Vero Beach's Piper announces order to build 35 planes
Ed Bierschenk, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
11:50 AM, Apr 9, 2013
VERO BEACH — Piper Aircraft Inc. Tuesday morning announced a deal with CAE Oxford Aviation Academy for replenishment of its fleet, which includes an initial order of 35 planes.
Based on the size of the CAE's fleet, however, the five-year agreement potentially could result in the sale of as many as 200 airplanes.
Piper and CAE made the announcement Tuesday morning during the annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo in Lakeland.
The new orders are not expected to have any immediate impact on employment at the company. The value of the deal was not released, but includes firm orders for 22 single-engine Archer TX training planes and 13-twin engine planes that could be Seminoles, as well as parts and service.
Piper already is building the planes at its Vero Beach facility. Deliveries will start this year with 27 of the new aircraft going to CAE Oxford Aviation Academy in Phoenix and eight being sent later this year to its academy in Oxford, England.
"Piper is absolutely delighted that CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, a recognized world leader in civil aviation pilot training, has selected our company for its next large fleet procurement of learning aircraft," said Piper President and Chief Executive Officer Simon Caldecott in a prepared statement.
Last year, Piper officials spoke of wanting to create alliance with flight training schools and could make another announcement during the show.
Last November, it announced an alliance with Florida Institute of Technology's College of Aeronautics was expected to lead to the sale of eight single-engine Piper Archer TX training airplanes this year, with the potential of as many as 16 more Archer of Seminoles over a five-year period.
The college was the first customer of a program that the company calls the Piper Aviation Career Alliance, which is designed to provide planes and additional support for flight schools.
Piper President and Chief Executive Officer Simon Caldecott has said that he saw the flight training market as the company's "biggest opportunity going forward because of the shortage of pilots globablly."