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Mooney’s on the Move on Many Fronts
By James Wynbrandt
July 22, 2015 - Also on display: a 3-D AR (augmented reality) app that lets visitors see the M10 inside and out, and configure the aircraft with different paint schemes and interior styles. Mooney also is showing its M20R Ovation 3 and an M20TN Acclaim Type S.
Since the last fly-in Mooney has built some one-dozen aircraft and continued investment in its facilities, said CEO Dr. Jerry Chen. Facility upgrades at Mooney’s Kerrville, Texas, factory include a digital heat-treat oven, multi-axis CNC machine, 3-D laser scanner, and CNC water-jet cutter, which together helped increase production rate and improve quality.
Meanwhile at its Chino, California, headquarters, the company is ramping up engineering work on the M10 models, announced late last year. With wind tunnel testing at Wichita State University complete, the M10 proof-of-concept aircraft is currently being assembled in Chino, with first flight expected this year.
Some M10s will be built in Kerrville, and the company “has received a lot of support from the local officials to make this happen,” Chen said. Additionally, a “higher production rate” is anticipated from the company’s second production facility planned in Zhengzhou, China.
A Beijing sales and marketing office that Chen announced here last year is now open, and the Mooney History Museum, also announced then, is moving forward, with groundbreaking planned for later this year.
Chen also announced new partnerships with companies including Redbird Flight Simulations and Dassault Systems. Mooney now has at its Kerrville, Chino, Beijing, and Zhengzhou sites FMX full-motion simulators with proprietary M20TN/R configuration and software. One such simulator is here at Mooney’s display.
Dassault, meanwhile, helped develop Mooney’s M10 3-D AR app, which will be available for free download within the next month, Chen said.