Piper Aircraft has started fabrication and assembly will begin in August of the first conforming flight test article of the company’s new single-engine Altaire business jet. Inaugural flight of the conforming PiperJet Altaire is anticipated to be in 2012 with certification and deliveries in 2014.
“The Altaire is pioneering the single-engine business jet, just like the Piper Meridian and other single-engine turboprops have proven in rigorous worldwide use that the fundamental efficiencies and safety of centerline thrust aircraft deliver the greatest value to owners and operators,” said Piper President and CEO Geoffrey Berger.
“The advantage that Piper has over other manufacturers with an interest in a single-engine jet is a solid underlying commitment by Imprimis, the owner of the company, to appropriately fund the program and see it through to successful completion,” Berger says, noting Piper has assigned nearly 200 engineers and production staff to the jet.
In addition to starting assembly of the first conforming flight test article, later this year Piper will begin fabrication and assembly of a structural test article, which will eventually be joined by three additional flying conforming test aircraft to become part of the certification program. Also part of the FAA certification program will be a bird strike canopy and a fuel cell/vibration test wing. Construction of all of these articles will be underway during 2012.
The company is in the midst of a $5.6 million program in building improvements to ready its Vero Beach, Fla., manufacturing and headquarters campus for necessary production, final assembly, completion and deliveries. Recently it named Altaire Chief of Production Michael Dow to oversee the manufacturing of the business jet.
The Piper Altaire maximum range is targeted at 1,300 nautical miles with a maximum cruise speed planned at 360 knots. The airplane’s range is 1,200 nautical miles with a payload of 800 pounds. Price point for a typically equipped aircraft is $2.6 million.
A mockup of the PiperJet Altaire is on display at the AirVenture. The Wisconsin stop is part of a North American tour of the Altaire mockup. Other stops include:
- August 5-9, Englewood, Colo.
- August 11-14, Colorado Springs, Colo.
- August 18-20, Salt Lake City, Utah
- August 26, Seattle
- August 30, Portland, Ore.
- September 7, San Carlos, Calif.
- October 10-12, NBAA, Las Vegas
- October 19, Van Nuys, Calif.
- October 23, Carlsbad, Calif.
For more information: Piper.com