News Note: Piaggio Aero Industries last month delivered the first Avanti II twin turboprop, to Swiss operator Fly Wings.

 - September 25, 2006, 10:21 AM

The seven-seat aircraft will operate from Switzerland Lugano Agno Airport.

The $6.27 million Avanti II received European Aviation Safety Agency certification in October, and FAA approval was pending at press time. The latest version of the Italian aircraft features Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics with three 10- by 8-inch flight displays, an FMS 3000 flight management system and the AHS 3000 attitude heading reference system.

The new model features Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66B engines, which add 10 knots to the airplane’s cruise speed (almost 400 knots). A reworked interior has reduced the Avanti II’s empty weight, resulting in a zero-fuel weight of 9,800 pounds. Carrying four passengers, the aircraft now