MOONEY AIRPLANE COMPANY (MAC)
Original Mooney Aircraft Corporation formed in Wichita, Kansas, 1948; produced single-seat M-18 Mite until 1952 (total 282); M20 family in production since then. Alexandre Couvelaire, President of Euralair/Avialair Paris, France, and Michel Seydoux, President of MSC, jointly acquired Mooney in 1985; Mooney and Aerospatiale (Socata) announced joint development of TBM 700 June 1987, but Mooney withdrew in 1991. Controlled by AVAQ Group Inc since 1998. By early 2001, Mooney had produced 10,320 aircraft, including 9,940 of M20 family. new Mooney Encore announced October 1996; Eagle in 1998. Company decided in 1999 not to proceed with a turboprop, but was considering reintroducing a pressurised aircraft with 240 kt (444 km/h; 276 mph) cruising speed. Mooney delivered 100 aircraft in 2000, compared with 97 in 1999, 93 in 1998, 86 in 1997 and 73 in 1996. Personnel totalled 220 in 2001, including those engaged on Lockheed Martin F-16 and C-130, Boeing, Air Tractor, Aviat Pitts Special and Commander subcontracts; by early February 2002, this had been reduced to 11.
Mooney Aircraft Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 27 July 2001, continuing production while restructuring the company; delivered 29 aircraft in 2001 against year's target of 70. Announced on 16 November 2001 that extended financing had been received to continue operations, including spares support, pending sale of the company. On 8 February 2002 AASI announced it had purchased Congress Financial Corporation's position as senior creditor and intended restarting production as well as moving its own production facility to Kerrville.
AASI subsequently reorganised as Mooney Aerospace Group, Ltd, with Mooney Airplane Company as wholly owned subsidiary. Plans announced in February 2002 for redesign of AASI Jetcruzer 500, but by late 2002 further development of this and related designs thought unlikely as company concentrates on production and support of Mooney range of single-engined piston aircraft. MAC received FAA production certificate on 26 June 2002 for Eagle 2, Ovation 2 and Bravo 2. Employment at Kerville totalled 170 in July 2003. Total of 10 aircraft delivered in 2002, all in final quarter, and 23 in the first nine months of 2003.
On 1 August 2003 Mooney signed an agreement with BAE Systems, Foxton Investments, the Kaskol Group of Russia, and Venture Industries, to form an international partnership for the development and marketing of a range of new-generationaircraft under the Mooney name.