Piaggio Aero Industries’ new industrial plant in Villanova d’Albenga, Italy, a future production facility for the Avanti II twin turboprop, is expected to be completed soon and fully functional by the first quarter of next year, the aircraft manufacturer told AIN. Originally set to be up and running last year after its 2011 groundbreaking, the factory is the linchpin of Piaggio’s single-production-site strategy intended to improve the efficiency of its aircraft manufacturing and MRO activities.
Piaggio Aero Industries, Italian manufacturer of the P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop, and ACEA (Beijing) Aviation Investment Co., exclusive distributor for the aircraft in Mainland China, signed a contract here at NBAA 2013 yesterday with SR Jet, a division of Beijing-based Sparkle Roll Investment Holdings, for the purchase of two Avanti IIs with options for an additional eight.
Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio has told AIN that the first of 56 Avanti P.180 twin-turboprop aircraft from the former fleet of bankrupt Avantair has had its airworthiness certificate revalidated by the FAA. Avantair was grounded, and the airworthiness certificates of all its aircraft were revoked by the FAA, after lax maintenance at the failing fractional program operator came to light earlier this year.
Palm Beach, Fla.-based Piaggio America–the North American representative for Piaggio Aero, the Italian company that manufactures the Avanti twin turboprop–will create an “OEM-trained team with the support of additional specialists furnished from Italy” to offer restoration services to fractional share owners of Avantis grounded by the bankruptcy of Avantair, Piaggio America president and CEO John Bingham told AIN yesterday.
Piaggio Aero announced a reduced maintenance program for Avanti I/IIs here at EBACE, extending the heavy inspection intervals for the twin turboprop. Under the new inspection schedule, C and D checks–previously due at 1,500 and 3,000 hours, respectively–have been stretched to 1,800 and 3,600 hours.
After a 10-year hiatus, Piaggio America is exhibiting at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in, which is being held this week in Lakeland, Fla. The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based North American sales arm of the Italian aircraft manufacturer is displaying a demonstrator Piaggio Avanti II twin turboprop until the airshow ends on Sunday. The Avanti II will also participate in the aircraft flying display this afternoon at the airshow, Piaggio added.
Piaggio today made its first Chinese delivery of the P180 Avanti II twin turboprop. On the first day of Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai the Italian manufacturer handed over one of two Avantis acquired by its exclusive Chinese distributor CAEA Aviation Investment Company.