A Chinese real estate firm may be behind a Texas aircraft manufacturer’s announcement that it will restart production after going five years without building a plane.
Mooney Aviation Company will hire and train up to 100 people by the end of next year, and hopes to start cranking out its single engine Acclaim Type S and Ovation planes as soon as January 2014.
Mooney credits its rebirth to funding from California-based Soaring America Corporation, an enigmatic company with no a website. No one returned a call to a number listed for the company.
Earlier this month, China’s Xinhua news agency quoted a source at Meijing Group, who confirmed the deal will be announced next month, according to Flight Global. Flying Magazine reports that Meijing’s CEO, Cheng-Yuan Chen, owns Global Eagle Aircraft, another company with no website.
It’s not crazy to make the jump that Meijing Corp. is buying Mooney through Soaring America.
Mooney did not reply to a request for comment.
The plane maker stopped production during the economic downturn of 2008, when single engine plane sales dropped by 30%. The company has delivered more than 11,000 planes and set 132 world speed records since it was founded in 1929 by brothers Albert and Arthur Mooney.
China’s aviation business is booming, and this would not be the first time a Chinese company has bought an American plane maker. Cirrus, founded in 1984 in Minnesota, was picked up by China Aviation Company in 2011, according to Forbes. Hawker Beechcraft was nearly sold to Superior Aviation Beijing Co. last year.
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