Forecast International, a provider of market intelligence, has been engaged by a “world-ranked aircraft manufacturer” to evaluate the market for a new business jet. In the online survey, an artist’s concept depicts a light/medium twinjet with a remarkable resemblance to the Avanti II turboprop twin from Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio.
Avantair, the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional that operates Piaggio Avantis exclusively, reported an 85-percent increase in Q2 revenue over the same period a year earlier. Sluggish deliveries from Piaggio contributed to an overall loss, though the company does expect to break even upon reaching 40 aircraft in service. If current estimates hold, that will happen by the end of this year.
Piaggio Avanti, Eagle, Colo., Jan. 15, 2007–Landing at Eagle County Regional Airport, the ATP-certified pilot of Piaggio N17PA reduced power, but before going into reverse, the airplane swerved. The pilot applied rudder, but the right tire blew out and he lost directional control. The Avanti veered off the right side of the runway and hit a snow bank, crushing the left wingtip and fracturing the canard surface.
At press time, nothing was said to be finalized, but Rockwell Collins and Piaggio were working on a deal to offer Pro Line avionics in the Avanti, according to a spokesman for the Italian airframer. The turboprop twin currently has older Collins avionics.
Piaggio America recently moved its North American headquarters into the Jet Aviation facility overlooking the ramp at West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), Fla. According to Piaggio America president Tom Appleton, the company moved to PBI from its Greenville, S.C. facility in response to recent company growth. The move increased office-space capacity by more than 30 percent and also has made more hangar space available.
Avantair is offering a limited-time incentive to new buyers of Piaggio Avanti fractional shares. Customers who sign on the dotted line before March 20 are eligible to win a college basketball championship game day package consisting of round-trip travel aboard an Avanti and four tickets to the big game in Atlanta on April 2.
FlightSafety International is scheduled to deliver the first simulator for the Piaggio Avanti to its West Palm Beach, Fla. facility next September. FlightSafety said this simulator will represent the new Avanti II, the planned successor to the basic model featuring more powerful PT6 engines, Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and an increased mtow.
Pilatus and Piaggio were among the first business aviation OEMs to disclose 2004 deliveries, and the numbers show an improvement over 2003. Pilatus reported it shipped 70 PC-12s last year compared with 61 in 2003. The Swiss manufacturer recently celebrated its 500th PC-12 delivery. Piaggio said it delivered 16 Avantis last year versus 12 in 2003. Meanwhile, Embraer reported delivering 13 Legacy business jets last year, the same as in 2003.
Avantair, the fractional operator flying an all-Piaggio Avanti fleet, took delivery last month of its 16th copy of the Italian-built twin-turboprop pusher. The Fairfield, N.J., company said it will continue to receive one Avanti per month through 2007, which will bring the planned fleet to nearly 50 aircraft by the end of that year. At press time the number of Avantair share-owners stood at 132.
MSA Aircraft Products of San Antonio has introduced its Accordia pleated window shade systems for the Embraer Legacy, Gulfstream 200 (as well as an Accordia ultra-light window assembly for all Gulfstreams), Piaggio Avanti and Learjet 35.