The "Piper Sport" is no more....

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Re: The "Piper Sport" is no more....

Postby LNSflyer » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:39 pm

champguy wrote:Inquiring minds want to know.

As much as I like Cessna and it's line high wing planes, the Piper Sport has sure looked like a winner to me in the light sport world.

However, it will be interesting to hear the gossip from the upcomming LSA convention.

My guess? Piper corporate culture wants to concentrate on higher margin, bigger, faster planes, and leave the grunt work of finding and instructing new pilots to Cessna.

Piper is at a loss now. Yes high-wings are nice, but Low wings are also very nice as well. Piper's LSA resembled the Evektors really well and I've never heard bad about the Evektors. But I agree, Piper has produced numerous bigger, faster, and better planes and I think that's their focus from here on out. But personally, I'd like to see Piper back in the LSA market at some point.
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Re: The "Piper Sport" is no more....

Postby champguy » Sun May 01, 2011 10:27 am

Piper's decision is short sighted, unless they are in real trouble and had no real choice. Concentrating on the high end, high margine segment of the market, the Carrage Trade, can salvage profitability for a time.
The stratagy Cessna has followed of supporting the entry level and pilot training has always been sound even though I'm sure there is little profit to be made there.
Whether the Skycatcher, made in China, with a non standard control set up, will prove to be lasting, remains to be seen. Nevertheless I congradulate them for thinking long term and being willing to take on the grunt work of developing pilots for the future.
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Re: The "Piper Sport" is no more....

Postby ATC_Ben » Sun May 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Ahh yes, less profit on the lower end... but how many of those have started at the shallow end of the Cessna line and moved up. Especially more so now they own Columbia.

All they need is a new turbo-prop (single and twin) and they'll have a 'full' line again... although the mustang gets along like a Kingair so maybe just a single turbo-prop, like the TBM700.
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Re: The "Piper Sport" is no more....

Postby baswell » Thu May 05, 2011 3:28 am

ATC_Ben wrote:although the mustang gets along like a Kingair so maybe just a single turbo-prop, like the TBM700.

I think single turboprops are under rated for some reason. Compare the Mustang and a TBM-850. Same price, same airspeed, same internal dimensions but the mustang requires you to pay 50% more fuel and pay to maintain two engines. The TBM has the advantage on the range/payload scale too. Only downside I see is the lower ceiling.

A good article on why jet engines are the wrong choice for an aircraft like that and why they will never have the same efficiency as a turboprop:

Of course he is talking about an aircraft larger and more expensive than current VLJs, but that is kind of the point, at the scale of a VLJ, a turboprop makes even more sense.

If I were paying the bills, I know which one I would choose! But I guess its main attraction is that the Mustang looks like a "real" business jet...

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Re: The "Piper Sport" is no more....

Postby ATC_Ben » Thu May 05, 2011 11:07 pm

Exactly... I figure, win the lotto, buy a PC12, kick a large sum to the RFDS for a type rating and ICUS to an amount that the insurance company will let me fly it!

If I went for a corp jet, it'd have to be a Phenom 300, good speed, good range and single pilot! I don't see the point in two kero burners if you are only going to get 360KTAS out of it. Most of the single engine turbo-props coming out now will cruise around the 300KTAS range anyway at mid 200 FLs. You are paying a heck of a lot for an extra burner, 60 odd knots and 10,000ft! Besides the turbo-prop will get into places the jet can't, very important over here where only the major regional centres have long paved runways!
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Re: The "Piper Sport" is no more....

Postby Soccer-Jock » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:02 pm

I'm so disappointed in Piper. I am a huge Piper fan. But as was said in an earlier comment... I feel left out in the cold. I dare you to even find a "Piper Learning Center" much less a flight school than even has fairly new Piper trainers. My heart is stuck with the first plane I ever flew - the Cherokee - but these are becoming a rare find at a flight school these days.

The Piper Sport was sexy, despite the fact Piper didn't design it. Piper now no longer even offers thier "Warrior". The Archer is now positioned as their low-end aircraft. I knew the situation was desperate when I was at a local GA airport and a younger CFI commented, no doubt in jest, on my Piper baseball cap and asked "Do they even make small planes anymore?"
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