In what is being touted as the most “extensive tour in general aviation history,” Texas-based Mooney Airplane Company has launched an ambitious 30-city, coast-to-coast excursion to promote its new limited edition Ovation 2 GX and Bravo GX aircraft. Originating at the Scottsdale AirCenter in Scottsdale, Ariz., the six-month tour will conclude at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., July 25 -31.
“An overwhelming number of prospects and current customers have expressed interest in the new GX models,” said David Copeland, Mooney Airplane Company vice president of sales and marketing. “The Freedom Tour will give a greater number of people the opportunity to see and, more importantly, fly these in-demand aircraft. The planes are simply a work of art and exemplify outstanding flying qualities. When pilots return from their demonstration flights, they can’t stop smiling.”
The Freedom Tour is built around Mooney’s theme of “celebrating freedom” and will include activities designed to honor and support U.S. troops currently defending freedom both at home and abroad. At each Mooney Freedom Tour stop, Mooney plans to have special “defending Freedom” wristbands available for a minimum $3 donation. Proceeds go to the Red Cross Military Fund.
Qualified buyers who take a demo flight on the Ovation 2GX or Bravo GX are automatically eligible to win a special Mooney Freedom Edition of the hand-built Big Dog Motorcycles Mastiff, sporting a special Freedom Edition paint scheme and valued at more than $30,000.
Mooney will award the bike to one lucky winner on July 31, 2005 at the conclusion of EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh.
“We’re very pleased to join Mooney in this venture,” said Paul Hansen, marketing director for Big Dog Motorcycles. “We both pride ourselves in being performance leaders in our (respective) markets. Our customers have the same passion and loyalty for Big Dog Motorcycles as Mooney owners have for their airplanes.”
Announced back in October 2004, the Ovation 2 GX and Bravo GX models are part of Mooney’s “Freedom Edition” series, which feature some sophisticated options. According to Money, each aircraft will be equipped with a Goodrich WX-500 Stormscope, compatible with the standard Garmin G1000 panel that integrates all primary flight, navigation, communication, terrain, traffic, weather, engine and sensor data on two 10.4-inch, high-definition LCDs. There’s also a custom N number, a 115.7-cubic-foot oxygen system, extended fuel range tanks that increase capacity from 89 USG to 102 USG of usable fuel, and AMSAFE inflatable (airbag) seatbelt system for the front seat seats.
The Ovation 2 GX offers a platinum engine that features precision balanced components, fabricated to exacting standards, a five-year new engine warranty, and a Platinum Level Aviator Services Program—free for the life of the engine. In addition, the Bravo GX will also include FEIFF engine preheat and two Bose headsets.
Mooney began delivering GX models in December 2004, following Federal Aviation Administration certification of Garmin G1000 avionics installation in the Ovation 2 and Bravo models on Nov. 22, 2004.
The Freedom Edition of both models will only be available in limited quantities. A recent press release from Mooney indicates 2005 list prices for the Ovation 2 GX and bravo GX, without options, at $418,150 and $469,200 respectively.
In addition to its cross-country FBO stops, the Mooney Freedom Tour will also have a presence at Sun ‘N Fun in Lakeland, Fla., April 12-18.
Initial tour stops include:
Saturday, Feb. 5, KaiserAir, Oakland International Airport (OAK), Oakland, Calif.
Saturday, Feb 12, TAC Air, Centennial Airport (APA), Centennial, Colo.
Sunday, Feb. 13, Cutter Aviation, Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), Albuquerque, N.M.
Saturday, Feb. 19, Kerrville Airport (ERV), Kerrville, Texas
Saturday, Feb. 26, Addison Field (ADS) Premier Aircraft Sales, Addison, Texas
A complete tour map and schedule can be found at www.mooneyfreedomtour.com.
Mooney has always had a prominent place in the annals of aviation history and lore. In July 1946, brothers Al and Art Mooney recruited businessmen G.C. Yankey and W.L. McMahon inside a weathered hangar in Wichita, Kansas, as partners and financial backers for the launch of Mooney Aircraft Corporation. Within two years, they certified the company’s first aircraft, the Mooney Mite (M18).
By 1953, the eager young company relocated the company’s headquarters and the manufacturing facility moved to Kerrville, Texas, its present-day location, to be closer to the Mooney family’s dairy farm in Center Point, Texas.
Since then, Mooney has shipped more than 10,000 aircraft to customers worldwide. But recently Mooney has had to fight to stay alive. Hard times fell on the company in 2001, when Mooney Aircraft Corporation filed for re-organization under the protection of Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law.
Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures, Inc. acquired the group in 2002 as the Mooney Airplane Company, a division of Mooney Aerospace Group, Ltd. In December 2004, MASG announced it was undergoing reorganization and its plan was approved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
As part of the plan to get back on its feet, existing shareholders will be issued new shares of Mooney Aerospace Group, Ltd. common stock based on a reverse split of 3,223 old MASG shares for one share of new common stock.
Mooney has always led the market with innovative engineering and strong product development with an accomplished list of firsts. That list includes: the first pressurized single-engine piston-powered aircraft (M22 Mustang); the first production aircraft to achieve 200mph (M20J 201); the first single-engine power control certified (FADEC) in the U.S. (M20L Porsche); and the first single-engine aircraft certified for flight into known icing conditions (M20M Bravo DX w/TKS anti-icing system).
Headquartered in Kerrville, Texas, MASG and its operating subsidiary Mooney Airplane Company produce five models of the Mooney M20 four-place single-engine airplane, now available with the Garmin G-1000 glass panel display.