Where Will Piper Land?
“No, I haven’t,” said Piper Aircraft president and CEO Jim Bass, when asked if he has placed his house on the market as Piper grapples with the decision on whether or not to stay in Vero Beach, Fla., or move the entire company to Albuquerque, N.M., or Oklahoma City, Okla. “We have no agenda or plan to leave Vero Beach,” he said. “We have to see if it’s in Piper’s long-term best interest to move.” Meanwhile, development of the PiperJet continues, and Piper announced that it has selected the Garmin G1000 avionics suite for the single-engine jet. Piper is getting nearer to completing the first proof-of-concept prototype PiperJet. Wind-tunnel testing is completed, Bass said, “and we’re now into detailed production development design.” The $2.19 million, 360-knot PiperJet is scheduled for FAA certification and first deliveries in 2010. Piper said it has orders for 186 PiperJets.