I started flying about 4 years ago, and have logged all of my 200 hours in an M20C Mooney.
I have the carburated, 180-horse Lycoming engine.
For all of those 200 hours, I operated with engine RPM between 2300 and 2500- the recommended operating range according to my owner's manual. (Generally I was going somewhere and wanted to get there.) 2000-2250 is the Red Arc, denoting no continuous operations.
Recently, it seems I am never in a hurry, just sight seeing. And I want to burn less fuel. So what do I need to know to safely operate below that range?
Is there anything to be aware of regarding mixture settings, carb heat, or the reduced cylinder temperatures?
My owners manual gives powers settings for 1800 RPM, noting 16.9, 16.8, and 16.6 inches at 5,000 ft, 7500 ft, and 10,000 ft respectively, but that's it.
Do I need to reduce power to 16 inches to safely buzz around at 1800 RPM? Am I over thinking this?
Any thoughts or advice are appreciated!