After a five-year production hiatus, Mooney is again building airplanes in Kerrville, Texas — albeit at a slow pace for now.
Mooney International Corp. CEO Jerry Chen confirmed that the troubled manufacturer has begun production of the first new Mooney since the factory closed in 2009. The assembly line will officially start moving again on February 26 as workers begin building the first handful of new airplanes.
“This is an important date in the history of Mooney,” said Chen, who acquired the company last year. “There has been an extraordinary effort on the part of everyone at Mooney and I couldn’t be more proud of what has been accomplished in a short amount of time.”
He said Mooney now employs 55 workers at the Kerrville factory, which is in the midst of “a major transformation” of improvements and upgrades. The revitalized company, Chen said, is investing in new manufacturing equipment that will eventually transform the factory into a modern facility capable of turning out large numbers of airplanes.
The first product to come off the production line in 2014 will be an M20TN Acclaim Type S with Continental TSIO-550-G turbo-normalized engine and Garmin G1000 avionics — it is the airplane that was the last on the line when the factory closed five years ago. Mooney is also resuming production of the Ovation series.
“We believe in the future of Mooney and we have a solid plan,” Chen added. “Otherwise we wouldn’t be making such significant investments in the company.”
To celebrate the return of the 85-year-old manufacturer, the Mooney Airplane Pilots Association will host its annual Homecoming Convention at the Kerrville Airport next to the Mooney factory April 10-13.
Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.
We welcome your comments on flyingmag.com. In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.