Mooney appears to be in big trouble

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Mad MAC

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Any body know the Mooneys income split between manufacturing and after market, the list price for the 14 airframes they sell a year looks to cover the cost of the 55 staff and parts is always the best margin, so profit should be a reflection of product support (assuming no management stupidity).

Success in GA is all about overheads matching income, not hard to have a small hiccup and not get any orders for 8 months regardless of the economy's state, single airframe type manufacturing is really hard, attempting to add volume by building 2 seat trainers profitably is really really hard. Probably means we really should pay far more attentions to Tecnam as they are the only ones I can think of that manufacture a proper broad swath of modern GA types.
 

Victor Bravo

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When I went to A&P school !(#&$ years ago, one of the instructors was Mr. Angus Eugene Murphy. He told us students that he really really wanted to have a Mooney, but he would never be able to own one because he was a bit too big to be comfortable in it, and he was absolutely too big to work on it. He explained, in painful detail, just how difficult the Mooney is to access a lot of the stuff in there. The fact that there are one or two highly specialized shops where a lot of the owners have to go to deal with Mooneys says a lot. I'm sure it's a great airplane, and I know there are very loyal owners. Butt if an average owner is driven bonkers by what it takes to do simple maintenance, and finally gives up and goes to Lake Aero....
 

Pops

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I suspect this is the configuration manufacturers use when they determine the rate of climb figures to publish in the POH. Tests flown in Alaska. With 5 gallons of fuel aboard. ;)
Think there is a lot of truth there.

Mooney's cockpit is just to small for me and for flying, I prefer the more comfortable Bellanca Super Viking and also the handling over the Mooney. But I would buy the Mooney because of the Bellanca's wood wings needing the be in a hanger all the time. Transit aircraft usually has to just tie down for the night.
 
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plncraze

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Pops, was it Mr. Payne you were friends with? Was his shop really in the middle of a race track?
 

TFF

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The original wooden tails had a lingering effect. A friend and I would show up in his E and people would say “ keep the tail on.” The widest point of the cabin is the same as a Bonanza. The Beech is at chest level and the Mooney is at hip level. When you climb in a Bonanza that high gear makes you feel special. The Mooney is low like a sports car. A lot of people don’t get sports cars.

I’m pretty sure once Socata saw the Mooney factory, they were expecting General Motors not a barn. They were pretty sure Mooney was not going to be able to front the financing and facilities to pull off that expensive if a plane.
 

Pops

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Pops, was it Mr. Payne you were friends with? Was his shop really in the middle of a race track?

The Super Rocket was built by John Harris, Owner and President of WV Steel for Bellanca. It was built in one of John's company building near the ONA airport that also has the race track. I don't know for sure, but I think he helped finance the project. He hired help in building the airplane and all the factory molds. It was designed for production from the beginning. We had several mutual friends. John was probable worth about a billion dollars at the time, John drove an old junk 4 door Pontiac car that looked like it was held together with rust. We unloaded the prop for the airplane from the rear seat of that junk car. John was also the test pilot.
I never saw or meet Henry Payne.
My old flight instructor ( Since 1937) and I were close friends, and he was also a close friend of John's, so that is how I came in contact with John and the project.
The man standing in front of the airplane is John Harris.

http://www.tributes.com/obituary/print_selections/96198339?type=6
https://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/making-a-smoother-and-speedier-airplane-95255775/
 
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David Moxley

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I have worked on Mooney's. You just have to know what hole has what part in it. If you have worked on a long one and a short one you are all set LOL. But if you have to chase wires in a newer one hang on...
I have had to chase wires in my M20M , and yes it fun! You need a magnifying glass to read the numbers, be they are on each wire. Ya lots of fun, right!
 

cheapracer

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Any body know the Mooneys income split between manufacturing and after market, the list price for the 14 airframes they sell a year looks to cover the cost of the 55 staff and parts is always the best margin, so profit should be a reflection of product support (assuming no management stupidity).
Makes me wonder with Vans success, why famous, reputable companies who are well set up to do the same, even as a sideline, don't.

Imagine a kit'tised version of the Mooney MT10 (whichever) with the famous tail in direct comp with a couple of the Vans products, who wouldn't at least consider such a famous brand with it's history.
 

BoKu

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Makes me wonder with Vans success, why famous, reputable companies who are well set up to do the same, even as a sideline, don't...
The products and businesses are completely different. An aircraft manufacturer develops and certificates products that they can manufacture consistently and cost-effectively at (relatively) high volume with relatively sophisticated tooling and fixtures. A kit company develops and delivers products that can be manufactured at low volume (one unit) using relatively rudimentary tooling and fixtures, and supports them with drawings, instructions, and tech support.

They might sound the same, but the requirements for certification drives design towards a level of consistency and repeatability that can only be achieved with strictly enforced manufacturing processes and procedures, and reliance on massive jigs.

The kit maker, on the other hand, must develop a product that uses few jigs or fixtures, or is self-jigging. Emphasis must be placed on low parts count and simplified processes.

Overall, the kit airplane end up requiring more person-hours than its manufactured equivalent. However, by assuming risks inherent in a non-certificated aircraft, the builder can get more performance per dollar than its manufactured equivalent.

So far as I know, the only airplane to successfully cross over from manufactured to kit is the Frati F.8 Falco. Its wood materials and essentially hand-built construction makes it scale well from one to a dozen units.
 

proppastie

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if they had not put the vertical stabilizer on backwards.
The story I read was Al Mooney believed there was more rudder in the climb and flare with the tail shaped as it was.....Certainly it became a brand characteristic.
 

BJC

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OK, it we now are going in the opposite direction: GlaStar to Symphony, Epic E-AB to Epic TC'ed, Pitts S-1S experimental to Pitts S-2A, -2B and -2C, Pitts S-1S.

edit Miss San Bernardino to Stephens Akro to Laser to Extra 230 to European TC'ed Exrtra 300.

BJC
 
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lr27

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Boku:
In the case of Vans, the volume is high, so I think you can't characterize them as a typical kit company. They even sell assembled RV-12's.
If we can believe Wikipedia, over 100 kit built 1-26a's were completed. The 1-26c was supposed to be kit built, but I don't know how many were completed. 54 are still registered.
 
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