Piper Enters VLJ Business

Business Jet Traveler » December 2006
Friday, December 1, 2006 - 4:00am

The 70-year-old Piper Aircraft has begun a new era, launching the six-seat, single-engine PiperJet, carrying a price tag of approximately $2.19 million. The move adds another entrant into the very light jet market. The PiperJet is a clean-sheet design, which Piper claims will have a range of about 1,300 nautical miles and will cruise at 360 knots, powered by a variant of the Williams FJ44-3A engine. The Vero Beach, Fla. manufacturer expects a prototype to fly within 18 months and deliveries to begin in 2010.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy