Piper Aircraft announced the certification of the Pilot 100 series flight training aircraft, with the first 8 Piper 100i models to deliver to American Flyers by the close of 2020. The most basic models in the Piper fleet—targeted to flight schools—round out the manufacturer’s lineup as an attempt to address the need for a reduced-cost platform specifically for economical private pilot and instrument rating instruction.
“We are excited to add the Pilot 100 series to our training product line at a price point that provides optimal economics for all operators”, said Piper’s president and CEO, Simon Caldecott. “During these uncertain times, our team has continued to remain focused and has worked diligently to bring to market an aggressively priced, proven trainer that offers the advanced systems and performance that flight schools and airline programs of all sizes desire.”
The 100 and 100i debuted at Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo 2019, and both feature instrument panels built around the Garmin 3X Touch. While the entry-level 100 remains VFR certified, the 100i is IFR-ready, and includes a standby Garmin G5 electronic flight display, and a Garmin GFC 500 autopilot in addition to the 3X Touch. Both offer two seats up front and a third observer seat for the rear.
The 100i is powered by a Lycoming IO-360-B4A with a two-blade Sensenich prop, resulting in a maximum cruise speed of 128 ktas, and a maximum range of 522 nm. Takeoff distance is given at 1,608 ft and landing distance is 1,400 ft. In 2020, the Piper 100 retailed for $259,000, and the 100i has been priced at $285,000. For 2021, Piper Aircraft will be building only the Pilot 100i based on orders, and the price point of that model is $298,000.