A combination of factors led Piper Aircraft executives to delay deliveries of the PiperJet to 2013, a company spokesman said.
When the recession hit, and before new owner Imprimis came aboard, Piper was forced to slow the PiperJet program. With a cash infusion from Imprimis, the jet program was ramped up and Piper officials promised a new schedule. The 2013 timeframe represents not only the delay in the program before Imprimis came along, but on expectations of when the economy is likely to recover. Piper lost a few orders due to the recession but has gained a few, leaving the total at “…more than 200,” said Piper spokesman Mark Miller.
Piper also hired 50 engineers to ramp up the jet program. At the same time Piper is fully staffing the jet program, it is upgrading avionics in all PA-46 aircraft. Those include the Meridian, Mirage, and Matrix models. Piper announced at a meeting in Phoenix of the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots Association that Avidyne Entegra Release 9 is available as an option for all PA-46 aircraft.
Certification of the Entegra Release 9 suite for the Piper Matrix is expected to be completed in the second half of 2010. Certification of Entegra Release 9 for the Mirage and the Meridian are expected in 2011.
Customers who purchase an Entegra -equipped Meridian, Mirage, or Matrix now will receive an upgrade voucher that locks in the Entegra Release 9 upgrade price at $50,000—redeemable upon certification.