The new year is already full of airshows, conferences and opportunities for Piper Aircraft.
As we look forward to 2015, Piper plans another active year of events, which gives us an opportunity to meet with and break bread with Piper aficionados around the world.
We begin the year with a very special event in January where we will reveal details about a marvelous advancement for one of our iconic airplanes. I cannot tell you much more than that at this time, but stay tuned—and check Piper.com for details as they are disclosed. To get all of the latest Piper news notifications, follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/PiperAircraft), Twitter (twitter.com/PiperAircraft) or YouTube (youtube.com/PiperAircraftInc).
Round of airshows
In April we will be exhibiting at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. For those Piper enthusiasts on the Continent, we will be in Germany at Aero Friedrichshafen in April, and will make our annual pilgrimage to the Cannes Airshow in June.
We will also be represented at that greatest gathering of aviators in Oshkosh known as EAA AirVenture in July, and we will be represented again at the China Airshow in September.
NBAA's annual meeting and convention in Las Vegas is on tap for the fall of 2015, as is the fifth annual Redbird Migration.
Of course, we always look forward to seeing Piper buffs in Vero Beach—the winter months are a pretty good time to come see us at the factory!
Flight Training Conference
Reinforcing our strong commitment to the training of new pilots and our commitment to the continuous improvement training of existing pilots, we took a Piper Archer TX trainer to Texas for the annual Migration Flight Training Conference held at Redbird's San Marcos Skyport training laboratory last November.
The Piper Archer on display was equipped with the Garmin G1000 avionics suite and the Appareo Vision 1000 flight data management system for increased situational awareness. Additionally, Redbird exhibited its own G1000 equipped Piper Seminole twin-engine training aircraft.
The fourth annual Migration conference offered interactive sessions and more topic areas than ever. The most important of these were student-led experiential learning sessions in simulators; a "connected" airplane that plays a direct role in student training and teaching the economics of all-diesel training fleets.
"Migration is where we open the doors to our customers and show how specific Redbird products or projects fit into our ultimate goal of revitalizing the industry," said Charlie Gregoire, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Redbird Flight Simulations.
Redbird Flight Simulations is continually advancing the state of the art in pilot training and, as a leading manufacturer of simple and complex training platforms, we were delighted to be right there with them in this pursuit. Jerry Gregoire, Chairman of the Board of Redbird Flight Simulations, said, "We are especially pleased to have an aircraft manufacturer with Piper's strong commitment as a partner in our efforts."
Growing the global sales
and service networks
We have made a concentrated effort to build our global sales, service and parts distribution network to benefit the Piper community. Our highly qualified sales and service group is the key to our long-term success and to your customer satisfaction.
We have extended this global reach by appointing 30 carefully selected dealer/representatives. With over 55 sales professionals and over 100 service providers positioned around the world, Piper continues to strengthen this global footprint. We are proud of our sales and service team members—and proud of their decades and decades of Piper expertise and dedication.
Seminole and Garmin's GFC 700
In the fall of 2014 Piper Aircraft received Type Certificate change approval from the FAA to incorporate the Garmin GFC 700 flight control system into Garmin G1000-equipped twin-engine Seminoles. Moving the Seminole aircraft equipped with G1000 avionics to the Garmin GFC 700 is another step in giving buyers of new Piper airplanes the most modern cockpit experience possible and offers Seminole pilots a far more sophisticated level of integration and situational awareness.
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 and 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—incorporating the top-level safety and performance features found on that class of aircraft—the GFC 700's scalable architecture enables exceptional flight automation, precision and value in piston aircraft.
A fully digital dual-channel flight control system capable of using the depth and breadth of data available in the G1000 system, the GFC 700 offers inherent advantages in safety, redundancy and reliability, while optimizing performance over the airspeed envelope. Providing crisp flight maneuvering in response to Garmin's solid-state MEMS-based AHRS data, the GFC 700 is built to inspire confidence while ensuring optimum smoothness and comfort.
Additionally, the GFC 700 as certified in the Seminole includes ESP (Electronic Stability and Protection), which augments pilot vigilance—it assists, but does not take control.
ESP includes the following benefits:
• Enhances safety by providing
electronic stability and protection
for an aircraft being hand-flown
• Activates whenever the airplane exceeds one or more flight parameters
• Uses autopilot servos and sensors, yet operates when the autopilot is turned off
• Helps correct excessive pitch attitude, roll attitude, or airspeed
• Offers low airspeed protection (requires supported angle of attack/lift sensors)
to help prevent inadvertent stalls
• Can be overridden by the pilot
at any time
• Increases corrective pressure as
exceedances move beyond safe limits
• Gently returns the aircraft to
stable, straight-and-level flight
• Operates unobtrusively;
stimulates aircraft's natural stability
• Can be temporarily turned off for
training or flights where extreme
maneuvering is anticipated
According to Reuters News Agency, China's national civil aviation authority says the country will need to train about 500,000 civilian pilots by 2035. "This possible aviation boom comes as China allows private planes to fly below 1,000 meters [in 2015] without military approval," reports the agency. Commercial airlines are not affected, but more than 200 new firms have applied for General Aviation operating licenses, and China's business community is also eager for permits to fly their own planes. Reuters reports that the civil aviation authority's own training unit can only handle up to 100 students a year.
Piper has been an active but cautious player during these regulatory changes in China, as the potential could be large. Piper and one of our dealers there, Hanxing General Aviation Co., Ltd., exhibited a new unpressurized piston-powered Piper Matrix at Airshow China 2014, held last November in Zhuhai. It was Piper's first Matrix sold in that country.
Airshow China, formally the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, is the only international aerospace trade show in China endorsed by the Chinese central government. It features aircraft, trade talks, technological exchanges and flying displays. This was Piper's first aircraft exhibition in China since we received a Validation of Type Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for Piper M-Class aircraft.