For its sleek Avanti II, Piaggio reports a two-year backlog valued at more than $600 million. That’s the good news. The bad news is that despite efforts to increase production, the Italian manufacturer shows little sign of putting a credible dent in that backlog in the near future.
Piaggio Aero Industries’ speedy Avanti II, long acknowledged as the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world, is now even faster.
At EBACE, Piaggio announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted approval for installation of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66B in the Avanti II, giving the twin-engine pusher a maximum cruise speed of 402 knots (Mach 0.70).
Forecast International, a provider of market intelligence, has been engaged by a “world-ranked aircraft manufacturer” to evaluate the market for a new business jet. In the online survey, an artist’s concept depicts a light/medium twinjet with a remarkable resemblance to the Avanti II turboprop twin from Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio.
Piaggio America recently moved its North American headquarters into the Jet Aviation facility overlooking the ramp at West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), Fla. According to Piaggio America president Tom Appleton, the company moved to PBI from its Greenville, S.C. facility in response to recent company growth. The move increased office-space capacity by more than 30 percent and also has made more hangar space available.
Tom Appleton retired as president and CEO of Piaggio America, effective January 28. He was replaced by Eric Hinson, a former U.S. Navy pilot and test director who has served in various senior executive roles. Appleton will remain non-executive chairman of Piaggio America and will continue to support parent company Piaggio Aero.
Piaggio Aero Industries, manufacturer of the Avanti turboprop twin, says it will develop a business jet. The Italian airframer is considering which of two designs to develop, but must first reach agreement with a “strategic partner” to make the project a reality. “The concept is almost frozen.
Piaggio Aero Industries yesterday sold a Piaggio P.180 Avanti II to an undisclosed French customer. The new twin turboprop pusher will be delivered in January 2008. The deal was struck here at Le Bourget by the Italian manufacturer’s French agent Theirry Boutsen.
Piaggio Aero Industries presented its first P166 DP1 maritime patroller to the staff of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (financial police) during a ceremony here this week. The DP1 is the result of a midlife update program for the P166 DL3, developed by Piaggio with the support of the ministry of industries and the Guardia di Finanza.
In response to the Ardent Acquisitions filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on how lack of expected Avanti deliveries is affecting its bottom line, Piaggio Aero headquarters in Italy provided the following statement:
“The delivery of three aircraft in the first three quarters of this year was not in line with our plans for a number of reasons.
Piaggio Aero Industries is preparing to launch a new jet program before the end of this year and is debating which of two designs to develop. On April 19, the Italian firm laid the financial foundations for the anticipated product launch when it announced that Mubadala Development, an investment company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, is purchasing a 35-percent stake in its business.