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.
Avionics manufacturer Avidyne of Lincoln, Mass. is showcasing its soon-to-be-certified touch screen IFD 540 and IFD 440 FMS/GPS navcoms this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Featuring plug and play design, the units are aimed at the retrofit market, specifically as replacements for Garmin GNS 530 and GNS 430 GPS navcoms, providing an upgrade alternative to Garmin’s own GTN 750/650.
Eclipse Aerospace of Albuquerque, N.M., delivered its sixth Eclipse 550 light twinjet this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Purchased by an undisclosed customer in Chicago, the aircraft is on display throughout the show, which closes on Sunday evening. The Eclipse 550 was certified on February 28 and the first copy was delivered on March 12. “We think we can produce, sell and deliver 16 to 20 [550s] this year, and we’d like to do more than that in the future,” said Eclipse CEO Mason Holland.
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.
MyGoFlight and the IMC Club have jointly launched the EFB Challenge, a knowledge contest intended to study and advance the use of low-cost tablets, such as the iPad, as electronic flight bag s(EFB). Interested pilot contestants can enter local contests and winners will advance to regional events. Regional finalists will compete nationally during EAA AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh, Wis., in late July.
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.
Sporty’s Pilot Shop (N-100, N-101) highlighted its recently unveiled Partner Programs along with new products and services at its annual Sun ’n’ Fun press conference here in Lakeland, Fla. Sporty’s trio of Partner Programs provide discounts and rebates to flight instructors, flying clubs and FBOs for their orders from Sporty’s, paid quarterly. “One [flying] club just got a check for $200,” said Michael Wolf, president of the pilot supplies provider.
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.
Quest Aircraft (Booth MD-032B) of Sandpoint, Idaho, is displaying one of its Kodiak turboprop singles outfitted with the new “Summit Executive” interior this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. The new interior, which is expected to receive STC approval in the second quarter, features reclining club-four seating, along with folding tables, forward cabinets, better soundproofing and other amenities. It builds on the Timberline and Tundra interiors announced in 2012 that included composite panels, storage pockets, cupholders, improved headrests and center pedestal closeouts.
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