Mooney Switches Gears to Next Generation Piston Program

Legacy airplane manufacturer drops M10 trainer program in favor of higher-end models.

Mooney Vivek Saxena
Mooney president and CEO Vivek Saxena announced his company's intention to build a "Next Generation Piston airplane."Pia Bergqvist

There have been noteworthy changes at Mooney, as Vivek Saxena recently took over as president and CEO of the revitalized Kerrville, Texas-based aircraft manufacturer. Saxena announced the cancellation of the M10 three-seat training airplane program at a press conference at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo this week, an airplane he explained never made sense for Mooney, and hinted at big things in store for the rapidly growing company.

Saxena said Mooney is putting a strong focus on customer input and is changing gears to produce what he called a Next Generation Piston airplane. No details of the airplane were disclosed, but Saxena said there is a big opportunity with this new program. He sees the time as being ripe to develop the next game-changing airframe design now that the Cirrus SR22 has a couple of decades behind it.

While it is no more, the M10 program was the first step in that development and Saxena said there is much to be gained from the flight testing that was done on the proof-of-concept to create the next high-performance airplane from Mooney.

The new leadership and shift in focus may help ease any doubts about the future of Mooney, which shut down production for several years. Saxena says Mooney has a strong financial backing and is making big plans for the future, including investing $100 million in the company to make it a truly modern GA airplane manufacturer.