Piaggio Sets Indy-Atlanta Record
They may be worlds apart in some ways, but Indianapolis and Atlanta have only an hour and nine minutes separating them in a Piaggio Avanti II. Piaggio Chief Pilot Arthur St. Clair exercised the new Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6-66B engines on the latest model of the pusher twin and he wasn't disappointed. "Had it not been for some speed restrictions and vectors for traffic during the arrival phase in Atlanta, we would have made the trip in less than an hour," he added. "Even with five years of flying this aircraft, I'm still amazed at its fantastic performance," he said.
The plane covered 397 miles at an average ground speed of 345 knots. Even with some levelling off at 23,000 and 27,000 feet, time to climb to 31,000 feet was 16 minutes. St. Clair said true airspeed at cruise was 400 knots. Piaggio says that's 18 records the distinctive aircraft has set. It says maximum speed is 402 KTAS.