Piper Aircraft has been busy. Busy adding to the 130,000 airplanes the company has built since it began with the iconic Cub over 75 years ago—and busy supporting the thousands of airplanes flying daily on every continent of the world. In March, Piper delivered the company's 550th Meridian. It went to a Swedish customer.
This year Piper Aircraft added to the pilot training fleets of flying schools across the globe, reinforcing its commitment to helping the aviation industry regenerate itself by bringing new flyers into the fold.
Training new pilots
The Aeronautics Division at Kent State University's College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology is getting two new Piper Arrow trainers this year for its own airport in Stow, Ohio. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University gets five news Arrows for its Daytona Beach campus. Prince Aviation of Belgrade, Serbia, took delivery of a new G1000 Seminole for its flight training fleet.
Piper also took orders for three Piper Seminoles from the UND Aerospace Foundation which provides training and aircraft for the University of North Dakota's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. These aircraft will join the UND aviation department's growing fleet of trainers. Piper also delivered another five new Piper Archer TX training aircraft to the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla.
Oshkosh adventure for really good kids
A number of years ago, Woodland Elementary School fifth grade teacher Eric Vander Loop's teacher's aide shared that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer. In this unfortunate situation, Vander Loop saw an opportunity to help while teaching his students about kindness to strangers.
Last summer, that opportunity presented itself at one of aviation's premier events. EAA, AOPA and Piper Aircraft hosted a special group of students and their teacher from Appleton, Wis., during EAA's AirVenture Oshkosh 2014.
Since Vander Loop took action, students at the school district in Appleton have raised more than $120,000 for cancer research—a compassionate outcome that earned Vander Loop a recent invitation to represent the Milwaukee Brewers during the All-Star Game as one of 30 winners of People magazine's and Major League Baseball's All-Star Teachers campaign, presented by Target. The students that began the program in fifth grade are high school juniors today.
When we read about Vander Loop and his students in the People article, we thought of friends and family who have also been impacted by cancer. At Piper, we also saw an opportunity to reach out to an extraordinary teacher and his special students by giving them a day to remember at AirVenture Oshkosh.
Vander Loop and his students had their admissions to AirVenture and lunches provided by Piper, and we enlisted the support of EAA and AOPA to make the day even more special. EAA gave the group a VIP tour, and AOPA offered the kids a free membership in its AV8Rs program for aspiring aviators. We think stories like this best reflect Piper's attitude and commitment to the communities of which we are a part—locally and globally.
Garmin GFC 700 approved
This year Piper also worked with the FAA to get Amended Type Certificate approval to incorporate the Garmin GFC 700 autopilot system in new Garmin G1000-equipped twin-engine Seneca V aircraft.
Moving the Twin-Class Seneca V equipped with G1000 avionics to the Garmin GFC 700 is another step in giving buyers the most modern cockpit experience possible. The G1000 and GFC 700 are providing Seneca pilots a more sophisticated level of capability.
Fully integrated with the G1000 glass flight deck, the GFC 700 is an advanced AHRS-based automatic flight control system that provides flight director, autopilot, yaw damper, automatic and manual electric trim capabilities and brings a high level of digital sophistication to General Aviation flight control.
Originally designed to fly on turbine aircraft—and incorporating the top-level safety and performance features found on that class of aircraft—the GFC 700's scalable architecture enables exceptional flight automation.
Mirage named "Best of the Best"
Piper is also pleased to report that its pressurized piston-powered Mirage was named "Best of the Best Personal Aircraft for 2014" by the Robb Report. "A pressurized cabin, six seats, and a full-size airstair door are unusual features for a piston-powered single-engine aircraft, but they are part of the package with the Piper Mirage," wrote the luxury lifestyle magazine.
"While the plane is designed primarily for utility and efficiency, Piper did not overlook comfort," according to the publication. "The cabin features roomy leather-upholstered fold-down club seats, electric outlets for personal devices, reading lights, and an easily accessible interior baggage compartment."
Most popular piston twin in China
Another positive recognition came when the Piper Seminole was named the Most Popular Twin-Engine Propeller Aircraft in China by U-Jet, China's first exclusive journal for private aviators. U-Jet is published under auspices of the General Administration of Press and Publication of China and is the nation's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to the subject of private flying.
In the area of foreign approvals, Piper received a Validation of Type Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for its top-of-the-line M-Class single-engine aircraft. The Piper M-Class series consists of the turboprop Piper Meridian, the pressurized piston-powered Piper Mirage and the unpressurized piston-powered Piper Matrix.
The company also received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to incorporate the Garmin G1000 avionics suite, as well as the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 Pro standby PFD into new twin-engine Piper Seneca V aircraft.
Piper Aircraft Inc. was one of the first manufacturers to adopt the G1000 software for a three-display avionics suite as standard equipment equipped from the factory in its Seneca V. Garmin's G1000 is a seamlessly integrated all-glass avionics suite that makes flight information easier to scan and process, reducing pilot workload.
The G1000, with the standard three-display glass screens for the Seneca V, gives pilots rich flight-critical data that provides exceptional situational awareness and contributes to safer flight. Garmin's G1000 system offers pilots intuitive and advanced technology with increased levels of situational awareness, simplicity and safety.
EASA also approved Piper Seminoles and Archers to be equipped at the factory with Garmin G1000 avionics and the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 Pro standby PFD. The Aspen Evolution EFD1000 is proving to be a popular option in the United States for Piper's training-class aircraft and with additional approval of the system for the 32 EASA member states, Piper can offer the system to even more flight training programs. Piper is also the first OEM to install the Aspen EFD1000 as a standby system.
Piper and Continental Motors Group collaborated to obtain an EASA STC for Piper Archer aircraft powered by the Centurion 2.0S diesel engine. The prototype aircraft was unveiled in Germany last April and began a marketing and demonstration tour throughout Europe.
The milestone development by Piper and Continental represents a continuation of Piper's strategy to provide multiple fuel solutions for customers. This is the next step in ensuring that future Piper owners and operators have access to more economical and readily available fuel supplies, especially in Europe where traditional leaded Avgas is hard to find and expensive.
Piper and Aircraft Technical Publishers (ATP) have recently introduced electronic Pilot Operating Handbook (E-POH) libraries for Piper's M-Class and Twin-Class aircraft using ATP's HubConnect™ App for iPad®. These libraries—for Meridians, Matrixes, Mirages, Seneca Vs and Seminoles—give operators and owners anywhere access to the documentation necessary to support compliance and safety.
All E-POH libraries from ATP include ADs, Service Bulletins (SBs) and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIBs) related to the specific aircraft model. Libraries also include Advisory Circular (AC) 43-16A maintenance alerts and the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Daily revision services for all content are included with an E-POH library subscription.
Additionally, Piper has taken its website a notch up. The refreshed Piper.com has a super-clean look and feel, including user-friendly functionality for Piper owners, operators, dealers and customers. The website makes it easier and quicker for Piper loyalists to engage with us through the internet.
The site features an interactive paint scheme selector for the company's top-of-the-line M-Class aircraft and the Piper Seneca V. It also has a fully interactive, 360-degree tour of our airplanes, a competing aircraft comparison tool, and video content.
The site's new aesthetic features high-impact visuals with a responsive format that has been optimized for mobile devices to provide a better browsing experience. The site offers easier access to Piper's important online content areas, including in-depth profiles of the entire Piper product line, global sales and dealer contacts, product support networking, parts and warranty, technical publications, event schedules, financing and tax information, a photo gallery, leadership summaries, employment opportunities and press releases.