|Al Mooney: Aviation Pioneer|
Launching a Dream
In grade school, while other students doodled, Al Mooney sketched
airplane designs. By high school, he was reading every handbook for
pilots and aeronautic designers that he could find. In 1925, at age 19,
Al was working as a draftsman by day and designing airplanes in his
free time at night. A year later, one of his designs for Denver-based
Alexander Aircraft went into production.
From the beginning, this single-engine powerhouse captured pilots’ hearts, instilling a special loyalty that some called Mooney Mania. When asked what he attributed this to, Al once responded, “Tremendous trifles.” It was a modest statement for a man who had managed to unite the soul of a fighter aircraft with the efficiency of a sports plane. Al simply saw things from a pilot’s perspective. And he designed his aircraft accordingly. Down to the smallest detail. Such as a mechanism, operated by a small handle, that let the pilot easily integrate the flaps and stabilizer. Or rubber disks in the landing gear for problem-free shock absorption.
Building a Legacy
Innovation after innovation followed. Mooney Airplane Company’s
headquarters and manufacturing operation moved to Kerrville, Texas, in
1953. The move did more than let the Mooney brothers be closer to the
family farm. It began a relationship with a community and workforce
that continues to be strong today.