Mooney International is back in the aircraft development business, unveiling two new diesel and jet fuel-powered models at Airshow China in Zhuhai.
Focused on the slowly-emerging Chinese training and privately-owned aviation market, the composite-skinned Mooney 10T and 10J models move the recently restarted Mooney production line away from avgas-driven engines and solely metallic structures.
The new models also provide steppingstones into Mooney’s larger M20 types – the Acclaim Type S and Ovation3, the company says.
“The M20J helped change general aviation by making flying practical to more people across the US. Now, the M10J promises to do the same for the world,” says Jerry Chen, a former aeronautics professor who is now chief executive of Mooney International.
Mooney halted production at its factory in Kerrville, Texas, in 2009 after an 80-year run. After a five-year hiatus, a Chinese investment group acquired the comapny and restarted production. As of July, a Florida-based distributor had placed orders for three new M20 models, while orders for another 10 of the single-engined, fixed-landing-gear aircraft came from buyers in China.
Mooney resumed M20 production over the summer with plans to ramp up to one delivery per month through the end of the year, two aircraft per month next year and more as demand evolves.
The next step is to bring the new aircraft to the market, with certification and deliveries scheduled in 2017. Mooney International has not identified the initial certification agency for the M10 series, but noted that the US Federal Aviation Administration currently certificates the M20 series.
The M10T, equipped with a Continental CD-135 diesel, will serve as a trainer in the Mooney portfolio. The CD-155 diesel-powered M10J, meanwhile, will offer private owners an aircraft with 170ktas speed, 1,000nm range and a “competitive price”, says Mooney.
“These aircraft mark a new beginning for Mooney and are indication of great product innovation coupled with Mooney’s long line of history-making aircraft,” Chen says.