A new Piper Aircraft twin-engine Seminole will join Redbird Flight Simulations' innovative and multi-faceted aviation research and development laboratory beginning in the first quarter of 2012. Delivery of the training aircraft is set to occur at next year's Sun-n-Fun.
Cutter Piper Sales sold the airplane in Oshkosh, Wisc during AirVenture 2011. It was sold to Redbird Skyport of San Marcos, Texas, where the airplane will be based. Redbird Flight Simulations and other industry partners are developing Redbird Skyport.
The Skyport laboratory is dedicated to developing new ways of doing pilot training to help reduce the cost of training, reduce the time required, and to improve safety. The team is focused on creating new and Innovative curriculum to help make flight training accessible to more individuals. Roger Sharp, general manager of Redbird Skyport’s flight training laboratory, said, "Skyport is excited about incorporating our new Piper Seminole into our studies because this airplane is ideally suited to meet our mission and it will enable us to develop real world solutions to the challenges of flight training today."
"Piper Aircraft is very pleased to be a part of Skyport's efforts to get more people involved in flight training," said Piper Director of Marketing Jackie Carlon. "This great effort and others we are pursuing will help our industry extend it's influence throughout the world."
The new facility, designated Redbird Skyport will open on November 8, 2011. Skyport is the culmination of the efforts of Redbird Flight Simulations and King Schools and is supported by GAMA, AOPA, and other industry partners. Skyport will be a first step in developing solutions to the challenges of a shrinking pilot population, staggering student drop-out rate and the ever increasing cost of flight training. The innovative aviation laboratory will include a full service FBO, flight school, and aviation experience center. All aspects of the project will provide a test bed for innovative hardware, software, business processes and ideas with the goal of revitalizing general aviation.