Piaggio’s Jet Well Beyond Initial Concept Stage
It’s no secret that Piaggio Aero has been working on developing a jet, and this work has accelerated with the support of shareholders Tata and Mubadala. According to John Bingham, president and CEO of Piaggio America and chief marketing officer for Piaggio Aero, development of the P1XX jet is ongoing and the recession has allowed Piaggio Aero to hire some new talent to help bring the program to fruition. He emphasized that the P1XX is not an Avanti with jet engines, as has been speculated in news reports. And the P1XX, like the Avanti, will be unique in terms of design and performance. “If you thought the P180 Avanti was good,” he said, “wait till you see the next one.” A dedicated team is working on the P1XX program, and the jet design is well beyond the preliminary concept stage. Piaggio Aero has not yet decided when to launch the P1XX. The company plans to meet with focus groups of potential customers to refine the design. Piaggio Aero says it is pursuing a clear market category with the P1XX, but the company is trying to provide an alternative to existing jets, not fill a new niche, Bingham told AIN.