Williams Offers Details On PiperJet Engine

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Last year at the annual NBAA convention, Piper rolled out its proposed PiperJet, a Williams turbofan-powered single built up from its turboprop-powered Meridian. At the time, neither Piper nor Williams would say much about the personal jet's powerplant except that it would be designated the Williams FJ33-3AP. Now, Williams has released some additional details on its new engine, stressing that it expects to achieve up to a 4% fuel economy improvement over previous versions of Williams engines in its class. Williams said the engine to power Piper's jet will be based on the 3,000-lb-thrust FJ33A presently used aboard Cessna's Citation CJ3 and the forthcoming Grob SPn but de-rated to 2,400 lbs. of thrust. Once certified and after Piper gets its hands on the first few examples, Williams expects to make the new variant available for other aircraft.

According to the company, the -3AP's greater fuel economy is expected to result from aerodynamic enhancements throughout its internal flow, improvements the company tested and confirmed during its work to develop the FJ44-4A. Williams said it expects to obtain FAA certification of the FJ33-3AP during the first half of 2008. Piper wants to begin flight testing its PiperJet shortly thereafter, although it does not expect to begin deliveries until 2010. The PiperJet is slated to be a six/seven-seat machine eligible for single-pilot operations with a maximum certificated ceiling of FL350 and a cruise speed of 360 KTAS.