Piper Aircraft this week provided the public with its first official look at the unusual PiperJet. The company’s first jet product features a single tail-mounted Williams FJ44-3AP engine, a slender 44-foot-long wing with winglets, and a large cabin with lavatory.
Customers and dealers got the first glimpse of the newly painted airplane on Sept. 17. The media watched a flyby at the Vero Beach, Fla., headquarters and received a briefing on the $100 million airplane project on Sept. 18.
The prototype, flying since July 30, utilizes a straight main landing gear system. The three conforming flight test airplanes and production models will include a trailing link system with optional anti-skid brake system. The flight test airplanes will be built starting late next year. Certification and first deliveries are now scheduled for late 2011 or early 2012—about a year later than the company predicted when the PiperJet was first announced two years ago.
The $2.2 million airplane (in 2006 dollars) is expected to have a maximum cruise of 360 knots and max altitude of 35,000 feet, burning 77 gph. At max cruise, it can fly for about 1,000 nm with IFR reserves. At 320 knots it can fly 1,300 nm with reserves on just 64 gallons per hour.
Look for a full report on the PiperJet in an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot.