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Piper announces sales increasesPiper announces sales increases

M600 certification adding to bottom lineM600 certification adding to bottom line

Comparing the first half of 2017 with the first half of 2016, Piper Aircraft Inc. is seeing increases in revenue and aircraft delivered, Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott said at EAA AirVenture July 24. Revenue was up $11 million, or 25 percent, and 13 more aircraft were delivered—a 30-percent increase, he said.

The University of North Dakota operates this Piper Archer TX--an Archer III fitted with a Garmin glass cockpit--displayed by Piper at its EAA AirVenture 2017 exhibit. Photo by Mike Collins.

“We continue to see growth in both aircraft deliveries and revenue,” Caldecott added. “The second quarter also was the lowest dealer inventory of our M Class since 2012,” which he said is a good sign that the market is improving. Trainer deliveries have increased, and “we’re encouraged to see growth in international deliveries.”

Piper received FAA certification of its M600 single-engine turboprop in 2016, which Caldecott said was a significant contributor to sales performance in the first half of 2017. “We are delighted with the market reception of the M600,” he said. The aircraft also received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in May. An M600 that has been touring Europe and Africa has generated additional international sales. And the aircraft will comply with changes to the rules governing single-engine IFR operations in Europe, which Caldecott believes is contributing to the interest in the airplane there.

The new turboprop faced a minor setback last week, however, when Piper issued a mandatory service bulletin temporarily grounding all M600s pending further inspection after concerns arose about part of the wing spar. “We don’t take this action lightly. Safety is important at Piper Aircraft and we will not deviate from that commitment,” Caldecott said.

A section of the aft wing spar was below the design’s required measurements in one area, he explained. “It was found in production. We found one rogue part.” But when the vendor couldn’t provide data on measurements at that location of the spar, the company decided to take the conservative approach and require the inspections. It affects the 32 M600s that have been delivered to customers to date.

Piper is on track to deliver 90 PA-28s this year—a combination of fixed-gear Archers and retractable-gear Arrows—and the 82nd Archer, which is the 900th Archer III that Piper has built, will be delivered to ATP Flight School next month. ATP recently committed to the delivery of 10 more Archers during 2018, for a total of 100 new Pipers since 2013, Caldecott said. “It’s going to be one of the largest single-engine orders, ever.”

Several other new trainer sales agreements represent more than 70 aircraft to be delivered over the next year, he added. Those aircraft will go to Aerosim Flight Academy, California Baptist University, AIMS Community College, Le Tourneau, Louisiana Tech, Big Bend Community College, Central Washington University, and Oklahoma State University, among other training providers.

Caldecott said that Piper was excited about the FAA’s rewrite of the FAR Part 23 certification requirements, adding that some Piper engineers contributed to the process. “We’re going to use it to our advantage,” he said. “It will lower costs.”

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Topics: Aviation Industry, Financial, EAA AirVenture

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