New life could be breathed into the Century Jet program if owner Bill Northrup and Roy Norris, chairman and CEO of AASI, can reach an agreement. AASI acquired the assets of Mooney Aircraft on March 18 (AIN, March, page 24) and plans not only to restart the Mooney production line but also to acquire other general airplane programs.
Mooney Airplane Company
As expected, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court last month signed an order approving the sale of Mooney Aircraft Corp. to AASI of Long Beach, Calif. AASI officials also disclosed that they intend to change AASI’s name to Mooney Aerospace Group and will operate the renamed Mooney Airplane Co. as a subsidiary.
This year and last were not kind to the startup airplane manufacturers, those OEM wannabes that are–or in some cases were–attempting to grab the brass ring of success by riding on the wings of their first turbine-powered airplanes. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run the new-aircraft triathlon of development, certification and production.
Dr. Carl Chen, former chairman, president and CEO of AASI, suddenly replaced Jack Braly less than a week after the NBAA Convention last month as president and CEO of Sino Swearingen, developer of the long-delayed SJ30-2 business jet.
Roy Norris resigned his position as president and CEO of Mooney Aerospace Group and chairman of its board of directors on August 20, saying that the company is now on solid ground and that his position there had always been “temporary.”
Although it’s unlikely to become the Wal-Mart of general aviation, the newly created Mooney Aerospace Group (MAG) has announced a price rollback. Roy Norris, who on January 8 became chairman, CEO and president of Long Beach, Calif.-based Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures Inc.
Aiming to attract business travelers who are working for companies in the $5 million to $90 million sales-per-year range, Mooney Airplane, now a subsidiary of Mooney Aerospace Group (MAG) of Long Beach, Calif., has reduced the price of its piston singles by an average of $90,000, or about 20 percent. The first new production airplane will be delivered at Oshkosh later this month, according to MAG Chairman and CEO Roy Norris.
Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures Inc. (AASI) of Long Beach, Calif., last month took the first step in changing itself from a struggling startup airplane manufacturer toward becoming, in the words of Roy Norris, AASI’s new chairman, CEO and president, “the biggest lower-end general aviation company in the world.”
It has been a turbulent year for the aviation industry: a stalled economy, company failures and bankruptcies, layoffs and furloughs, management changes, product-line overhauls, security regulations and new aircraft launches. What follows below are the people who shaped 2002, as chosen by AIN’s editors.
On April 29 Advanced Aerodynamics & Structures Inc. of Long Beach, Calif., announced it had completed its acquisition of the assets of Mooney Aircraft Co. and had, as expected, changed its name to Mooney Aerospace Group Ltd.
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