Despite some media reports stating that Piper Aircraft was recently sold to the Government of Brunei, the Vero Beach, Fla. airframer told AIN that the transaction of authority for the company from corporate finance and investment management firm Imprimis to Brunei’s Ministry of Finance was merely a formalization of the original 2009 sale of the company by American Capital. In a release the company stated, “Piper Aircraft has been an investment of the Government of Brunei since 2009.
Piper Aircraft is facing repayment requests of government incentives received in 2008 to help the company upgrade its Vero Beach, Fla., facilities to modern hurricane standards and buy tools and equipment.
Shortly after Piper Aircraft posted billboards in Wichita advertising for engineers, the company suspended further development of the single-engine PiperJet Altaire, “following a review to align the company’s business goals with the light jet market outlook, investment strategies and overall economic forecasts.”
Piper Aircraft “indefinitely suspended” the PiperJet Altaire today, just one week after announcing that the single-engine jet program was put “under review.” The Vero Beach, Fla.-based aircraft manufacturer also announced that it will lay off 150 of its 850 employees and 55 contract workers due to the program’s cancellation.
Piper Aircraft announced yesterday that it has placed the PiperJet Altaire program “under review,” clouding the single-engine jet’s future. It also named Simon Caldecott as its interim president and CEO, making him the fifth person to hold the position since Imprimis Brunei acquired the Vero Beach, Fla.
Flight-training company Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) has agreed to buy up to 30 Piper Seminoles in a transaction that could be worth as much as $18 million.
Piper is getting ready to fly its Altaire single-engine jet next year and is doing the spadework to place it into economical production. That is the message from vice president Randy Groom, who said that 80 percent of the detail design work is complete, sheet metal components are in fabrication, vendor selection is finished and the first assembly tools have arrived at the company’s Vero Beach, Fla. factory.
Piper Aircraft used the Malibu/Meridian Owners & Pilots Association (MMOPA) Fly-in Convention, held last week in Hot Springs, Va., to officially announce the company’s receipt of fleet-wide approval for Piper Meridian single-engine turboprops to operate from unpaved runways. The company received the approval in late August.
Piper Aircraft named 30-year aerospace veteran Michael Dow as chief of production for the PiperJet Altaire, the company’s in-development single-engine business jet. Dow was most recently group manager of manufacturing, engineering and tooling at Aurora Flight Sciences, and previously worked at Bell Helicopter for 11 years.
Hampson Industries is enjoying a string of new contracts and ongoing programs that will help the U.S. company continue growing as a supplier of tooling used to manufacture structural aircraft components and as manufacturer of the components themselves.