Piper aircraft announced two new value-priced trainer airplanes at Sun N’ Fun in Lakeland Florida. The company showed off the proof of concept Piper Pilot 100 and Pilot 100i at the airshow.

Piper CEO Simon Caldecott said that the new airplanes are being designed for smaller flight schools that want new airplanes. He continued that “flight schools wanted an airplane with the durability and reliability of the Piper products, but at a price point affordable to local flight schools.”

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The new airplanes are being developed by Piper Aircraft following extensive research and the rapid expansion of trainer sales and increased demand for airplanes that could support the growing demand for professionally trained pilots.

“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 addthe Pilot 100 series to our training product line at a price point that provides optimal economics for all operators.”

Piper is planning a demo tour of the new airplanes to flight schools this summer. The manufacturer will be seeking additional input before finalizing the design and beginning production. The first deliveries of the new airplane will be available in 2020.

Piper Pilot 100

The basic Piper Pilot 100 training airplane will start at $259,000. The airplane will be powered by a 180-hp Continental Aerospace Technologies IO-370 Prime engine. Additional savings comes from the airplane being equipped with a lower-cost Garmin G3X Touch panel rather the Garmin G1000 NXi found in the Piper Archer.

The Pilot 100 only has seats for two occupants, with a third seat being an upgrade. The airplane will have a standard cruise speed of 128 ktas and a range of 522nm with 45 minutes of reserve fuel.

Piper Pilot 100i

The 100i is intended for instrument training and starts at a base price of $285,000. The airplane comes with the third seat as standard and includes a Garmin GFC500 autopilot.

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About Greg Thomson

Greg started his professional pilot journey in 2002 after graduating from Embry Riddle. Since that time he has accumulated close to 8,000 hours working as a pilot. Greg’s professional experience includes flight instructing, animal tracking, backcountry flying, forest firefighting, passenger charter, part 135 cargo, flying for a regional airline, and working as a manager in charge of a part 135 and part 121 training programs. Greg took a 5 year hiatus from flying and worked in software development and marketing. He has returned to flying and works for a major airline. Greg enjoys educating and helping pilots improve their professional lives and is passionate about applying technology and new methods to help with traditional challenges.