chinoguym20

Factory Closed Down?

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1 hour ago, vorlon1 said:

And in the south, it's all 'coke'

...and don't they say "pop" in the upper midwest, like Minnesota and the Dakotas?  I'll have a sodeeeee pop please.

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56 minutes ago, Hyett6420 said:

For starters if it wasn't for the British, you wouldn't have a bloody country, lets be honest!

And more to the point...no Mooney Aircraft Co. to be bought by the Chinese.  And then there would be no worries about it closing down so we cant find parts for our vintage planes.  Just trying to get this thread back on track ;)

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34 minutes ago, DXB said:

And more to the point...no Mooney Aircraft Co. to be bought by the Chinese.  And then there would be no worries about it closing down so we cant find parts for our vintage planes.  Just trying to get this thread back on track ;)

...rightly so - back to point.


Anyway to the point of the discussion - I raised the question - if our aircraft become orphans, does that give us the right to have some parts to be independently manufactured as needed?

Example - ragracer's $1991 for the parts pictures of a carb air box for his M20C is something I could imagine being indepentley produced for maybe $100? $200? by a local craftsmen, or maybe some national level people who become good at making such parts.

There is a fellow I know locally who owns and runs a hobby shop - trains, etc. And he is good at crafting anything out of raw materials in a little machine shop he keeps - he is busy all the time keeping a local sausage making plant up and running - he is making from scratch small parts to keep the plant's many machines going.  Those parts I have seen are more complicated that just about anything on a mooney (including the engine) (not including the avionics).

Alex you found the FAA circular - https://www.faa.gov/documentlibrary/media/advisory_circular/ac_23-27.pdf but its legaleeeze to me.   Does that mean we would be able to do such?

Edited by aviatoreb

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2 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

...rightly so - back to point.


Anyway to the point of the discussion - I raised the question - if our aircraft become orphans, does that give us the right to have some parts to be independently manufactured as needed?

I think the answer is "yes - conditional on your area FSDO doing a field approval"... @philiplane am I correct?

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4 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

...rightly so - back to point.


Anyway to the point of the discussion - I raised the question - if our aircraft become orphans, does that give us the right to have some parts to be independently manufactured as needed?

Certainly in the UK, yes they become a Permit to Fly aircraft and you can manufacture parts as required.  A bit like the old WW2 vintage stuff.

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2 minutes ago, alextstone said:

I think the answer is "yes - conditional on your area FSDO doing a field approval"... @philiplane am I correct?

Check out - I wrote a tad more - you were so quick to reply ....

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One of the defunct manufacturers' drawings ended up being bought by the type club.  I don't remember which one offhand...  Grummon?  Bellanca?  Anyway, the type club can legally contract with an already PMA'ed subcontractor to produce the parts, which sidesteps a whole lot of the paperwork we'd otherwise have to do...

Not sure how owner produced would work in that situation...  That's certainly the right regulation, though.

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Just now, Hyett6420 said:

Certainly in the UK, yes they become a Permit to Fly aircraft and you can manufacture parts as required.  A bit like the old WW2 vintage stuff.

Then I'm buying a P51.  Or a nice spitfire.

But seriously - at $1951 for that silly little carb box that looks like something a 16 year old made in shop class..... potentially it would be much cheaper to produce your own (professionally) custom.

Ideally rather than copying parts - which is quite doable for many parts - if ALL of the original drawings were available.  The drawings may be the most valuable thing the factory owns to try and make public if they do ever go under for good. (For bad).

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48 minutes ago, DXB said:

And more to the point...no Mooney Aircraft Co. to be bought by the Chinese.  And then there would be no worries about it closing down so we cant find parts for our vintage planes.  Just trying to get this thread back on track ;)

And no Cirrus aircraft, Diamond aircraft or Continental motors to be bought by the Chinese either!

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I work for a non-aviation vehicle manufacturer so have a little bit of understanding of how Mooney has been operated the last few years. My company has 3 basic divisions and one is a niche market similar to Beechcraft’s piston division.  When you have sky high development, testing, and certification expenses, you have a low likelihood of making a profit on low volume product.  If they want to turn things around, I think developing the M10 would help but they could also look at single engine turboprop trainers to compete with the T-6 Texan II contract.  Over the past 19 years, production of that craft has been 850+ at a unit cost of over $4mil.  Perhaps this type of government contract could keep the private GA line afloat.  
 

Just random thoughts from a non-executive low level worker bee. 

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16 minutes ago, afward said:

One of the defunct manufacturers' drawings ended up being bought by the type club.  I don't remember which one offhand...  Grummon?  Bellanca?  Anyway, the type club can legally contract with an already PMA'ed subcontractor to produce the parts, which sidesteps a whole lot of the paperwork we'd otherwise have to do...

Not sure how owner produced would work in that situation...  That's certainly the right regulation, though.

I believe that the Globe Swift Type certificate and production rights is held by the Swift Museum Foundation as an example.

Clarence

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3 hours ago, 1980Mooney said:

I wonder who these "others" are at the factory today.  If Mooney is supposedly doing some contract work for others or is supposedly sold out until March then shutting the factory and furloughing employees only hurts its ability to meet contractual commitments.  This doesn't seem like the rational action of a going concern.

Must be someone afraid of being recognized. Does Tesla want to build electric planes? Maybe Richard Branson wants to redo the tail of his space planes? Could be anything . . . . or nothing. Time will tell, but most likely not next week.

 

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@M20Doc that's the type of thing I was thinking of, though I didn't know the Swift Museum Foundation did so.  I'm pretty sure there are a couple others that have done the same thing...

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Maybe the "others" are one of the bigger fish, some Textron-like conglomerate. Seems like an a good optimistic scenario.

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59 minutes ago, Nick Pilotte said:

I work for a non-aviation vehicle manufacturer so have a little bit of understanding of how Mooney has been operated the last few years. My company has 3 basic divisions and one is a niche market similar to Beechcraft’s piston division.  When you have sky high development, testing, and certification expenses, you have a low likelihood of making a profit on low volume product.  If they want to turn things around, I think developing the M10 would help but they could also look at single engine turboprop trainers to compete with the T-6 Texan II contract.  Over the past 19 years, production of that craft has been 850+ at a unit cost of over $4mil.  Perhaps this type of government contract could keep the private GA line afloat.  
 

Just random thoughts from a non-executive low level worker bee. 

Right - good thought.

And another example of a GA aircraft maker fitting into the contracts business - 

Diamond adjusted their Diamond DA42 twin diesel aircraft to become a UAV drone that can be flown with or without a human pilot on board.  With its extreme efficiency of diesel engines, and without the weight of humans on board I believe it has a very impressive endurance for loitering airborne for a long time with whatever instrumentation for remote sensing.  It is a much lower cost solution when competing against say a predator drone, and sufficient in many settings.  Very clever of Diamond.  And they sell not huge numbers in military contractor sales but big numbers as far as a small GA aircraft maker is concerned.  Many countries are customers.

https://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=2005

Dominator II - Development of 2009; 28 hour endurance with 899lb payload capability; 190 knot speeds; 30,000 foot operating altitude.

Edited by aviatoreb
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2 hours ago, Hyett6420 said:

For starters if it wasn't for the British, you wouldn't have a bloody country, lets be honest!

But I must admit I had never ever read the whole text before,  fascinating.  The bit Ive left above is very very topical at the moment re the big B word as indeed that is exactly what the government is doing ie changing for light or transient causes.  Thank you for the education. 

However we have moved on form having a fuedal system of government many centuries ago and I could argue that our system of government is more to the people than yours which tends to be closer to the corporation and the rich man. but we are not allowed politics on here so I wont, :)  Over a pint perhaps one day.

As for your supply of Tea, umm Paul Revere chucked it in the harbour, damn traitor.

Andrew

Come on.  You know what you are doing is wrong.  Stop it.  Poking the bear may be a hobby, but just say no.  References to sexuality are also just not needed or wanted.  While it may feel good just cease and desist.  

I freely acknowledge that your country of origin has a military that is competent.  I also acknowledge that Europe has a sizable landmass made up of sovereign countries.

Coffee black with freshly ground beans.  Differences are what make us all unique and special.  I will drink to that.  I would happily shake your hand and buy you a pint to talk about who did what when to whom and why...but not here.

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If one doesn't need to launch munitions, just about any piston GA aircraft will be cheaper to purchase and operate than the military drones.  Diamond made a very smart play there...

Bring back the M18 as an optionally-crewed sensor platform?  It could work, especially with a modern engine & propeller...

Now, if Textron is looking to purchase, that would be simultaneously terrifying and fascinating for the brand.  Possibly someone else?  Dunno...  I do know that the current ownership reportedly paid about $100M and had plans to invest another $1B total, though most of that investment has likely happened in Zhengzhou, China.

I dunno, I have thoughts, but nothing overly clever or concrete...

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44 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

Right - good thought.

And another example of a GA aircraft maker fitting into the contracts business - 

Diamond adjusted their Diamond DA42 twin diesel aircraft to become a UAV drone that can be flown with or without a human pilot on board.  With its extreme efficiency of diesel engines, and without the weight of humans on board I believe it has a very impressive endurance for loitering airborne for a long time with whatever instrumentation for remote sensing.  It is a much lower cost solution when competing against say a predator drone, and sufficient in many settings.  Very clever of Diamond.  And they sell not huge numbers in military contractor sales but big numbers as far as a small GA aircraft maker is concerned.  Many countries are customers.

https://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=2005

Dominator II - Development of 2009; 28 hour endurance with 899lb payload capability; 190 knot speeds; 30,000 foot operating altitude.

Another thought is invest in manufacturing automation like Daimler Chrysler did with Mercedes-Benz 20 years ago (without the quality compromises they installed and failed with as well).  You invest largely in machines and train the employees to use them.  Production can start and you pump aircraft out on par with Cirrus volumes and cost per unit goes down with every 100 you build.  Base prices went down a little as a result of reduced manufacturing costs once the initial investment in equipment was made. Quality can go up when processes are automated because you have less human intervention.  Market the new Ovation Ultra at $400k base, sell to flight schools, airline training departments, and university flight departments as a Cirrus competitor for less $$ and you can make more profit on the volume if marketed correctly. Get them set up on a reasonable 3-5 year trade schedule and you now have a used market that you can sell and service as well. If you want, bring the planes back to the factory for a Steele Aviation style refurbish to market as a certified used plane with an engine plan and some semblance of airframe warranty
 

Lastly, I know it sucks when new product prices are cut because it instantly devalues existing customer’s products, but from a manufacturing standpoint, the existing customer is now a liability through the warranty period and often won’t be buying enough parts through dealers to maintain a profitable aftersales market once out of warranty. Over 5-10 years used prices will tend to stabilize like everything else anyways. 

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4 hours ago, Hyett6420 said:

For starters if it wasn't for the British, you wouldn't have a bloody country, lets be honest!

Some would say if it wasnt for the USA you would be speaking bloody german...(if were being honest)

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30 minutes ago, Nick Pilotte said:

Another thought is invest in manufacturing automation like Daimler Chrysler did with Mercedes-Benz 20 years ago (without the quality compromises they installed and failed with as well).  You invest largely in machines and train the employees to use them.  Production can start and you pump aircraft out on par with Cirrus volumes and cost per unit goes down with every 100 you build.  Base prices went down a little as a result of reduced manufacturing costs once the initial investment in equipment was made. Quality can go up when processes are automated because you have less human intervention.  Market the new Ovation Ultra at $400k base, sell to flight schools, airline training departments, and university flight departments as a Cirrus competitor for less $$ and you can make more profit on the volume if marketed correctly. Get them set up on a reasonable 3-5 year trade schedule and you now have a used market that you can sell and service as well. If you want, bring the planes back to the factory for a Steele Aviation style refurbish to market as a certified used plane with an engine plan and some semblance of airframe warranty
 

Lastly, I know it sucks when new product prices are cut because it instantly devalues existing customer’s products, but from a manufacturing standpoint, the existing customer is now a liability through the warranty period and often won’t be buying enough parts through dealers to maintain a profitable aftersales market once out of warranty. Over 5-10 years used prices will tend to stabilize like everything else anyways. 

Thats exactly what ive been saying for the past few years.  In addition sell them the same way we sell cars in europe ie we don't buy them we lease them for three years then hand them back for a set market value.  Interest is earnt on the deal, so Mooney finance wins, units are moved so Mooney production wins, old units sold so second hand market wins.  

Bmw now produces Minis at 1 every 15 mins, when i was a kid they produced one a day!  Automation

 

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Automation in the Mooney factory for the M20 is a pipe dream. The capital investment would never get paid back, even if the sales price were cut in half. It just won't ever make sense making 5-100 planes per year.

It will take a new design that requires radically fewer hours to fabricate to get the price down to something less absurd.

The alternate path to survival with the M20 is to make enough substantive changes to boost utility, comfort, and value relative to the SR22. The current ownership attempted that with the Ultras, but should've spent that effort reducing airframe weight to boost useful load. They also could've made a wider cabin with the Ultra changes... Or just made the doors bulge out a couple inches. Mooney only wins on our pure speed for modern customers... And there aren't enough of us that value the rest of the Mooney package over the more comfortable SR22 that also carries more.

I hate the chute idea, but it might help sales so long as more payload isn't sacrificed.

The M20 is really stuck... It needs significant engineering and manufacturing improvements to survive, but even with that, more sales are not assured.

The M10 was a great concept but terrible execution. It might've been enough to keep the doors open and pave the way for a modern M20 replacement, but now we'll have to wait for the next ownership...

Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk

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Cessna bought the Columbia line after all of the R and D was complete and still couldn’t make it work. It’s about as good as it gets for competing with Cirrus.

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Cessna bought the Columbia line after all of the R and D was complete and still couldn’t make it work. It’s about as good as it gets for competing with Cirrus.
And they really screwed it up... It is a fantastic plane.

Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk

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You are correct that automating for 5-100 units isn’t feasible. But a thorough market analysis could tell you (company owner) if the market will bear an M20 at a $400k price with minimal changes in a Cirrus-like volume of 3-400 yearly, then you may be able to justify tooling up automation. 

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