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.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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