Albert Mooney (1906-86) got his start in aviation design working for the Alexander Aircraft Company, where he designed the Eaglerock biplane in the mid-1920s.  He ran a short-lived company called Mooney Aircraft with his brother Arthur from 1929 to 1934, then successively joined Bellanca, Monocoupe, and Culver Aircraft.  Finally, just after World War II, Mooney started an aircraft company that was to have enduring success.  He stayed with the new Mooney Aircraft Company only until 1955, but during the period from 1946 to 1955 established the company’s signature style of high-performance, single-engined leisure and light business aircraft.  Mooney’s visual trademark is a vertical tail fin with a straight vertical leading edge and a forward-swept trailing edge, a look that stood in increasingly stark contrast to the tails of other light aircraft which increasingly adopted back-swept vertical tails after the introduction of this styling feature on the 1963 model of the Cessna 172.  The Mooney company has been through many financial difficulties and ownership changes since 1955, but is still in existence, now owned by Chinese investors, and still produces aircraft in Kerrville, Texas, that descend from Al Mooney’s designs.

M-18 Mite