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.
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.
Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft are making their first public appearance as sister companies under the Textron Aviation banner this week at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., less than three weeks after Textron closed a $1.4 billion deal to acquire Beechcraft. Still, the companies have separate static display areas at the show because, as a spokeswoman explained, there wasn’t enough room at either space to display a combined Cessna/Beech lineup of piston and turboprop aircraft, ranging from the Cessna 172 to Beechcraft King Air 350i.
There is no question about it, Art Spengler and Fred Ahles are excited about Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Premier Aircraft Sales newest offering, upgrading primarily R and S model Cessna 172s from Lycoming to Centurion 2.0 diesel power, coupled to a German MT or U.S. manufacturered Hartzell Bantam propeller. The program, deemed the Premier Edition 172 upgrade, is a chance to revive the C172 market, if you ask Spengler and Ahles.
High-wing, low-wing, single-engine or twin, Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam showed off all of them at its stand, MD-021, on the opening day of Sun ‘n Fun 2014. The company introduced its newest model, the low-wing Astore LSA, of which has more than 30 are flying in Europe, to the U.S.
This week Airbus Defence and Space unveiled the Orlik MPT, an upgrade of the PZL-130 Orlik (eaglet) trainer that made its first flight in 1984 and has been the Polish air force’s basic trainer since entering service in 1993. The new version introduces a host of improvements intended to equip it to serve as the initial step in a new-look Polish training syllabus, and the unveiling follows Poland’s decision to procure the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 to serve as the advanced/lead-in trainer before successful students progress to Poland’s front-line F-16 fighters.
On February 28 Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Rostislav Apollosovich Belyakov passed away, just days before his 95th birthday. Little known outside Russia until the late 1980s, Belyakov was the brilliant aeronautical engineer behind much of the successful MiG jet fighter dynasty. Despite taking on the running of the Mikoyan OKB (design bureau) from 1971, Belyakov remained very much a “hands-on” manager, leading or co-leading the design teams that produced the MiG-23, 25, 27, 29 and 31, which became the backbone of the Soviet/Russian air force.
Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has already achieved its full performance envelope, just one week after the aircraft’s maiden flight. In only its third flight, the prototype reached its maximum speed of 440 ktas/Mach 0.80 and altitude of 45,000 feet. In fact, the midsize twinjet made a direct climb to 45,000 feet with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds.
Cessna Aircraft celebrated Christmas two days early with first deliveries today of both the new Citation M2 and the Citation Sovereign+ models. Deliveries began immediately following certifications by the Federal Aviation Administration, with the first M2 going to best-selling author, pilot and former Citation Mustang owner Stuart Woods.
A Cessna 208 Grand Caravan operated by Makani Kai Air crashed after the engine quit shortly after takeoff from Kalaupapa Airport, Hawaii, on December 11. One person died after the aircraft impacted the water. The injuries of the remaining eight people, one of whom was the pilot, were not reported. The aircraft was destined for Honolulu International Airport at the time of the accident.
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