Even as Italian manufacturer Piaggio Aero Industries reaps the benefits of a remarkable sales resurgence in the U.S., the company increasingly views its own backyard as fertile soil for future growth.
A “verification prototype” of Cirrus’s recently unveiled “personal jet” could fly within two or three years, according to company officials.
Cirrus Design executives revealed a mock-up of the long-awaited single-engine jet at company headquarters in Duluth, Minn., in late June. To date, the company has received $100,000 deposits for more than 150 copies of “The-Jet,” mostly from current customers of its piston SR20 and SR22.
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).
Indian state-owned National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) continue working on a 12-passenger twin-turboprop pusher called the Saras, named after the graceful Indian crane. The first prototype, which made its flying debut at Aero India 2005, has logged 95 flight hours in 40 test flights. Teething problems discovered in the initial phase of flight-testing have been solved, NAL director Dr. A.R.
On display at Aero India 2005 earlier this year (see facing page) was the Saras, a low-wing aircraft with an mtow of 13,450 pounds and powered by two 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66 turboprops driving Hartzell five-blade pusher propellers, being developed by India’s National
Avantair, the fractional operator flying an all-Piaggio Avanti fleet, took delivery last month of its 16th copy of the Italian-built twin-turboprop pusher. The Fairfield, N.J., company said it will continue to receive one Avanti per month through 2007, which will bring the planned fleet to nearly 50 aircraft by the end of that year. At press time the number of Avantair share-owners stood at 132.
Significant fleet orders were announced today for the Eclipse 500, Citation and Avanti at NBAA 2005. Linear Air of Lexington, Mass., and JetSet Air of the UK have placed firm orders for 15 and 30 Eclipse 500 very light jets, respectively. These transactions bring the Eclipse order book to 2,350 airplanes (1,592 firm orders and 765 options), all secured with nonrefundable deposits, the company said.
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.
Piaggio Aero Industries is showcasing the new Avanti II version of its distinctive twin pusherprop here at Dubai 2005 this week. But the Italian company is remaining tight-lipped about long-anticipated plans for a new light business jet.
The Avanti II completed European certification last month and delivery of the first new-version aircraft is to follow to an unnamed Swiss customer.