Mooney Shows Certified Acclaim, Recalibrates M10 Project
For many Mooney owners -- and a few would-be buyers -- a second cabin door has always been on the wish list and on Tuesday at Sun 'n Fun, Mooney delivered just that. The company rolled out the fully certified Acclaim Ultra, sporting both the new left-side cabin door and a lighter, spiffed-up interior. Mooney first announced two new models in the M20 line as part of a major retooling just over a year ago. The revised airframe has a new composite plug section and redesigned fuselage cage to accomodate the new door.
Mooney CEO Vivek Saxena told AVweb in this video interview on Tuesday that with the fresh certification approval, the company is poised to resume modest sales, which he estimates could rise to about 80 aircraft a year, mostly in North America. The turbocharged M20V Acclaim Ultra is priced at $769,000 while the stablemate M20U Ovation Ultra is set at $689,000. Both aircraft are equipped with Garmin's new G1000 NXi glass panel suite. Production is underway at the company's overhauled Kerrville, Texas, factory with initial deliveries scheduled for later this year. As we reported in early 2016, Mooney has invested significantly in factory and production improvements at the Kerrville facility.
Meanwhile, at Mooney's Chino, California, engineering and design center, the company is evidently rethinking the M10 series, which was annouced two years ago this month. The diesel-powered M10 was first revealed at the big airshow in Zhuhai and featured at Sun 'n Fun two years ago. It was orginally intended as a trainer model, but without going into much detail, Saxena told us the airplane's design is now being nudged toward a next-generation piston product. "What I can tell you is that we are very seriously engaged in developing the next-generation piston aircraft," Saxena said. "It's time for a new airframe for this market segment because there hasn't been one for 20 years," he added. Details of the project's new direction will be revealed later.