4:05 PM

Piperjet Program to be unveiled at NBAA

Aero-News Network seems to be first on the Internets with huge news that New Piper will “officially” announce a new Piperjet program at the 2006 NBAA Convention October 17th-19th in Orlando.

But Piper CEO James Bass is having a tough time keeping a lid on the project, and has begun slipping a few juicy details into his public appearances:

At the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilot Association Annual get-together in Colorado Springs, CO recently, CEO Bass gave a limited presentation that seems to all but commit Piper to the development of a jet that sources say will be "positioned somewhere between a Piper Meridian and the HondaJet."
This is significant news because when we learned that Piper and Honda had inked a collaboration deal at Oshkosh, we assumed (at least I did) that the baby from that marriage would be a larger, faster craft more like the Hondajet than the Eclipse 500.

But the quote from Bass reported by ANN seems to indicate they are thinking smaller, with the Piperjet indeed courting Eclipse and Adam A700 buyers instead of Embraer Phenom 100, Raytheon Premier and Cessna Mustang buyers. Could that also mean a price point closer to the Eclipse? I’ve been waiting for another maker to come along and give Raburn a run for his money price wise, because it has always been rather interesting how he can build and sell the E500 for one point two million and change, when anything else in the private jet market will set up back at least another million.

New Piper – which has a page found HERE on their website where you can sign up for future factory updates on the Piperjet project – is serious enough about this deal to take your refundable $10,000 deposit on a plan they have yet to even announce. Now that requires some gold standard confidence in an airplane company.

At this posting, we have no idea what a Piperjet will look like or how much it will cost, but this we do know: Another steed is about to blast from the starting gate to join this VLJ & LJ horse race...a race by the way that has yet to even reach the first furlong pole.

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