I'm not thinking about?
Any feeback would be appreciated.