May 20, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Here comes another business jet. Piaggio says it will freeze the design of its long-rumored new jet by this summer, but it isn’t discussing details until the aircraft is ready to fly. Much of the manufacturing will be done in Abu Dhabi, where an investment company owns a third of the Piaggio firm, but final assembly will be done at the Piaggio plant in Genoa, Italy.
The main shareholder is Tata located in India. Company officials said this is a long-term investment, not a quick effort to realize an immediate profit. For Abu Dhabi, it could mean the start of an aerospace segment for that area. The investment company in Abu Dhabi is Mubadala.
When the design is complete, the company will announce its suppliers. Piaggio makes the speedy P180 Avanti twin-engine pusher turboprop.
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.
MVP Aero is developing a $189,000 light sport amphibious seaplane that doubles as a camper and is expected to fly in 18 months, with deliveries in 2017.
The FAA will miss a deadline to reform aircraft certification by two years, the agency told the House Aviation Subcommittee during a July 23 hearing.
AOPA is testing whether aircraft ownership can be more affordable than many people believe with the development of “Reimagined Aircraft.”
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