PiperJet Gets Larger Cabin, Design Improvements, New Name

ATLANTA, Ga., Oct. 19, 2010 – Piper Aircraft's high-performance single-engine very light business jet is getting a much larger round fuselage design that gives customers an even more spacious cabin to complement already efficient acquisition and operating costs.

The single-pilot PiperJet Altaire, as it is now named, is being unveiled at the 63rd Annual Meeting and Convention of the National Business Aviation Association, which begins today in Atlanta.

“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.

“The PiperJet Altaire is a powerful and stylish blend of efficiency, cabin volume, range, payload and speed,” Berger says. Price point for the PiperJet Altaire is $2.5 million, with a typically equipped aircraft priced at $2.6 million. The PiperJet Altaire costs an average of 25 percent less to operate per hour than comparable production very light jets.

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.

“The innovative PiperJet Altair combines revolutionary single-engine performance with ground-breaking efficiency, making it the fiscally responsible choice for aircraft operators,” Berger says. “The bonus for owners is that it also features the room and comfort of a twin-engine business jet.”

Nine Inches Taller, Four Inches Wider

In addition to cleaner and sleeker styling, the optimized configuration gives customers a cabin that is nine inches taller and four 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 three-foot wide cabin door for ease of passenger entry and exit while providing great cargo flexibility.

“Clearly, the PiperJet Altaire looks spectacular and has operating efficiency and reliability to back up its exceptional styling,” said Piper Executive Vice President Randy Groom. PiperJet Altaire improvements, Groom says, are based upon the baseline proof of concept PiperJet, which has flown more than 375 flight test hours and executed more than350 takeoffs and landings.

The PiperJet Altaire will have dynamic crew and passenger seats for increased safety and comfort, The airplane also has comfortable club seating in the spacious cabin with an optional seventh seat located across the aisle from the entry door. A lavatory, storage compartment, or entertainment center is easily interchangeable for that seat. With a wide drop-down aisle, no wing spar intrusion, LED lighting, and dual controlled environmental system, The PiperJet Altaire’s interior has been styled for superior passenger comfort.

Excellent Performance

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.

2014 Certification, Deliveries

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 are planned for 2014, slightly after the previously scheduled date.

“I believe our customers will accept their new delivery dates because they get a much improved and efficient aircraft with enviable performance,” Groom says.

State-of-Art Flight Deck

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 in the new, larger PiperJet Altaire cockpit will be yokes, replacing the side stick controls flown on the PiperJet proof of concept test article. The improved aircraft will also have crew seats that are easier to access and an ergodynamic interface between pilot and avionics.

About Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft Inc. is headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla. A global force in aviation, Piper offers nine efficient models of single-engine and twin-engine trainer, personal and business aircraft. Piper Aircraft designs, manufactures, sells and supports the strongest and broadest single-engine product line in the industry, from high-performance pistons to turboprops to the world’s most fuel-efficient seven-person business jet, the PiperJet Altaire. With economical acquisition and operating costs, Piper airplanes deliver the best values available today and into the future. Piper is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

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