Piper Aircraft has launched two new single-engine training aircraft, the Pilot 100 and Pilot 100i amid what the company describes as a “unprecedented demand for professional pilots”.
The Piper 100 and 100i were officially launched at the Sun N’ Fun international fly-in and expo being held at Lakeland in Florida on Tuesday (US time). The company has teased the announcement with a silhouetted aircraft on its website in the days leading up to the unveiling.
The two-aircraft family will be powered by Continental Aerospace Technologies’ Prime IO-370-D3A engines and feature Garmin G3X Touch Certified avionics in a standard two-pilot interior configuration, Piper said in a statement. Both are VFR equipped.
The Pilot 100i also has an optional IFR capable package which comprising the Garmin G3X Touch, GFC500 autopilot, the new GNX 375 GPS navigator and ADS-B transponder.
Piper chief executive Simon Caldecott said the company worked with key suppliers to come up with an “aggressively priced, proven trainer that offers the advanced systems and performance” suitable for flight schools and airline programs of all sizes.
“We are excited to addthe Pilot 100 series to our training product line at a price point that provides optimal economics for all operators,” Caldecott said in a statement.
The Pilot 100 is on sale US$259,000, while the Pilot 100i is priced at US$285,000. The aircraft would be available “in limited quantities” from 2020, Piper said.
The Pilot series joins Piper’s Archer TX, Archer DX, Arrow and Seminole aircraft lineup.
What a great start to SUN 'n FUN 2019! We are excited to be here in #LakelandFL at booth LD-004 to help Piper Aircraft, Inc. celebrate the launch of the Pilot100 aircraft, powered by the Continental PRIME IO-370-DA3A engine!#SNF19 #Continental #Piper #Pilot100 #ContinentalPRIME pic.twitter.com/O4z4L9nGj3
— Continental Aerospace Technologies™ (@Continental_AT) April 2, 2019
Caldecott said the Prime engine was the ideal powerplant for the Pilot 100 series aircraft given its performance and the support guarantees Continental Aerospace Technologies.
Continental Aerospace Technologies chief executive Rhett Ross said the company was exited to be working with Piper on the new Pilot aircraft.
“We worked with the Piper engineering team to make sure that they benefit not only from an outstanding value, but also from all the enhancements that we have incorporated in our new engine line,” Ross said in a statement.
“This translates into smooth and trouble-free operations for flight academies and schools to let them concentrate on their primary mission: training rather than maintenance.”
VIDEO: A first look at the Piper Pilot 100 aircraft from the AOPALive YouTube channel.
Piper secures order from L3
In other Piper news, the aircraft maker has won an order for “up to 240″ new aircraft from training company L3 Commercial Aviation.
It was the largest civilian fleet order in company history, Piper said.
Deliveries were due to begin from April, with L3 to receive 26 airframes – 19 single engine Piper Archers and seven twin-engine Piper Seminoles – in calendar 2019.
The new aircraft will be based at L3’s Airline Academy facilities in Florida US, Ponte de Sor in Portugal and in the United Kingdom.
“This significant investment in expanding and modernizing our fleet with these brand-new aircraft will help us in our aspiration to provide the highest-quality training while meeting the increasing international demand for new pilots from our airline customers,” Airline Academy vice president Geoff van Klaveren said in a statement.
L3 was the nominated training company for Qantas’s pilot training academy to be based at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport west of Brisbane.
However, it emerged in early March that L3 had decided not to partner with Qantas on the flight school, which is due to open its doors later in 2019.
The 2018-2037 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook said the aviation industry would need 790,000 pilots in the next two decades.