Piper celebrated its 75th anniversary over the weekend with a fly-in that drew Piper airplanes from every era to the company’s headquarters in Vero Beach, Florida.
Several hundred people came out to the event to pay tribute to the storied manufacturer, enjoy a factory tour, visit with aviation vendors and take in the sights and sounds of the varied aircraft that made the trip. Among them were several dozen Piper Cubs, along with countless other Piper icons, including everything from the company’s first twin-engine airplane, the Apache, to numerous Cherokees.
Fly-in attendees were also treated by Piper employees to a short lesson on the history of the manufacturer, which traces back to the dawn of GA itself and has taken a number of different turns over the course of seven and a half decades.
Despite the poor economic climate prevailing in aviation today, Piper’s celebratory milestone comes amidst positive revenue reports from the company. At the NBAA Convention the company announced revenue from new aircraft sales through the third quarter of 2012 is up more than 15 percent over the same period in 2011, thanks in large part to the success of Piper’s M-Class single-engine airplanes.
At the weekend event, Piper also announced a partnership with the Florida Institute of Technology, which will take delivery of eight Piper Archer TX training airplanes next year, with the option for 16 additional aircraft. The airplanes will come equipped with Garmin’s G1000 suite, which will also be offered in all Piper Archer and Piper Seminole airplanes beginning next year.