Vacation, day 4

Afternoon: visiting the Mooney factory.

Arriving at Mooney for the big tour.
The plane drew a crowd when it was brought into the hangar -- the employees hadn't seen one that old in quite some time.

Sheet metal press

First step; steel tubes welded together.

Steel cage finished and primed.
By law, the plane must be tested to 8 G's. Mooney tested the plane to 12 G's before the test jig failed; the plane suffered no damage.

Main fuselage finished

Wing sections

Finished Empenages

Mostly finished

Testing for water tightness; there's someone inside looking for leaks.

Engine installed

Adding the electronics

Finished panel
. The radios alone are worth more than my whole plane. The one with the large screen is a $15,000 box.

Experimental aerobatic version
. "Captain Mikey" is Mooney's test pilot; he's been doing it for 20 years.

One of two planes used for testing all design innovations.

Arriving at Galvaston