Mooney International has delivered the first Chinese-built “B” registered aircraft to an unnamed customer, opening up a new and potentially huge market for the light aircraft manufacturer.

The handover of the M20TN Acclaim Type S comes less than a month after the four-seat single and its Ovation 3 stablemate secured validation from the country’s civil aviation authority, and 14 months after the US company was snapped up by China’s Meijing Group.

The aircraft was manufactured, flight tested and then disassembled at Mooney’s Kerrville, Texas headquarters, then shipped to Meijing’s facility in Zhengzhou, Hainan province for reassembly.

Mooney’s line-up currently consists of four aircraft: the in-production Acclaim and Ovation 3 and the smaller M10T and M10J, which are currently in development.

The new composite-skinned diesel-engined duo are targeted mainly at the Chinese training and private aviation market, and move Mooney’s production line away from avgas-driven engines and solely metallic structures for the first time.

“We are hoping to certificate and deliver the aircraft in 2017,” says Mooney. “In the meantime we are looking to set up a sales and maintenance network throughout Asia to support the growing fleet.”

The M10T, equipped with a Continental CD-135 jet A/ diesel engine will serve as a trainer in the Mooney portfolio. The CD-155 diesel-powered M10J, meanwhile, will offer private owners an aircraft with a 1,000nm (1,850km) range and a top speed of 170kt (315km/h), says Mooney.

Source: Flight International