The new iteration of the PiperJet was unveiled this week at the National Business Aviation Association’s convention in Atlanta. The very light jet now has a much larger round fuselage design, as well as a new name: PiperJet Altaire.
“While the earlier PiperJet design, with its Piper M-class cabin cross section, provided a comfortable environment, we wanted to give our jet customers an even roomier light jet that incorporates a scalable design paving the way for a future family of competitive business jets,” said Piper CEO Geoffrey Berger.
The newly named PiperJet Altaire features a new configuration. Its larger redesigned round fuselage is mounted on top of an expanded-chord wing, with a shorter vertical empennage located slightly aft atop an elongated engine nacelle. Price point for the PiperJet Altaire is $2.5 million, with a typically equipped aircraft priced at $2.6 million.
The round fuselage and new wing provide all the performance and cabin improvements of a clean sheet aircraft coupled with the proven reliability of Piper’s manufacturing techniques honed over the decades with the company’s lineup of reliable airplanes, including M-class aircraft – the Meridian, Malibu and Matrix, according to Berger.
The new configuration gives customers a cabin that is 9 inches taller and 4 inches wider than the previous design. The new cross section also offers a wider than standard sunken aisle for ease of movement inside the cabin. Additionally, the PiperJet Altaire will have a 3-foot wide cabin door for ease of passenger entry and exit while providing great cargo flexibility.
The improvements are based upon the baseline proof-of-concept PiperJet, which has flown more than 375 flight test hours and executed more than 350 takeoffs and landings, said Randy Groom, executive vice president.
PiperJet Altaire maximum range is targeted at 1,300 nautical miles with a maximum cruise speed planned at 360 knots. The airplane is planned to fly 1,200 nautical miles with a full fuel payload of 800 pounds. The airplane is equipped with an integrated flight deck. It features Garmin G3000 avionics complete with the first touch screen-controlled glass panel designed for light turbine aircraft, three displays, two touch screens and a GFC 700 automatic flight control system. Flight controls will be yokes, replacing the side stick controls flown on the PiperJet proof of concept test article.
Now undergoing CAD modeling and analysis in the program’s detail design phase, the first of four conforming PiperJet Altair flight test aircraft will begin flying in 2012. Certification and first customer deliveries have been pushed to 2014. “I believe our customers will accept their new delivery dates because they get a much improved and efficient aircraft with enviable performance,” Groom says.
For more information: Piper.com