January 19, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Officials of Czech Sport Aircraft say it was a dispute over how to market the PiperSport that led to the termination of a marketing agreement between Piper Aircraft and the Czech firm. Czech Sport Aircraft officials wanted to market it worldwide, not just in the United States, a press release from the company indicated.
Piper Aircraft has previously cited only a difference in philosophies between the two firms, turning back requests for details by saying, “We are managing the transition.” Piper Aircraft officials are keeping a commitment to appear at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., this week to aid in the transition.
PiperSport dealers have formed an association to continue to market the aircraft under the name used before the Piper agreement in January 2010: SportCruiser. The Czech company initially indicated it would sell the aircraft under the name SuperCruiser, but a day later returned to the SportCruiser name after the dealer network pointed out that Piper had previously sold the PA-12 under the name Super Cruiser. All dealers worldwide who sold the aircraft will continue to do so, and to provide service and warranty support.
The Czech firm said it is strong financially and has 150 of the aircraft on order. It is continuing to do research and development. The company said it would announce significant new design changes in the first quarter of this year, including improvements in the spinner, canopy, elevator, ailerons and wingtips. The company will announce a military trainer soon at AERO Friedrichshafen, a European airshow.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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