100th Piaggio Avanti Delivered
An all-but-forgotten product of the 1980s-era Burt Rutan-inspired canard-based design for business turboprops celebrated its 100th delivery this month. And, no, it wasn't a Beech/Raytheon Starship, which has since been sort of "decommissioned" by the company after only 53 examples took to the skies. Instead, it was the Piaggio Avanti P.180 that has finally achieved that milestone; the C-note aircraft was delivered on Oct. 10 to Avantair at the Piaggio America facilities in West Palm Beach, Fla. The 100th Avanti was liveried in a customized Avantair paint scheme. “This is a proud moment for everyone at Piaggio,” said Jim Holcombe, COO and executive VP of sales and marketing of Piaggio America. “We are looking forward to delivering the next 100, and are quite confident the best is yet to come.” The first Avanti production model flew in May 1990, and was certified in October 1990; the Italian-designed and -built aircraft is certified for single-pilot operation and seats up to nine passengers. Piaggio America Inc. completes, delivers and supports the Avanti aircraft in North America. Holder of numerous speed records, the Avanti is capable of flying over 1,700 nm at up to 395 KTAS and is certified to cruise at FL410. At 69” in height and 73” wide, the Avanti features a stand-up cabin that is larger than many mid-size jets.