The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has certified Piaggio Aero’s P.180 Avanti and Avanti II, the Italy-based airframer announced at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas. The type certification confirms that the aircraft comply with Chinese regulations and can now be registered and operated in the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong.
Piaggio Aero general manager Eligio Trombetta announced that the company is currently working several new product upgrade programs for its P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop pusher, including new and quieter propellers, an improved environmental control system (ECS), a digital cabin management system (CMS) and anti-skid brakes.
Piaggio Aero broke ground on June 15 for its new production plant in Villanova D’Albenga, Italy. Piaggio plans to move Avanti II parts and subassembly manufacture and engine manufacturing and MRO operations from its current plant in Finale Ligure to the new facility, with operations scheduled to begin in 2013. Avanti II final assembly will remain at the factory in Genova Sestri Ponente.
Piaggio Aero (Static Display T19) last week broke ground for a new factory, which will produce subassemblies and parts for the A180 Avanti II twin turboprop. The new facility, which will be located at Villanova d’Albenga, Italy, is scheduled to be operational by 2013.
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.”
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.
According to an industry source, Piaggio will announce more improvements for the P.180 Avanti twin turboprop before year-end. While the source wouldn’t discuss more details, one of the most obvious areas that Piaggio has yet to address is the Avanti’s unmistakable whine, which has led to its being the only modern turboprop banned under noise restrictions at Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport.
Fractional provider Avantair, which operates only Piaggio Avanti turboprop twins, officially opened its newly renovated operations center at its headquarters at Clearwater/St. Petersburg (Fla.) Airport this morning. 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.
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.
Piaggio Aero (Booth No. 1325) took a bold stance during the recession to broaden worldwide recognition of its P180 Avanti II twin turboprop, according to John Bingham, president and CEO of Piaggio America and chief marketing officer for Piaggio Aero. “It paid off for us,” Bingham told AIN. Potential buyers who might not have considered purchasing an Avanti have added the turboprop to their shopping lists, he said.