Piper Aircraft introduced improved versions of its M-Class single-engine business aircraft, which include the turboprop Meridian, the pressurized piston Mirage and the unpressurized piston Matrix. The biggest design changes result in greater pilot comfort, thanks to such enhancements as a cockpit assist handle to aid access; a fold-down copilot seat that converts to a work surface; and more elbow and hip room.
Piper Aircraft has been promoting its new PiperJet in the form of a proof-of-concept aircraft based on the PA-46-500TP Meridian turboprop-single platform. However, officials with the Vero Beach, Fla.-based manufacturer told AIN today that it will appear at the NBAA Convention next month with “the next step” in the evolution of its single-engine very light jet, complete with a full-size mockup.
Piper Aircraft will shut down operations for the week of August 9. Except for those working on PiperJet development and delivering essential parts or finished aircraft, all staff, including company management, will be unpaid for that week. Piper executive v-p Randy Groom told AIN that the company is implementing the week-long shutdown in lieu of layoffs as it reacts to sluggish demand.
According to Piper Aircraft’s recently appointed executive vice president, Randy Groom, a year ago only 12 people were actively working on the single-engine PiperJet program. Now there are more than 100, all but a few of them full-time Piper employees. Groom, formerly president of Hawker Beechcraft’s global customer service and support and its Beechcraft division, said that before he accepted the Piper job, he asked to fly the PiperJet.
Piper Aircraft yesterday announced that it selected DeCrane Aerospace and Propel Designs as interior specialists for the PiperJet. Both outfitting companies will integrate passenger cabin interior improvements that have been verified by Piper’s single-engine proof-of-concept jet, as well as through dialog with current and prospective PiperJet customers.
Piper Aircraft told employees yesterday it will shut down operations for the week of August 9. With some exceptions, all staff, including company management, will be unpaid for that week. The exceptions will be workers developing the PiperJet and those devoted to delivery of essential parts and finished aircraft.
While progress on the PiperJet had slowed, Piper’s acquisition by Brunei-based Imprimis has put the jet-single project “back on track,” according to Piper, “with full development of the PiperJet and other exciting production initiatives.” One of those is Piper’s choice of the Czech Sport Aircraft SportCruiser as the new entry-level Piper trainer.
Piper Aircraft has entered into a global distribution agreement with Aviall Services. Aviall is an after-market supply chain management service for the aerospace, defense and marine industries. The Dallas-based company lists two million catalog items available through 39 customer service centers in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
his past year has been tumultuous for Piper Aircraft, starting with sale of the company