As Mooney International continued to celebrate its seventieth anniversary at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, it also announced a new factory incentive program called Fill and Fly. It’s designed to cover almost all the operating costs of aircraft ownership, said Lance Phillips, Mooney's marketing director. Under the program, the owner is responsible for fuel, and insurance and hangar expenses. “And really, that’s about it,” he added. “The rest, we’re going to help take care of.”
All new Mooneys are covered by the program, which covers three years or 300 hours of maintenance and consumables expenses, and includes everything from replacement light bulbs to annual inspections. There's also an allowance for up to $10,000 toward an additional pilot certificate or rating, beyond the included transition course for new owners. Fill and Fly might make someone look at Mooney who might not otherwise, Phillips said.
"The M class is still the fastest aircraft in its class," Phillips said. "We're looking at different propellers to lighten the M20 up; I'd like to see a payload increase. Right now we’re working hard to ramp production up to meet the demand. We've already sold out of 2018 production and are working on 2019." He anticipates 20 deliveries this year, with a goal of more than doubling production to 50 aircraft next year.
Mooney marketing partner Porsche North America is also celebrating its seventieth anniversary this year, so Mooney is exhibiting a new Porsche 911 Carrera beside a new Mooney at the show.
Mooney's new M20 Ultra recently received certification from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority. "We're looking for partners in Australia for both sales and maintenance," Phillips said.
In October 2017, the company announced MooneyShares, a program created with Partners in Aviation to help match pilots with potential partners in a new Mooney. The program will help pilots find possible aircraft partners in the same geographic area. "This allows people with completely different situations to own, purchase, and operate an aircraft," Phillips said. Shared ownership currently is limited to two partners, and the program provides a clear exit strategy, he noted, adding that the first MooneyShares program may be close to completion in Grand Rapids, Michigan.