During a press luncheon on Monday, during the official start of EAA AirVenture 2022, Piper Aircraft President and CEO John Calcagno gave an update on several initiatives within the company, as Piper celebrates its 85th anniversary, as well as the 85th anniversary of the iconic Piper Cub at the event.
The most notable topic, which was first unveiled last week at Farnborough International Airshow, is the aircraft maker’s new partnership with CAE to develop an electric-powered Piper Archer PA-28-181 aircraft.
The plan calls for Piper and CAE to jointly develop a conversion kit for the Archer through a Supplemental Type Certificate and for CAE to develop pilot training. Calcagno said on Monday that CAE plans to convert two-thirds of its Archer fleet to the electric model within the next three years.
GlobalAir.com spoke with the Piper CEO at AirVenture. While Calcagno said he prefers to remain closed-lipped about specific research and development projects, he believes this initiative is a great fit.
“CAE plus Piper combined is 1-plus-1-equals-3 in this case,” he said. “We could not have a better partner.”
H55 of Switzerland is set to provide the battery pack system for the converted electric Archer, according to a statement from Piper. CAE is working with SAFRAN to incorporate the ENGINeUSTM 100 electric motor in the STC conversion kit.
Other announcements from Piper Aircraft during EAA AirVenture 2022
Piper also announced it has received the 1000th PT6A-42A engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada. The aircraft maker has been using the engine since production of the Piper Meridian began in 2000 and has been included on all Piper single-engine turboprop aircraft ever since.
Also, the company announced that the FAA has approved a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) for the Piper M600. This now qualifies the M600 to be operated under FAA part 135 charter operations.
Calcagno also addressed the state of the aircraft sales market, post-pandemic, saying demand for new and preowned aircraft is at an all-time high.
He said Piper sales are up $28 million, year to year, an increase of nearly 35%. Deliveries are up nearly 50% over the same timeframe, with the greatest growth coming from trainer aircraft sales, while Piper M-class aircraft deliveries are up 35%.