Piperjet prototype FeelS the wind in its sails

 - August 29, 2008, 10:37 AM

Piper Aircraft’s single-engine PiperJet prototype has logged 12 flights since its maiden jaunt from Vero Beach (Fla.) Airport on July 30. According to a company spokesman, “Our flight testing has focused on exploring stability, control and handling throughout the envelope.” At press time, Piper was finishing a two-and-a-half-week flight-test block and was about to go into a two-week maintenance/upgrades block to prepare for flutter testing and to paint some stripes on the PiperJet. The $2.199 million (2006 $) jet single is projected to have a top speed of 360 knots, maximum altitude of 35,000 feet and 1,300-nm range. Two other prototypes are under construction and will fly next year for aerodynamic configuration and systems testing. FAA certification, originally planned for 2010, is now scheduled for the second quarter of 2011, with customer deliveries to follow in the fourth quarter.