The first flight-worthy Williams FJ44-3AP engine for the prototype PiperJet has arrived at Piper Aircraft’s factory in Vero Beach, Fla. Engineers are still fine-tuning the design, and wind-tunnel testing continues while technicians manufacture tooling for the prototype. Three to five prototypes will be built.
“We continue to refine and develop the design,” said president and CEO James Bass, right. Orders now stand at 180 aircraft (wholesale, which means primarily from Piper dealers), a significantly higher number compared to the turboprop Meridian, 100 of which were on order two years after it was launched. The PiperJet is scheduled to fly by March next year, Bass said. –M.T.