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Piper Trainers Still Logging Sales Successes
By James Wynbrandt
July 22, 2015 - Piper Aircraft Co. continues its market success in the trainer field, with more than two-dozen sales—and possibly a score more—announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
FlightSafety International (FSI) has ordered 20 Piper Warriors and six Piper Arrows for its FlightSafety Academy training program in Vero Beach, Florida, with deliveries of the single-engine aircraft commencing later this year. All aircraft will be equipped with Garmin G500 avionics suites with GTN 650 GPS/nav/comm/MFD with ADS-B and satellite enhanced dual antenna traffic awareness technology.
FSI President and CEO Bruce Whitman said the purchase “demonstrates our commitment to provide FlightSafety Academy students with the highest quality training, using aircraft equipped with the latest technology.” The order is part of a fleet replenishment initiative agreement between the two companies, under which FlightSafety has an option to order an additional 20 Warriors next year.
Piper also announced the impending delivery of an Arrow to Ohio’s Kent State University for the school’s Aeronautics Division. The aircraft will operate from the University’s Andrew Paton Field, one of the world’s few university-operated airports. “Kent State’s Aeronautics Division continues to look to Piper for quality aircraft to bring up our next generation of pilots,” said Robert Sines Jr., dean of the university’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability, and Technology. Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott calls the Arrow “the only complex single-engine trainer available today.”
In M-class news, Piper also announced a collaboration with Hartzell Propeller on certifying a five-bladed composite prop for the Piper Meridian and M500 through a supplemental type certificate (STC), with approval anticipated by the end of the year. The prop will “help increase climb rate and decrease noise, with the secondary benefit of elevating ramp aesthetics,” said Drew McEwen, Piper VP of Sales and Marketing. The prop will have an initial list price of $52,000, which includes a trade-in allowance through Hartzell Propeller’s Top Prop Program, but Piper dealers and authorized service centers will offer “special price considerations,” according to Piper.
The Vero Beach, Florida-based OEM also announced a collaboration with Garmin on developing Piper Pilot, a Piper-specific avionics app based on Garmin Pilot for iPad and iPhone. This “ideal cockpit companion” offers 3-D vision, weather, advanced traffic, and additional features. McEwen, called the product “truly intuitive.” Phase 1 of the development program will be complete this September, and buyers of any new M-class Piper will receive a free two-year subscription to the app.