Mooney Reopens Kerrville Factory

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After a two-week surprise shutdown, Mooney has reopened its Kerrville, Texas, factory, but it’s unclear if the entire workforce is back on the job or just production workers. Fred Ahles of Fort Lauderdale-based Premier Aircraft Sales, a Mooney regional dealer, told AVweb Monday evening that officials at Mooney confirmed that all production workers building aircraft and parts were back on the job Monday morning.

He said Mooney is seeking additional financing and may be close or has already secured that to resume production work and additional operations. Ahles said more information would be forthcoming in a few days. AVweb calls to the Mooney factory weren’t answered and not immediately returned.

With little warning or detail, the factory closed its doors and stopped answering phones on November 11. Emails to support staff were answered with a directive to contact the plant manager, Albert Li. Those emails, however, were not answered. Kerrville’s Daily Times newspaper quoted company representative Devan Burns as saying negotiations are underway with an additional investor.

AVweb will have more information when it becomes available.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Raf, its probably a new Chinese version of stunt marketing unfortunately carried out on the backs of employees who depend on their paychecks. Something’s amiss when a company that sells in this price range pulls a “Joe unfortunately closed shop last night, sorry!” stunt, just to pretend it never happened a few weeks later. Credibility suffers. I was hoping someone with deep pockets at Cirrus would have gobbled them up. There’s always a path to pull a Cessna stunt and discontinue the new Cirrus Acclaim later. Chinese investment at its scary best. Who’s next?

    • Textron’s acquisition of the Columbia was a smart move – right up to the minute at which top management decided that they really are a Citation company.

      For Cirrus, re-introducing the Bellanca Viking would make about as much sense as a Cirrus Acclaim.

      • Ridiculous… you can’t compare one of the most iconic airplanes ever made to a Viking. The genius of the Mooney design stands the test of time. Go get a few hundred hours in one… you’ll be amazed. The fastest certified piston aircraft in the world…the satisfaction one gets at the controls is immense. Cirrus can’t touch that, neither can anyone else.

        Why anyone would pile on Mooney is beyond me.

        • The Viking has a deserved cult-like following. So does Mooney. (I have your recommended M20 time, in a Johnson-bar Ranger, and in a 231.)
          And the Cirrus SRs do have something in common with the M20s: both are rather… snug… airframes. That and throaty Continentals.
          But I chose the Viking purposefully. Firstly, probably half of the readership never has heard of it, so – another Google-able moment.
          Secondly, it’s old-school design and construction: rag-and-tube; wood wing; charming ancient systems. The Cirrus is carbon fiber; full of gee-whiz technology. A Cirrus Viking would make little sense – they’re not going to go backwards. Similarly, a Cirrus Acclaim would make no sense for them – it would be a FrankenPlane: steel tube; aluminum here; carbon fiber there. Yesterday versus today, as validated by mooney’s recent (abandoned) new trainer.
          No piling. Just honest anslysis, a.k.a. one man’s worthless opinion. PRN, HS.

          • Snug? The Mooney cabin is 43.5″ wide. They are notorious for being “snug”. The Cirrus SR is 49″ wide; spacious by comparison.
            My favorite is the Trinidad TB line; a full 50″ of elbow room.

          • Thomas:
            The SR may be 5.5 inches wider then the M20, but the extra width (and more) is consumed by the console – same problem as the Commander 112/114/115 singles.
            Meanwhile, Cirrus’ jet is 61.2 inches wide, and there’s no console to compete with hips and thighs. Most comfortable cockpit, this side of a C-5. If designers insist on a console/keel, then they need to start with a 66 inch wide cabin. Widebody pilots need widebody airplanes, IMWO.

  2. Mooneys, Vikings, Meyers/Aero Commander 200’s, Windekker Eagles, SF-260’s, Cessna TTx, V-tail Bonanzas all fly great, all are fast, all have stood the test of time. All have their proponents, type club support, and brand enthusiasm. Within the test of time, all were well thought of enough to produce them. All had great flight characteristics. All had their respective innovations. All sold well enough to be certified and manufactured. But none could be built profitably…over time…so they ceased production.

    Included in that test of time is the number of buyers willing to spend $750,000 to 1 million dollars in today’s money for a full fuel, fast, but two place airplane. In Mooney’s case, with all its heritage, history, proven flight characteristics, there was a total of 14 or so people over a two year span willing to invest such money. Apparently, there are only 450 people globally who will pony up the same for a new Cirrus. According to all the singe engine, high performance piston airplanes sold, there is a total market of 1,000 people willing and able to spend $750,000 – 1 million dollars for a full fuel, two place with luggage, high performance, avgas burning, 4-6 seat airplane. That is not a lot of market to justify spending the millions of dollars it takes to collectively certify a new airplane…or continue to build an old one.

    If there were a thousand people per year willing and ready to spend their hard earned money for any one of the above, it might be worth the calculated risk of buying the type certificate and resuming production. So far, this has not happened outside of Mooney…and that has been a struggle no matter what decade, economy, or business culture it has died and often resurrected. Nostalgia is expensive to purchase new.