Photos of N3165K in Springfield, Illinois

These photos of Jess Hackenburg's N3165K were kindly send to us by Job Conger of Springfield, Illinois who is putting together a book about aviation history in his home town. They were taken at Capital Airport in Springfield ca. 1950.

[N3165K is a 1949 M-18L, serial number 9.]

The following is an e-mail from Jess Hackenburg, date 2008-03-17:

I did receive the two photos of the Mooney Mite N3165K. To the best of my knowledge these photographs as taken in Ohio are of the famous Al Mooney himself, delivering this aircraft to my late father's business at the Williamsport Lycoming County airport.

My father determined that he would take on the Mooney dealership and ordered one of the first aircraft from the company. As I understand it, this is SN #9 and was originally powered with a Crosley automobile engine and later converted to the Lycoming O-145-B2. There were no other owners of this aircraft – it came directly from the Mooney company to my father and the original bill of sale has Al Mooney's signature on it.

The aircraft as received was painted in a silver and red and blue trim, as I remember it, being a small child. The workmanship of the covering job, the dopes and finishes, was pretty poor at best. After receiving the aircraft and using it as a demonstrator for several years, my father recovered it with fresh fabric and changed the paint scheme to black with white trim.

I need to pull the complete documentation from my file on this aircraft but I believe the total time since new is less than 400 airframe and engine hours. It is possibly the lowest operating time aircraft belonging to one family in the world. The aircraft has been out of service and in storage for many years; it is hanging high and dry in a hangar with the engine removed. When we took it out of service we utilized the engine in another one of our Lycoming powered aircraft. We have since assembled a Lycoming engine for this aircraft from all new standard Lycoming parts. It has never been test run and is currently in long-time storage.

My anticipated goal was to rebuild this aircraft totally with a full recover (I don't think it needs anything else), install a new engine, and fly it for awhile. However, due to customers' demands, and a very fast paced engine rebuilding business, I haven't been able to accomplish this goal. I possibly would consider selling it as is, where is. Do not have any type of price in mind. Would possibly be interested in some type of a serious offer.

Will attempt to get into the records and determine exact date of purchase, total operating hours, and the date this aircraft was purchased. The weather is getting better here in the east and I am currently very busy with engine test operations. Will try to get back with you in a week or so. Would appreciate receiving a copy of the Mooney Mite newsletter, would be willing to pay a fee for whatever is required. The last editor, Tony, did a perfect job. I had sent him funds at different time and he would occasionally give us a plug for parts and repair services for the Lycoming O-145 engine.

Appreciate the copies of the photos; I found them most interesting. Possibly this aircraft was being demonstrated to various potential dealers as it was being brought to Pennsylvania. There were no other owners of it other than J P Hackenburg, Montoursville, Pennsylvania, from Day 1.

If you can use any of this information in any of your periodicals, feel free to do so. Appreciate your time and effort.

Regards, Jess

Photos courtesy of