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Mooney consolidating in TexasMooney consolidating in Texas

Mooney International is shifting its research and development team to its production facility in Kerrville, Texas, and shuttering operations in Chino, California, company officials said.

Photo courtesy of Mooney International.

About 40 employees based in Chino were focused on designing and building the two-seat M10J and M10T trainers. Mooney intends to continue moving forward on those projects, but there's no timetable for completing or certifying them.

"The M10 concept is very important to our investor group," said Lance Phillips, a Mooney marketing executive. "It's extremely important."

Mooney has been owned by the Meijing Group, a Chinese real estate conglomerate, since 2013, and the company planned to manufacture M10s in China.

At Kerrville, where Mooney builds four-seat M20 Ovations and Acclaim Ultras, the company has sold all seven of the two-door models currently in production. Mooney officials declined to discuss how many additional airplanes have been sold, or the size of its production backlog.

Mooney has gone through a series of boom-and-bust cycles during more than 60 years of aircraft production at Kerrville. The Kerrville factory endured a five-year period of forced hibernation that ended in 2013 with a large-scale investment from China.

The company went through more turmoil this year with the departure of former CEO Vivek Saxena after less than one year at the helm, and several other high-level executives left around that same time.

Phillips said the company's leadership team is firmly in place, however, and its investors are taking a long-term perspective.

"We've seen ups and downs over the years, and right now we have a great opportunity," he said. "We've got a robust production roadmap. The single-engine market is filled with great airplanes, but from a product standpoint, there's nothing like a Mooney."

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: Single Engine, Piston, EAA AirVenture

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