Mooney International Corp. of Kerrville, Texas, which bought the assets of moribund Mooney Aircraft in October 2013, announced on Friday at the Sun ’n’ Fun in Lakeland, Fla., resumption of production of the piston single Acclaim Type S and Ovation 3. An Acclaim, Mooney’s 240 knot-plus flagship model, is scheduled for completion in July–the first new Mooney built since 2009–and will be auctioned online, the proceeds seeding a Mooney Museum, company CEO Dr. Jerry Chen told guests at the company’s relaunch ceremony.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
The cloud over general aviation may not yet have a silver lining, but there are rays of sunshine from the increasing business use of all types of GA aircraft, which the FAA expects to expand at a faster pace than for purely personal and recreational transportation.
After growing rapidly for most of the past decade, and then slowing over the past few years, the overall general aviation aircraft market has recorded modest growth, according to the most recent shipment activity.
King Schools, the flight instruction empire founded by John and Martha King, announced a pair of initiatives aimed at increasing the pilot population and enhancing the sense of community among those within it this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. A free eBook, So You Want to Learn to Fly, introduced at the show, covers all aspects of attaining a pilot’s license, written in a fun and easy-to-read style. The book is available through the King Schools website and iTunes book store.
Quicksilver Aeronautics hired Cesar Diaz Perez as its new sales director, the Temecula, Calif.-based company announced yesterday at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In. Diaz has experience in aircraft sales in Asia, Latin America and Europe, markets in which Quicksilver seeks to increase its presence. He is also fluent in Spanish, Chinese and English, and has studied French and Italian. Diaz replaces Todd Ellefson, who will become a dealer in Rochester, Minn., and continue supporting the Quicksilver factory in technical matters.
Professional audio company AKG broke into the aviation market on Tuesday with the introduction of an active noise-reduction aircraft headset, the AV100, at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In. Its $1,099 headset uses hybrid active noise-cancelling technology and signal processing to attenuate the specific frequencies inside an airplane. Features include built-in LED map lights, as well Bluetooth connectivity and an auxiliary input for interfacing with navigation devices, tablet PCs, phones or other devices, allowing such things as Hi-Fi music streaming.
Cessna Aircraft Company (SNF 001, 004) of Wichita and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU; NE 021-NE 025) of Daytona Beach, Fla., announced here at Sun ’n’ Fun a long-term agreement for the purchase of 57 Cessna Skyhawk 172s. Deliveries of 29 aircraft are scheduled for this year with the remaining 28 slated for delivery next year. The aircraft will replace the Cessna Skyhawks currently used in the university’s flight training program at its Daytona Beach and Prescott, Ariz. campuses.
Scheme Designers (HangarA-017) of Cresskill, N.J., designer of aircraft livery for OEMs and custom paint schemes for aircraft owners, is featuring its newly introduced Cirrus Applied Art decals here at Sun ’n’ Fun 2014 in Lakeland, Fla. The company has created 12 limited-edition vinyl design sets, and only 15 of each—numbered and signed by the artist—are available.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and North Texas U.S. congressmen Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), Sam Johnson (R), Pete Sessions (R) and Marc Veasey (D) joined hundreds of aircraft manufacturing workers, local officials and business leaders at general aviation jobs rally held by GAMA on Friday at Bombardier’s Dallas Service Center. The event also included remarks from leaders of GAMA member companies in Texas.
John Leenhouts, president and CEO of Sun ’n’ Fun, opened the 40th anniversary Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In with some encouraging news. “I expect between 200,000 and 225,000 feet through the gates this Sun ’n’ Fun,” he told AIN. “Our pre-sales are up two and a half times normal, and the campgrounds are filling up fast,” he continued. He said he expects 11,000 to 12,000 aircraft movements per day, which would result in about 3,500 aircraft on the field at one time.
Aircraft exterior design specialists Scheme Designers is hosting a scavenger hunt around the display area at the Sun ‘n’ Fun Fly-In this week in Lakeland, Fla. Players are hunting for aircraft with both a Scheme Designers’ livery and window sign indicating that the aircraft is part of the game.