Launch customer American Flyers will receive the first eight Piper Pilot 100i trainers to enter service before the end of 2020, Piper Aircraft announced December 15.
With a base price of $285,000 for the IFR-capable Pilot 100i equipped with a Garmin G3X Touch avionics suite, and $259,000 for the VFR Pilot 100, Piper lopped nearly six figures off the $369,000 Archer TX price when it introduced the Pilot in April 2019.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill Tallman had to wait a bit to get her hands on a Pilot 100, thanks to high demand for the demo and some bad weather. When she finally tracked it down in Vero Beach, Florida, where Piper is based, she found the newest Piper’s handling familiar to those with time in an Archer or a Cherokee, sharing “a heft to the controls; no surprises during power-on and power-off stalls; and an ability to produce passenger-pleasing landings with relative ease.”
The airplane Tallman flew had a Continental Prime IO-370-D3A fuel-injected, 180-horsepower engine, though Piper has since opted to install the Lycoming IO-360-B4A, with the same horsepower, according to the aircraft specifications listed online.
American Flyers National Chief Pilot Steven Daun shared his own take on the IFR version, the Pilot 100i, in Piper’s press release:
"The Piper Pilot 100i is the perfect mix of simplicity and technology. The G3X avionics suite is the only glass platform that allows for toggling between round dial and tape displays in a touchscreen format,” Daun said. “This outperformed the G1000 suite on so many levels and was the primary reason we selected the Pilot 100i.”