Piaggio Aero Plans Avanti Upgrades
Piaggio Aero general manager Eligio Trombetta said at the NBAA Convention today that his company is working on several new product upgrades for the P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop. The list of improvements includes new and quieter propellers, an upgraded environmental controls system (ECS), a digital cabin management system (CMS) and anti-skid brakes. According to Trombetta, some upgrades could start showing up as early as next year, but he was noncommittal on a firm timeline. He said these new features also would be made available as retrofits to existing aircraft. Meanwhile company co-chairman Jose DiMase remained intentionally vague about Piaggio’s long-rumored P1XX jet development program, saying “now is not the time” to reveal program details. However, he did say that the company did not necessarily need to form a partnership with another OEM to develop the aircraft and that any final decision in that regard would largely rest with the company’s two majority shareholders, Mubadala of Abu Dhabi and India’s Tata Group.