Piper Aircraft delivered its 500th Meridian turboprop single last week. The milestone aircraft was handed over to SouthEast Piper for delivery to the aircraft’s undisclosed Florida-based owner. “The delivery of the 500th Piper Meridian, since first delivery in 2000, emphasizes its enduring value proposition even during recent periods of economic uncertainty around the world,” said Piper president and CEO Simon Caldecott. “Single-engine Piper turboprops are growing in popularity as replacements for less economical twin-engine jets and turboprops.”
Piper Aircraft (Booth V63) head of global sales and business development Drew McEwen is leading the Vero Beach, Florida-based company’s delegation here at the Singapore Airshow. The Brunei government-owned aircraft manufacturer also comes to the Singapore show fresh under new management–until a few months ago Imprimis was directing the company; Brunei, which bought Piper in 2009, now holds the full reins.
Kestrel Aircraft is abandoning plans to set up the headquarters and new production plant for its K-350 single-engine turboprop in Brunswick Landing, Maine. On January 16, the company announced a $118 million deal to locate in Richard I. Bong Airport in Superior, Wis., and begin construction in June. The agreement is being financed by a variety of grants, low-interest loans, and tax credits from the City of Superior, Douglas County and the state of Wisconsin.
Assembling Sources of Capital
Despite some media reports stating that Piper Aircraft was recently sold to the Government of Brunei, the Vero Beach, Fla. airframer told AIN that the transaction of authority for the company from corporate finance and investment management firm Imprimis to Brunei’s Ministry of Finance was merely a formalization of the original 2009 sale of the company by American Capital. In a release the company stated, “Piper Aircraft has been an investment of the Government of Brunei since 2009.
Piper Aircraft is facing repayment requests of government incentives received in 2008 to help the company upgrade its Vero Beach, Fla., facilities to modern hurricane standards and buy tools and equipment.
Shortly after Piper Aircraft posted billboards in Wichita advertising for engineers, the company suspended further development of the single-engine PiperJet Altaire, “following a review to align the company’s business goals with the light jet market outlook, investment strategies and overall economic forecasts.”
Piper Aircraft “indefinitely suspended” the PiperJet Altaire today, just one week after announcing that the single-engine jet program was put “under review.” The Vero Beach, Fla.-based aircraft manufacturer also announced that it will lay off 150 of its 850 employees and 55 contract workers due to the program’s cancellation.
Piper Aircraft announced yesterday that it has placed the PiperJet Altaire program “under review,” clouding the single-engine jet’s future. It also named Simon Caldecott as its interim president and CEO, making him the fifth person to hold the position since Imprimis Brunei acquired the Vero Beach, Fla.
Flight-training company Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) has agreed to buy up to 30 Piper Seminoles in a transaction that could be worth as much as $18 million.
Piper is getting ready to fly its Altaire single-engine jet next year and is doing the spadework to place it into economical production. That is the message from vice president Randy Groom, who said that 80 percent of the detail design work is complete, sheet metal components are in fabrication, vendor selection is finished and the first assembly tools have arrived at the company’s Vero Beach, Fla. factory.