The first PiperJets should be rolling off the production line and into owners' hands around the middle of 2013, company spokesman Mark Miller told AVweb on Wednesday. The company had previously announced a target date of 2011 to 2012, but Miller said a new analysis has enabled the staff to better assess the market and pinpoint a completion date. PiperJet position holders were notified of the delay this week. (Sample letter in PDF format.) Miller said the project is healthy and the company's new owner, Imprimis, which took over in May, has been providing an influx of resources and capital for the jet. "We're in the process of hiring 50 new engineers to work on the project," Miller said. Piper had announced at NBAA last week that the jet will feature the new Garmin G3000 touchscreen-controlled three-screen integrated flight deck.
The G3000 aims for intuitive operation with an icon-driven interface, and enhances Piper's goal to make the jet user-friendly, the company said. The PiperJet proof-of-concept aircraft has so far logged more than 230 hours of flight time and 160 flights. Click here for a video introduction to the G3000 from NBAA last week.