The Mooney Comeback Tour continues in a big way, as the newly recharged Company played title sponsor for the Planes of Fame Air Show in Chino, CA, May 3 – 4. It’s a new chapter in the storied history of the legendary 80-year old single engine airplane manufacturer. In a few short months, Mooney International has ramped up staffing, restarted the dormant production line, initiated an online auction to purchase the first Mooney airplane and has even laid plans to build an historical Mooney Museum on the Mooney campus.
“It’s an exciting time at Mooney and quite a revolutionary period for our Company, to say the least,” said Dr. Jerry Chen, CEO. “The Company is in full swing so we’re very enthusiastic to be here, where we can proudly put our airplanes on display and tell our story. We want everyone to know that Mooney is back, better than ever.”
In Kerrville, Texas, where the flagship manufacturing headquarters will remain, over 80 people have been hired as the market demands for Mooney products continues to grow. Millions of dollars have been invested in the facility. Lean manufacturing systems and innovative new technology initiatives have greatly improved the quality and production capabilities of the factory. Mooney plans to deliver six airplanes this year.
“2014 is a transformational year for Mooney” said Chen, “This is not the year to see how many airplanes we can produce. Instead, this is the year to set new quality standards and put best practices in place without the pressures of a high production count. We are being very methodical at every step in order to significantly ramp up in the future.”
The demands for the first airplane since the five-year hiatus are sky-high. On April 4, at the Sun & Fun Airshow, Dr. Chen launched an online auction to purchase the first new production Mooney. 100% of the proceeds will be dedicated to the future Mooney History Museum, a new non-profit initiative for the Company. To date, over 70 people have registered to take part in the auction in which they can purchase the first new Acclaim in five years. The online auction can be accessed from the newly designed Mooney website, www.mooney.com. Bids will be taken up until July 11th. The Mooney Acclaim will be publicly presented to the winning bidder during a special ceremony EAA Air Venture Oshkosh on Tuesday, July 29.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the interest people are showing in the new Mooney,” said Chen. “This is a great way to give everyone a chance to purchase the first commemorative Mooney under the new organization.”
To participate in the online auction, the user simply logs on to Mooney’s website and clicks the “First To Fly” tab. This will allow the user to complete a handful of pre-qualifying questions. Once this information has been submitted, a Mooney representative will personally contact the user to verify their interest. Participants will receive automatic notices on the status of their bid.
The Acclaim Type S will lead the recharged fleet of new production Mooney airplanes, the first since 2009. While the high performing airplane will keep its legendary exterior profile, it will have an updated interior look along with new features on its Garmin G1000 dual glass avionics system and GFC700 autopilot.
The twin turbo charged, 242-knot Acclaim Type S features a premium package that includes a Continental Gold Standard TSIO-550 G engine with a three or five-year full parts and labor warranty and a 2200-hour TBO. The price of a new Acclaim Type S will be slightly under $700,000 and feature the highest level of standard equipment in the industry.
The Ovation3 will also be reintroduced in 2014, featuring a 310hp Continental Gold standard IO-550 engine and an industry-leading 197 knot cruise speed.
“The future is bright for Mooney,” noted an enthusiastic Chen. “We want to take care of business here domestically by being a host sponsor in the Planes of Fame Airshow, but as we build out our infrastructure, we plan to have more of a global footprint.”
Since its inception, Mooney has manufactured and delivered more than 11,000 aircraft worldwide. Today, more than 7,800 customers in the United States and 1,000 more overseas fly these proven, high-performance airplanes. For more information, visit www.mooney.com. Join the conversation about Mooney at Facebook.com/MooneyINTL.