Following the lead of the established jet manufacturers, Piper is guaranteeing the basic performance of the PiperJet. The airplane is guaranteed to meet the 360-knot max cruise speed with a +5 percent/-2.5 percent margin; full-fuel payload of 800 pounds is promised with a +/-5 percent margin; and the 1,300 nm IFR range has the same expected margin of error.
Piper has not released runway requirements for takeoff and landing, or rates of climb. No weights, either empty or maximums, have been announced, but that is becoming typical of jet development programs. What prospective owners really care about is speed, payload and range, not some arbitrary empty weight or maximum takeoff weight. Company officials do say that they plan for the airplane to meet the 61-knot maximum stall speed that is standard for single-engine airplanes, and that they will certify under the normal category one-turn spin requirement, also a standard for single-engine airplanes.
Developing the PiperJet is easily the most costly and complicated project in the company's 75-year history. And so far, no single-engine jet of this size and performance has been certified in the normal category. Piper President Jim Bass says he has the backing of parent company American Capital Strategies, which is fully prepared to fund the program. Piper received orders with deposits for the PiperJet before any details were announced and booked many more after the mock-up and performance goals were revealed at NBAA. The beautifully crafted metal mock-up of the PiperJet drew some of the biggest crowds at the convention, a huge hall full of every size and category of business jet. Now the hard work begins. Making the PiperJet a reality.