New Piaggio Aero general manager Eligio Trombetta was in bullish form at EBACE as he outlined plans for the new P1XX jet, the next aircraft to join the Italian airframer’s stable. And it seems that the new model will be more of a step up from the existing P.180 Avanti than some had imagined.
With a maximum speed of 402 knots, the P.180 Avanti II, made by Italy’s Piaggio Aero Industries, is the world’s fastest turboprop, while also boasting the largest cabin in its class of midsize jets and twin turboprops. But it’s also known for a stylish airframe and twin pusher design, which has been compared to a work of art.
AIN senior editor Kirby Harrison spoke with Piaggio America president and CEO John Bingham about the business aircraft market, as well as the company’s future plans for the Avanti II turboprop twin and the P1XX jet program.
Before the recession truly made its presence felt, Italian OEM Piaggio Aero recognized its impending arrival and adjusted production rates accordingly, said Piaggio America president and CEO John Bingham. “What we were able to do was recognize it early enough to reposition in terms of manufacturing and market access.”
John Bingham, president and CEO of Piaggio America, did not mince words when he kicked off Piaggio Aero's press conference Monday. "It's a horrible market," he said. Piaggio Aero Industries of Italy is the manufacturer of the P.180 Avanti twin turboprop pusher. But Bingham then presented an overview of the company's current and future developments, which provided some salve for the grim assessment.
Italian turboprop manufacturer Piaggio Aero, which recently announced its entry into the Brazilian market, plans to bring its business to Russia as well. The company is seeking Russian certification for its popular P.180 Avanti II twin-engine turboprop, which it expects to begin delivering in the country by April or May of next year.
Recent news reports claimed that Piaggio Aero shareholder Mubadala Development has plans to build its own business jet, but John Bingham, Piaggio America president and CEO, and Piaggio Aero spokesman Enrico Sgarbi told AIN at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last month that this information is not accurate. "We are [Mubadala's] platform for jets," said Sgarbi.
Piaggio America has added three new locations–Crownair Aviation in San Diego and Carlsbad, Calif., and Constant Aviation in Birmingham, Ala.–to its list of North American authorized service centers to support the Avanti II twin turboprop. Crownair Aviation offers fuel, maintenance and avionics services at its Montgomery Airport facility in San Diego.
Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Aerospace is aiming to be not only a tier-one supplier of large composite structures to Airbus or Boeing, but also a business jet manufacturer. Yesterday at the Farnborough airshow, Mubadala Aerospace executive director Homaid Al Shemmari told AIN in an exclusive interview that the company intends to build a “business jet-sized aircraft” for entry into service in 2018.
Fractional provider Avantair, which operates only Piaggio Avanti turboprop twins, opened a new operations center at its headquarters at Clearwater/St. Petersburg (Fla.) Airport early last month. The facility–which features three 200-inch screens to track aircraft 24/7 and monitor weather and breaking news–now serves as mission control for all Avantair flights.