VERO BEACH, Fla., July 7, 2010 – Piper Aircraft Inc. has chosen two respected aircraft interior specialists for the PiperJet, the company’s comfortable and efficient single-engine entry in the very light jet market.
As Piper incorporates even more passenger comfort and operational efficiency into an aircraft design that already responds very well to a challenging economy, it has selected DeCrane Aerospace and Propel Designs. Both organizations will integrate passenger cabin interior improvements verified by the company’s proof of concept flight-testing regimen and through continuous dialog with current and future PiperJet customers.
“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with aircraft interior industry leader DeCrane Aerospace and the skilled creative talents of Propel Designs as the PiperJet program continues to gain momentum,” said Piper President/CEO Kevin Gould. “DeCrane and Propel add to the exceptional talent pool we have assembled to solidify our interior design improvements.”
Continuous Customer Inputs. “Numerous meetings and conversations with PiperJet buyers have reaffirmed many of our design parameters for the interior and even led us to make some additional improvements that reflect the valuable input from both our current customers and future customers,” said Randy Groom, Piper executive vice president. “The interior upgrades will result in a PiperJet even more attuned specifically to today’s competitive economic environment and to tomorrow’s changing requirements.”
“In addition, test flights being flown by the PiperJet proof-of-concept vehicle have verified our expectations and helped us decide on further enhancements,” Groom added. Piper is scheduled to announce specific aircraft interior improvements during the National Business Aviation Association annual meeting and convention this fall in Atlanta.
DeCrane Aerospace. DeCrane Aerospace, Wichita, Kan., is a world leader in interiors for the private jet market, delivering a full range of services including design, engineering, integration, manufacturing, installation and certification. It will supply engineering and PiperJet interior soft goods, including carpeting, headliners and interior panels.
“We are exceptionally grateful to Kevin Gould and the entire Piper Aircraft team for the opportunity to be aboard the PiperJet,” said Roger Wolfe, DeCrane chief executive officer. “Our team is engaged closely with the PiperJet team to seamlessly integrate interior improvements that we are excited to show at NBAA in October.”
Propel Designs. David Shumate of Propel Designs, Seattle, Wash., is providing the overall design and the styling philosophy behind the PiperJet flight deck and advancements to the passenger cabin. Shumate, who has worked with Piper for a number of years, has also provided inspirational design concepts for a number of turboprops, business jets, high-end automobiles and boats.
Shumate, previously with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, has industrial design and transportation design degrees, including one from the Art Center College of Design, where he studied in California and Switzerland. “I am enjoying my time in Vero Beach with the PiperJet engineering team and the aviation experts from DeCrane,” he said. “I, too, am looking forward to revealing the PiperJet work product at NBAA in Atlanta.”
In addition to announcing the PiperJet interior configuration at NBAA, Piper Aircraft will provide a program update for dealers, customers and the media during the event.
While fourth quarter and full-year Piper deliveries will not be announced until February 2011, production activity during 2010 was up by more than 75 percent compared to 2009.
Piper will bring a mockup of its new single-engine PiperJet business aircraft featuring a larger and improved cabin and sporting a new name that will be announced on the first day of the show.
The single-pilot PiperJet Altaire, as it is now named, is being unveiled at NBAA.
The new lighter weight seats, ergonomically designed to provide safety and support, are equipped with adjustable headrests, a break-over seat back and can be reclined for additional comfort.