Piper Aircraft: New Emphasis on Training

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Piper's new CEO, Simon Caldecott, says the company has had a good year in 2012 so far and looking ahead for the rest of the year and to 2013, it sees the training market as a big driver. "One of the things we're going to do is to get back into the training market in a big way," Caldecott told AVweb in this podcast at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday. "When you look at the stand here and see that J-3 Cub there, training was the roots of Piper Aircraft and I believe that's what we need to be focused on, as well as our M-class [Mirage and Meridian] aircraft. We're going to really push hard on that and I expect to at least double our volume on trainers over the next two or three years."

Does Piper have in mind a new piston trainer? Not that Caldecott would admit to. "Why do we need a new plane when we've got the best single-engine trainer out there, is what I say. We have the best economics in terms of a trainer and it's a very robust aircraft. I'm sure we'll do some small tweaks just to keep it fresh," Caldecott said.