Piper’s prolonged pondering of a jet reached fruition at the NBAA Convention with an announcement today that it will design and build a very light jet with a “high-speed natural laminar flow wing” and powered by a single 2,400-pound-thrust turbofan. Piper plans to fly the PiperJet in spring 2008 and start deliveries in the first half of 2010.
Early last month Piper delivered the 200th Malibu Meridian since the turboprop single entered service in November 2000. Piper also announced that a three-screen Avidyne FlightMax Entegra will become the standard avionics system on the Meridian.
Last month James Bass replaced Chuck Suma as president and CEO of Piper Aircraft. The change was announced in a terse statement by the Vero Beach, Fla. manufacturer, but the decision would have been made by American Capital Strategies, the Bethesda, Md., investment firm that purchased Piper in 2003.
Piper’s new CEO, James Bass, said his company is still considering introducing a very light jet, telling AIN that it is an “important component of our product development strategy.” But as the company has said in the past, it “cannot offer specifics today on timing or configuration.
Texarkana, Texas-based FBO TAC Air is now promoting its 2006 giveaway, a new Hummer H3, as part of its “We Make You Look Good” marketing theme for the year. Over the last several years TAC Air has given away a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle, a 2001 PT Cruiser, a 1945 yellow Piper Cub and a restored 1957 Thunderbird.
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