Oregon Flight School to Buy 10 Piper Aircraft

The manufacturer also announced at Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo that it is partnering with DeltaHawk for engine development.

Hillsboro Aero Academy has ordered five Archer TX aircraft, Piper Aircraft announced Tuesday.
[Courtesy: Piper Aircraft]

The Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo is always a busy time for aircraft manufacturers, and it certainly has begun that way for Piper Aircraft. On Tuesday, the first day of the show, the Florida-based manufacturer announced the sale of 10 aircraft to Hillsboro Aero Academy (HAA) in Oregon.

According to Piper, HAA has purchased five Archer TX and five Pilot 100i aircraft, with the first delivery scheduled for early 2027.

"We're excited to collaborate with Hillsboro Aero Academy in supplying cutting-edge training aircraft and look forward to welcoming them into the Piper Flight School Alliance," said Ron Gunnarson, Piper’s vice president of marketing, sales and customer support. "Piper is known for providing flight schools with durable and reliable trainers, and we're confident these aircraft will help them grow their mission to provide thorough and cost-effective flight training to students in the world’s finest training aircraft."

Hillsboro Aviation Academy was established in 1980 and over the decades has trained pilots in both airplanes and helicopters from 75 countries. The school has two locations for airplane pilot training in Hillsboro, west of Portland, and in Redmond, Washington.

"Our commitment at Hillsboro Aero Academy is to provide top-notch training for our students, and these new aircraft will be pivotal in achieving that objective," said Nik Kresse, vice president of airplane operations at HAA. "We are pleased to announce the purchase of these 10 new aircraft from Piper and look forward to this new partnership."

Diesel and DeltaHawk Engines

The sale to the flight school wasn't the only news Piper announced Tuesday. The company has also entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Wisconsin-based DeltaHawk Engines.

According to Piper, the MOU will facilitate a collaborative effort aimed at exploring the feasibility of integrating DeltaHawk's diesel engine into Piper's PA-44 Seminole aircraft.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Piper Aircraft on this exciting project," said Christopher Ruud, CEO of DeltaHawk. "Our advanced diesel engine technology has been developed to meet the evolving needs of the aviation industry, and we see tremendous potential in integrating it into Piper's PA-44 Seminole."

The MOU outlines the development of a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the installation of DeltaHawk's diesel engine into both new and retrofitted Seminole aircraft. The Seminole is one of the most popular multiengine trainers in existence and is used by flight schools around the world.

DeltaHawk  manufactures FAA-certified, jet-fueled piston engines for GA aircraft and hybrid power systems. 

"We are excited for this collaboration to install the DHK engine into the Seminole for many reasons, especially knowing the reliability of DeltaHawk’s engines." said Marc Ouellet, Piper’s vice president of engineering and manufacturing. "Working with DeltaHawk on this project aligns with our mission to explore cutting-edge technologies that can deliver significant benefits to our customers and the industry as a whole."

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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