Piper Continues Jet Flight Testing

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"The PiperJet has flown 12 times now," Piper spokesman Mark Miller told AVweb on Tuesday. The jet, which flew for the first time just last month, is undergoing tests to explore stability, control and handling throughout the flight envelope. In the coming months, it will typically be flown for one to three weeks, and then down for one to three weeks for systems upgrades and the installation of additional flight test equipment, Miller said. "We are just finishing a two-and-a-half-week flight test block and are about to go into a two-week maintenance/upgrade block to get ready for flutter testing and put paint stripes on the airplane," he said. Piper says the jet will hold six or seven seats, cruise at 360 knots, and carry 800 pounds of payload with full fuel and a range of 1,300 nautical miles.

Piper has posted a series of interesting "design review" documents on its web site that discuss some of the jet's features, such as trailing-link landing gear, single-engine operations, the auto-trim systems, and safety considerations in the event of an engine rotor burst.

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