Piper Aircraft Inc. is taking a mock-up of its PiperJet Altaire on the road, along with a message of the company’s commitment to the development of the single-engine very light jet.
While the mock-up was on display at EAA AirVenture last week, Piper announced that the company has started fabrication of the Altaire’s first conforming flight-test article and that assembly will begin this month.
Company representatives said that Piper has allocated more than 200 engineers and production staff to the Altaire program in an attempt to hit a target inaugural flight date in 2012, as well as initial deliveries scheduled for 2014. In preparation for production, Piper has also poured $5.6 million in building improvements into its Vero Beach facilities.
Many of the PiperJet Altaire’s performance goals are the same as those of the original PiperJet, including a maximum cruise speed of 360 knots and a maximum range of 1,300. But the Altaire boasts a much more spacious cabin equipped with amenities that take the jet beyond a personal aircraft and into the realm of corporate comfort.
Piper will continue to showcase the Altaire throughout the year as it takes the mock-up to aviation events around the country.
Check out our in-depth coverage of the Altaire.