SUN ‘n FUN marked the first public event for Mooney International to officially kickoff its comeback tour to the aviation industry. To celebrate the occasion, CEO Jerry Chen launched an online charity auction to purchase the first new production Mooney since its five-year hiatus. All proceeds from the auction will be used for the future Mooney Historical Museum, a new non-profit corporation initiative for the company.
“There has been such enormous excitement around Mooney’s rebirth, we wanted to do something special to honor the commitment to the Mooney Brand,” said Dr. Chen. “This is a great way to give everyone a chance to purchase an historic airplane, the first commemorative Mooney under the new ownership.”
The Acclaim Type S will lead the recharged fleet of new production Mooney airplanes, the first since 2009, he noted. While the high performing airplane will keep its legendary exterior profile, it will have an updated interior, along with the new features on its Garmin G1000 dual glass avionics system and GFC700 autopilot.
The twin turbocharged, 242 knot Acclaim Type S features a premium package that includes a Continental Gold Standard TSIO-550 G engine with a 2,200 hour TBO. The price of a new Acclaim Type S will be slightly under $700,000.
The Ovation3 will also be reintroduced in 2014 featuring a 310-hp Continental Gold standard IO-550 engine and a 197 knot cruise speed.
With the focus on quality and Lean production processes and systems, Mooney is gradually ramping up production, according to company officials. Six airplanes are scheduled for completion in 2014. Production will increase substantially in 2015, officials promise.
“The Moony International products will be a better, more reliable and better supported than any Mooney airplane in the past,” Chen says with glowing confidence. “We have invested millions of dollars in the facility, lean manufacturing systems and new, innovative technologies that have greatly advanced the quality and capability of our production.”
Service will be a hallmark of the new Mooney organization, Chen added. Leading this effort is a new training program for the network of over 50 Mooney Service Centers around the world.
All the new programs are essential to Chen’s strategic plan to have a greater international footprint. With the development of new partnerships, he said he especially has his eye on the growing aviation market of China. Mooney is currently undergoing its VTC Certification for China.
The online auction for the first Acclaim Type S (like the one pictured above) can be accessed from the newly designed Mooney website. Click on the “First To Fly” tab. This will allow the user to register by completing a handful of pre-qualifying questions. Once this information has been submitted, a Mooney representative will contact the user to verify their interest. Participants will receive automatic notices on the status of their bid.
Bids will be taken until July 11. The new Mooney Acclaim will be publicly presented to the new owner at AirVenture on July 29.
According to Mooney officials, 100% of proceeds from the sale of the airplane will be dedicated to the new non-profit Mooney Historical Museum to be built on the Mooney campus in Kerrville, Texas. The museum is in the initial planning stages with no scheduled date for completion.
“There is such passion around the Mooney brand,” noted Chen, “that from day one, I wanted to preserve its rich history.”
Mooney International is working closely with the Mooney Aircraft Pilots Association (MAPA) to help plan, design and create displays for the museum. MAPA recently moved its offices from San Antonio to Kerrville, Texas, the headquarters of Mooney.
“The news of the founding of a Mooney History Museum is very exciting and welcome to MAPA, all our members and Mooney owners around the world,” said Trey Hughes, executive director of the organization. “While the history of the Mooney airplane and its designer, Al Mooney, is rich with aviation significance, an organized documentation of the aircraft has been missing. Having a living record of the man, the machine and the companies that produced it will provide the general aviation community a new clarity on Mooney’s engineering brilliance.”
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 Mooneys.
For more information: Mooney.com