Mitsubishi’s MU-2 twin turboprop gained FAA type certification in 1965. Initial U.S. production and sales were handled through an arrangement with Mooney Aircraft from a facility in San Angelo, Texas. By 1969, Mooney had fallen on hard times—a familiar theme for the company—and Mitsubishi stepped in to continue production and support. Worldwide production of new airplanes ended in the 1980s, with more than 750 copies having been built.
Some 12 sub-models were developed in the 30-plus years MU-2s were being produced, featuring changes like different engines, higher gross weights, increased cabin pressurization, etc. However one looks at the various models, they basically come down to two distinct variations: long-body and short-body. Every MU-2 may be flown by a single pilot; none of them have maximum gross takeoff weights in excess of 12,500 lbs.
A March 2015 search of the FAA’s database returns 227 U.S. MU-2 registrations. Despite being out of production, the type is popular with cargo operators and as a step-up from piston twins among personal and business operators.