Mooney is nearing completion of its first new aircraft produced in five years, the Kerrville, Texas, manufacturer says.
The Mooney Acclaim Type S, N242MR, is already built and in production flight test. It will soon sport an Oshkosh vinyl graphics package.
Mooney plans to hand over the aircraft to the highest bidder of an online "First To Fly Mooney History Museum Auction." The auction, to be held open through July 11, has so far attracted bids reaching $427,000. The bids have jumped by $150,000 over the past month when more than 70 had registered for it. Mooney, which announced the auction during this spring’s Sun ’N Fun, is dedicating the sale proceeds to the development of a Mooney History Museum in Kerrville.
The aircraft will be formally delivered to its new owner July 29, during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenure in Oshkosh, Wis. The winner will be flown in for the event.
The Acclaim is the first of a couple of models that Mooney is hoping to bring back to the market this year. The aircraft will be fitted with an updated Garmin G1000 avionics package that includes the GFC700 autopilot. The Continental TSIO-550 G will continue to power the twin turbocharged 242-kt. aircraft. Priced at just less than $700,000, the high-performance piston aircraft will also sport a new interior, Mooney says. Mooney also has plans to produce the Ovation 3 beginning this year.
Mooney suspended production in 2008, right as the general aviation market was crashing, with the hopes of eventually restarting production. After receiving an investment from California-based, but Chinese-backed Soaring America Corp., the company renewed its supplier and customer relations and formally restarted production in late February.
Plans call for a slow production ramp up, with about a half-dozen aircraft planned for this year moving into full production next year, according to demand. Company CEO Jerry Chen has called 2014 a "transformational year," saying, "This is not the year to see how many airplanes we can produce. Instead, this is the year to set new quality standards and put best practices in place."