The cockpit of the Avanti is very quiet. I'm sure much of that is due to the propellers being far behind, but also to the shape of the fuselage with its windshields fared into the gradual slope. The cabin is also very quiet in cruise, on par with jets of similar size, and seems to have no more vibration than the jets.
The flaps, which are electrically operated, have a very long 16-second extension time from up to what Piaggio calls the "mid" position, but is normally called takeoff and approach setting. The reason for the slow extension is that the flaps on the main and forward wing move in a sequence that minimizes pitch change. As the main wing flaps extend, the nose wants to pitch down as on most airplanes, so the forward wing flaps follow to counteract that pitch moment. You can detect two distinct "bumps" in the sequence where a little pitch force is transmitted back to the control wheel, but it is very minor and the whole sequence is well timed to create very little pilot workload. The maximum flap extension speed is a rather low 170 knots, and it's typical to extend the landing gear first, which can go down at airspeeds up to 181 knots. The flap extension from "mid" to landing during which all flaps move simultaneously takes only five seconds.
Approach speeds are high with Vref final approach target speed typically at 120 knots. Like most propeller airplanes the Avanti flies final approach nose-down and you need to level the airplane, but not flare, to keep it coming down without the airspeed bleeding off. The propellers can create considerable drag when the power is brought to idle so float above the runway is minimized. The Avanti's carbon brakes are powered by the hydraulic system, but unlike the jets, there is no locked wheel protection on touchdown, and no anti-skid protection on rollout, so it's best to use them sparingly, relying on the effective propeller reverse to slow. Test pilots can get the Avanti down and stopped without reverse in just under 3,300 feet of runway, but anybody with less expertise should consider using runways longer than that.
The Avanti II is approved for takeoff at 12,100 pounds in most countries, including the United States, but is restricted to 11,550 in some jurisdictions. In its standard configuration empty weight can be held down to about 7,800 pounds, though a little over 8,000 is more typical. The airplane I flew, which had a number of options, weighed in at 8,241 pounds empty. But even at that weight there is about 900 pounds of payload, not including the weight of a pilot, when the tanks are filled. That's equal to four to five passengers with baggage and that's not bad for a tanks-full trip.
The Avanti is manufactured in Genoa, Italy, where standard avionics are installed and the airplane is then ferried to Denton, Texas, for interior completion, paint and installation of optional avionics. The order backlog is now over 100 airplanes and the Avantair fractional program that operates only Avantis is going strong. Recently Piaggio has seen a number of flight departments add an Avanti to their fleet to compliment their midsize and larger jets on shorter trips or with fewer passengers. The cabin room in the main club seating area equals the midsize jets, yet a 500 or 600 nm trip takes only about 15 minutes more in the Avanti for about half the fuel.
The original Avanti delivered on the big majority of its fuel efficiency, speed and cabin comfort promises in the early 1990s, but then oil prices plunged and people's focus on efficiency changed and the airplane went out of production after a small run. Now the global focus is back on fuel and the Avanti's timing looks great. The Avanti II is a much more refined airplane than the original, and it compares favorably to any airplane in its price range for fit, finish and quality of materials. A service and support network is in place, and so is top level pilot training from FlightSafety International. But the airplane remains true to its design roots and delivers the most cabin space and cruise speed for each pound of fuel available. And these days, that is a very good thing.