Long-awaited PiperJet Scheduled for 2010
Piper’s prolonged pondering of a jet reached fruition at the NBAA Convention with an announcement today that it will design and build a very light jet with a “high-speed natural laminar flow wing” and powered by a single 2,400-pound-thrust turbofan. Piper plans to fly the PiperJet in spring 2008 and start deliveries in the first half of 2010. According to Piper, the new aircraft will have an mtow of about 7,000 pounds, seat up to seven, feature side-stick controllers, a 1,300-nm range, a full-fuel payload of 800 pounds and be certified under Part 23 for single-pilot operations. Maximum cabin altitude will be 8,000 feet at the aircraft’s operational ceiling of 35,000 feet. Price in 2006 dollars is $2.199 million. The PiperJet will be all metal and feature wide use of bonding, Piper said. Piper has not yet selected the engine and avionics suppliers. The company says that as a result of its “business alliance” with Honda, announced in July, there is expected to be a “sharing of resources” in the development of the PiperJet. Piper will also be involved in the marketing and customer support of the new $4 million, twin-turbofan HondaJet.