Piper Aircraft yesterday announced that it would introduce a new low-cost trainer based on the enduring PA-28 platform.
Named the Pilot 100, the new aircraft will match a PA-28 airframe with a 180-hp Continental motor and Garmin G3X avionics to create a training aeroplane expected to sell for around $US259,000.
"With the unprecedented demand for professional pilots, our team worked closely with several key suppliers to deliver an aggressively priced, proven trainer that offers the advanced systems and performance that flight schools and airline programs of all sizes desire," said Piper President and CEO, Simon Caldecott.
"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."
According to Piper, the company identified the need for a new trainer aircraft at a price point that could support the growing demand for professionally trained pilots following extensive research and a spike in demand for their existing trainers, particularly the Archer TX.
The Pilot 100 features several new components like the Continental Prime IO-370-D3A engine, which was introduced after collaboration with the manufacturer.
“We congratulate Piper Aircraft for their vision, ability to gauge the market trends, and their commitment to the training market," said Rhett C. Ross, President, and CEO, Continental Aerospace Technologies. "We are very excited to collaborate with Piper on the new Prime certified engine design.
"We worked with the Piper engineering team to make sure that they benefit not only from an outstanding but also from all the enhancements that we have incorporated in our new engine line. This translates into smooth and trouble-free operations for flight academies and schools to let them concentrate on their primary mission: training rather than maintenance."
Piper will also introduce the Pilot 100i, an IFR version that includes the, Garmin G3X Touch, GFC500 autopilot, the new GNX 375 and is priced at $285,000 dollars.
Both aircraft versions are expected to be available in limited quantities beginning in 2020.