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PiperJet Development Suspended

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Caldecott also indicated that after an evaluation, planned development costs for the Altaire had “risen above the point that would be recoverable under foreseeable light jet market projections.” Given that the program was “on budget”, their market projections were likely counting on significant orders from VLJ charter operations that would be an alternative to airlines, which have not materialized. Combined with the weak economy and anti-aviation policies of the Obama administration, the… (airinsight.com) עוד...

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HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 0
One cool lookin jet I believe we won't ever see again.......that's too bad
BoeingFan59
Troy Raiteri 0
That's very bad news to hear. I was really looking forward to it.
ScottPrime
Scott Prime 0
This is truly sad! More jobs lost for Piper/Vero Breach and America! My father was a Electrical Engineer for Piper in Vero Beach for over 35 yrs. I remember a time when the plant in the mid 60's up to the mid 70's was producing 17 aircraft a day! Now they only produce 3 or 4 aircraft a week! I blame all of our politicians and lawyers for the downfall of General Aviation and America! We are a fallen country! All for GREED!
chalet
chalet 0
Scott you are missing one important and distinguished group of Americans who are laughing all the way to the bank: the damn bankers and Wall St. who made off with millions and Uncle Sam had to step in to save the country´s financial system, if not the world´s.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 0
Here we go again......
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Ashamed the political climate comes into play. The current administration apparently think they need jets but not private industry or individuals. Reminds me of "animal farm".
bishops90
Brian Bishop 0
Very true! Unfortunately, that work of literature is no longer required reading in our educational system.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Just general thoughts. Caldecott is probably being very realistic in looking at the market; regardless whether on budget or not, if they don't deem the investment recoverable, it is best to cut your losses and get out of the venture. Private industry is in business to make a profit and if it can't they will go out of business and there will be no jobs at all. It is sad that the economy and our current administration has really brought this on but that's life. Hindsight being 20-20, I think Piper made a big mistake back in the late 60's-early seventies. They were going head to head with Cessna and when the turboprop Navajo hit the market they really jumped out there. They should have taken that tecnology and brought a jet to market then, but Cessa jumped out there with the citation and now with all the others, they are a johnny come lately, regardless of how good their product would have been.IMHO
bishops90
Brian Bishop 0
Agreed Wayne, Always on point. Do a F/A search by aircraft type at any given time and see how many Citations are in the air!
pilot0987
pilot0987 0
One of the better looking VLJs coming out. Its funny, because the people that are talking down the industry are the ones that abuse it the most. Im talking about the current adminstration, they don't fly commercial. Thats all I am saying.
jcarey805
Jeff Carey 0
Name an administration that flew commercially
grinch59
Gene Nowak 0
Not only this administration but think about the past ones. Even "W" had a complete runway built at his ranch so he could fly Air Force One home every other week on vacation.
otooleco
Sean OToole 0
And the really cool part of that was the stealth technology that was employed. The runway is completely invisible from both the sky overhead and the ground.
grinch59
Gene Nowak 0
Oh, and let's not forget all those Congressmen from both sides of the aisle. They use their private air force of Gulfstream jets to fly them on vacation, sorry I mean, "Fact Finding Missions", all over the world instead of staying home and doing what they were elected to do, watch out for the best interests of their electorate!
skuttlerats
Jeffrey Babey 0
I requested and received all the info from Des Moines Flying Service Inc. I got the folder with all the info and specs and it was masterfully done to sell this wonderful new jet. This was my motivational photo I use to motivate myself to work harder to afford the 2.5 million this jet would have cost. So sorry to see the program cancelled.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 0
Sad ain't it? - I've had a Citation X as my Facebook Avatar on and off for the same reason (not that I'd ever REALLY own one - but who knows, right?)
skuttlerats
Jeffrey Babey 0
Very sad. Citation X is a great plane. Fastest civilian plane out there at Mach.92
Keep the dream alive Brian! Dreams do come true, usually when you least expect it.
preacher1
preacher1 0
I got to agree with Jeffrey: I cut my teeth on and got an introduction to turbine technology on a Navaho in the late 60's. All that wound up with corporate contacts and starting out as FE on a corporate owned 707, that took me through the left seat and then into a new 757, from which I retired but got typed/rated and all that in a brand new 767-200 ER afew months ago. That made me want to come out of retirement.LOL Don't ever lose that dream, man. You don't know what will come your way.
skuttlerats
Jeffrey Babey 0
What Wayne said! :) My father built the avionics for the 767 and sadly the 777 before his death in 1998 (sadly because we never got to fly in it together because of his strokes in 1993, United had invited us). He worked on the Space Shuttle Main Engine Team back in the 70's before moving over to commercial aviation in the 80's & 90's.
He was part of the Functional Inertial Reference Team at Honeywell Coon Rapids Minnesota. Never be afraid to dream, my father started as a poor farm boy but became a genius at laser guided gyros. Thats awesome Wayne! sorry for rambling!
simfgta
Sergio Munoz 0
Looks like the general aviation airplane companies havent had much luck on the single engine jets... maybe its too soon to start selling those type of aircraft
mpradel
Marcus Pradel 0
Single engine works, just take the Pilatus & TBM examples.

Certification is just too expensive in the US. Let's review the 787: it took 2.5 year from roll out to first flight, 2 more years for certification.
mduell
Mark Duell 0
The delays were largely production issues (rework) and failures (P100 panel).
LeeBurk
Lee Burk 0
@Gene Nowak: You're absolutely wrong. And it's people like you who write and say things they have no knowledge of that causes others to rant and rave about complete falsities. There is no runway built at the ranch of George W. And whoever told you that or started that rumor is in my opinion idiotic. Do you really believe that would not have been a media firestorm if it had happened? Air Force One flew into the TSTC Airport (CNW) almost exclusively when W went home to his ranch in Crawford. This is the former James Connally Air Force Base. Next time, get your facts straight before posting.
LeeBurk
Lee Burk 0
@Gene Nowak: Maybe your confusing a runway at the Prarie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX (W's) to the runway that WAS built by LBJ at his ranch in the Texas Hill Country. The 707 never landed there but smaller jets being utilized as Air Force One did on occasion.
grinch59
Gene Nowak 0
Excuse me, I stand corrected. Your are right in that I was thinking about LBJ's ranch.
ap23ap
A M 0
Bush normally flew in and out of TSTC Waco Airport (the former Connally Air Force Base that is now owned by Texas State Technical College) on Air Force One, and was shuttled on Marine One to the ranch.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 0
Disagree with this decision and management of the program in general - the re-engineering of the Piperjet with a completely new cabin after they already flew the prototype must have skyrocketed the development costs, so now with deposits taken (i.e. customers waiting for their airplanes) they say they can't make a profit, meanwhile Eclipse is re-launching their jet as the 550.

The market is there - even the Cirrus jet is dead, so they can court those customers, you have to spend money to make money, and then it takes time to break even, the real money-making is in aftermarket support, not straight sales.

One good move by Caldecott (though we'll see if he lasts long enough to implement it) is to get back into the trainer business. Use the profits from selling the little planes to develop the big planes, then one day the big planes pay for themselves.
cheshire
Cal Keegan 0
It's sad; I feel like single-engine is a smart/interesting approach to an affordable VLJ. Still, I also agree with Wayne Bookout that the leaders of the business have to make a business decision and if they felt it wasn't going to work financially or the risks were too great then it was their fiduciary duty to cancel the program.

I'm not qualified to pass judgment on wingscrubber's assertion that the program was poorly managed, but it wouldn't really surprise me -- Piper has been in relative decline for decades.
tarbaby
phil gibson 0
First of all.......it is a Single Engine aircraft......as good a concept as it was....the only customers would have been wealthy individuals who would just have a toy for personal use.....not near the ROI Piper had in mind. It was a call by Piper that had to be made(painfully). It truly effects an ENTIRE industry.........a really sad case for all of America......
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Clear reflection of the US economic downturn and as importantly speaks to and ETA for an upturn which, clearly, some pretty smart people a Piper see as being later than sooner. Bummer but I bet it won't be the last to bail. Diamond is trying to scrape together government money to keep themselves on track.
davysims
David Sims 0
I just never saw a market for these VLJ aircraft, and I don't expect many of them will survive the economy. The idea was for a light jet that could be owner flown for close to $1 million. Unfortunately that price was a a pipe dream, as most of them cost $2-5 million, and still don't perform much if any better than a turboprop that can be had for half the price. Those that can afford to spend the money on a jet, have no problem spending the extra few million to buy a CJ2 or similar aircraft that gets much better performance numbers.

Not to mention, the used jet market is way down these days, ever since the economic downturn and political pressure has forced many companies to rethink their flight departments.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
perhaps the aircraft have been poorly marketed and should have been positioned as "sky taxis" and a business of sorts built around that concept.
chalet
chalet 0
Dan didn`t they tell you that a twin VLJ called the Eclipse was bought, nothing less than 150 of them by a company called DayJet which offered some kind of air taxi serice in Florida firstly and planned to go nationwicde. A seat for a flight from Miami to Gainsville, FL cost $ 440+ when a ticket on a regular airline run 150-250. And those planes did not have a potty and at each station DayJet encouraged passengers to go to the toilette before the plane left...... Well DayJet went bankrupt in a few weeks. The Eclipse had two engines whereas the ugly looking Piper thing had just one and the price was $ 3 million. Not even extremely rich people were going to buy it, lets face it, one single engine has its risks. Too bad for the fine engineers and workers at Piper but their management made a big blunder on this one. By the way the original manufacturer of the Eclipse based in New Mexico went belly up and are trying to resuscitate it by manufacturing them in Poland, of all places!!!. Can`t understand it at all.
piperfly
Douglas Hollingsworth 0
Actually,The Eclipse jet was bought by Sikorsky and they have started taking orders for new jets and starting production soon.
chalet
chalet 0
Sikorsky took only a minority interest in Eclipse, not total ownership, so the plans to move manufacturing to Poland is for real however it appears that the final decision will be made only depending on the actual number of new orders.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Sikorsky made a poor investment regardless of the $s. The Eclipse is, IMHO, toast. Only opportunity I could have seen would be if an Indian, Chineese, Russian (?) company who are building new indigenous aircraft and were looking for a quick move forward may have bought the IP. Even that said, is there anywhere in the world for that matter where there exists a healthy market for a VLJ? A healthy market can absorb only so much whether it be bigger or smaller aircraft. The VLJ market really is sized for the private market (6 pax) but in order to make money, corporate customers would be required. Ain't gonna happen, even in a good economy. No American millionaires buying these days and not sure even that would have been enough to sustain their business model.
chalet
chalet 0
I never understood the investment made by Sikorsky as that must have rattled the hell out of the other airframe manufacturers who will think twice, thrice or more next time they have to go out to buy turbo engines for their aiframes, P&W is not now at the top their list.
piperfly
Douglas Hollingsworth 0
I am sad to hear the news about the Piper jet but it does not surprise me. Piper has had a hard time making it the last few years. It seems like they are being bought by somebody else every couple of years. Ever since they left the multiengine market, they have had problems. The only twins they sell are the Seneca and the Seminole. No turboprops or jets like Cessna and Beech. That is the type of aircraft a corp. or rich person is going to want to travel on. The Meridian does not have a potty or food storage on it so only a few people are going to want to travel long distance on it. Even the Cessna Caravan has a potty in the very back so it is better equipt.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
You raise an interesting point with Piper. I would suspect that as one progresses through their personal history of flying that a brand loyalty starts to imprint itself. With Piper not having that "stretch goal" - ie. turboprop or jet that it would not bode well for a "customer for life" business model. Clearly Cessna and Beech can provide that pathway, Piper cannot.
chalet
chalet 0
Same old story, too many airframe manufacturers offering too many products all chasing fewer and fewer customers. If you add up all of the jet aircraft models offered by Cessna, Embraer, Beech, Bombardier, Gulfstream you have nothing less than FIFTY (yes, five zero). How can they make any money even in good times.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Thanks for that most interesting information! Was not aware of that. Seems like the whole movement towards the VLJ was ill timed.

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