Mooney International has begun assembly of the proof-of-concept of its new carbon composite M10 diesel-powered aircraft and hopes to start initial flight trials in the next few months, CEO Jerry Chen said yesterday at EAA AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh, Wis. First flight of the proof-of-concept aircraft would come about a year after Mooney revealed plans to develop the clean-sheet M10 series during Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai, China, and less than 18 months after Chen handed over the keys of the first Mooney International-completed aircraft, an M20TN Acclaim Type S, last year during AirVenture.
Mooney has completed scale-model wind tunnel testing and has been verifying design concepts for the M10 series. The company is building the proof-of-concept airplane at its Chino, Calif. offices, where engineering and design work also has been conducted.
The company plans two variants of the M10: the M10J powered by a 155-hp Continental CD-155 diesel engine and the M10T trainer powered by the Continental CD-135. Both will have Garmin G1000 avionics and a sidestick design. The M10J will have retractable landing gear and an option of a third seat, while the M10T comes with fixed landing gear and a standard third seat.
The company plans to build three conforming aircraft for the certification program, with certification anticipated in 2017. Mooney is planning to expand its facilities in Kerrville, Texas, next year in preparation for production of the M10 series, as well as in China for high-volume production there. The company teamed with Dassault Systems to develop apps incorporating Dassault’s Augmented Reality marketing technology. The apps will enable customers to customize their Mooney aircraft. Mooney is displaying the new technology at the Oshkosh show.
As work continues on the new aircraft, the company is slowly increasing production of the M20R Ovation3 and M20TN Acclaim Type S in Kerrville. It had delivered just a few aircraft through the first quarter, but will have produced about a dozen of the M20 series by next week. The company has upgraded the factory and added new digital technology and infrastructure, such as a digital heat-treat oven and multi-axis CNC machine.