PiperJet Photo Tour

**Piper is currently working on a proof-of-concept PiperJet at its Vero Beach, Florida, factory. During our visit in July, the fuselage was coming along nicely. Around that time, Piper announced a redesign to the tail, giving it a dramatic 30-degree?Photos By: Robert Goyer
John Becker, who heads up the engineering for the PiperJet, next to the proof-of-concept, which is expected to fly sometime next year.
Test articles that Piper is using to document a new method of sealing fuel tanks. So far so good.
The extremely precise aluminum mold that Piper is using to form the wing skins for the PiperJet.
Many of the skins on the PiperJet will be bonded using a technique known as foaming adhesive bonding (FAB). Here Becker points out the fuselage skins bonded to the built-up aluminum formers.
The heart and soul of the PiperJet is the Williams FJ44 turbofan that will power it. Because it's a single-engine jet, the airplane will need to stall as slowly as a piston single, 61 knots, and Piper intends for it to do just that.
Taped to the fuselage of the proof-of-concept is the ultimate vision. This POC will fly sometime next year, and Piper plans to have the PiperJet certified by 2010.
The fuselage of the PiperJet is based on the P&W; PT6 powered Meridian. Strong and time-tested, the fit is perfect, Piper believes, for the evolution of a jet-powered Piper.
Looking into the forward fuselage of the PiperJet. While there are strong similarities to the Meridian, the design differences, including the addition of a tail-mounted engine, will require thousands of engineering changes to the model.