Piper Announces 90-Ship Deal With AeroGuard Flight Training Center

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Piper announced yesterday (Nov. 14) it has received an order for 90 Archer TX training aircraft from AeroGuard Flight Training. AeroGuard has four locations, three in the U.S. and one in Saudi Arabia. The company specializes in airline training, partnering with training providers at Cathay Pacific, SkyWest and Korea Aerospace University, among other airline and university partners throughout the Middle East, India and other Asian regions.

AeroGuard, which says it has graduated more than 7,000 cadets, already operates Piper trainers, and the new order will almost double its fleet to more than 200 aircraft. The 180-horsepower, fixed-pitch-propeller Archer TX (list price around $400,000) is equipped with the Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite, including the G5 standby display. The trainer’s factory-standard flight-school interior is “designed to withstand the rigors of flight training,” according to Piper. Air conditioning is available as an option.

Joel Davidson, AeroGuard CEO, said, “With these additional aircraft, AeroGuard has the capacity to welcome hundreds of new airline cadets to our pilot training programs.” Piper president and CEO John Calcagno said, “We pride ourselves in the relationship we build with schools such as AeroGuard and on the training aircraft we provide them, known for their reliability and ease of use, to train the next generation of pilots.”

The news was released at this week’s Dubai (UAE) Airshow.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I cannot imagine how much per hour those aircraft will rent for. When I started my flight training, I was flying beat up roaches 25-30 years old. Nothing new for me.

    Emergency procedures were a breeze for me. The aircraft I flew, many things didn’t work on them anyway. We had A/C in the winter and heat in the summer. )

  2. It seems to me that both Cessna and Piper have given working on airplanes people will buy as their personal airplanes, and are just interested in making airplanes for large airline flight academies.

  3. It’s not so much Cessna and Piper have “given up” on personal aircraft. They are responding to economic realities.

    Using 1966 as a reference year (I was a 15 year old kid hanging around the local airport), a brand new, high end C172 sold for around $13,300. The median household income in the U.S. that year was $7,400, and the average price of a new single family home was $21,400.

    In 2023 that brand new high end 172 will cost around $400,000, while the median household income is around $74,580 (2022, latest year data is available). That new single family house? About $410,200.

    Couple that with other skyrocketing costs and the personal aircraft makes little sense. In 1986, the year I sold a Piper Colt I had owned for a few years, I said if you had to ask how much a gallon of gas, or an annual inspection cost, you could not afford to own an airplane. Now I would say if you have to ASK how much it costs to BUY an airplane, you can’t afford it.

    • They built far more airplanes in the 60’s 70’s and early 80’s than they do today. The economies of scale and the competition of old airplanes no one thought would still be flying is why prices are so high.

      The same thing happened post WWII. Stinson went out of business because a $5700 Stinson 108 couldn’t compete with a war surplus Cub and they were cranking out Stinsons as fast as possible.

    • Ken S

      Thanks for adding the missing word. The highest volume producer of GA certified piston airplanes is Cirrus. The majority of those airplanes are going to private owners. This is the market Cessna and Piper used to own.

      There have been no new products out of Cessna or Piper since the 1990’s. Textron in particular, obviously has no interest in growing their piston line. This is a fact not a value judgement.

    • The InflationCalculator.com site shows your $7,400 in 1966 is $70,270 and change today. Easily affordable. You’re getting more airplane now (G1000), but not nearly six times more. Scale and lawyers (and juries that think an insurance payout is free money) have taken their toll.

  4. According to Forbes, “…..20% to 30% of the price of an aircraft is simply related to the manufacturer self-insuring against product liability. That’s a real, key factor in prices.

  5. Not mentioned in the article are the locations of the airports these operations are to be based out of. I just retired from ATC (43 years) out of an airport in southern California that has several training schools located there. For a single-runway airport, we were extremely busy, especially with student pilots and student instructors, sometimes pattern work had to be curtailed due to workload. This will not go as smoothly as the companies think, especially with the air traffic controller shortage. Good luck.

  6. Pleasure flying in your owned acft is pricey.
    Notice the author of this interesting piece states he’s “former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.” This may reflect the simple facts that individual acft ownership is a business decision.
    And at WMU in 1965, $420 included ground school and min of 40 hrs flight time, and one flight certification test. No nonsense Lester M. Zinser was my flight instructor. https://wmich.edu/aviation/zinser

  7. 1968, Lane Aero, Guaranteed Private Pilot, $412, however many hours it took in C-150.

    I barely had 40 hrs. at check-ride. Things are a little different now!

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