Piper Aircraft took a key step on the road to FAA certification of the company´s first business jet with a successful one-hour first flight Wednesday from Piper headquarters in Vero Beach, Fla. "With this major milestone in the PiperJet´s development, we are witnessing our future," said Piper President and CEO James Bass, adding that the flight "marks the beginning of a new era for Piper Aircraft."
Piloted by Dave Schwartz and Buddy Sessoms, the aircraft reached an altitude of 10,000 feet and a speed of 160 knots true airspeed (KTAS). The flight tested basic handling characteristics, pitch trim with power changes and basic operation of the FADEC control system. Schwartz said the aircraft provided "excellent control response" during the first flight. "The ergonomics and the basic operation of the side stick control were excellent, with well-balanced and harmonized control inputs required for the air speeds that we tested," he said. "Moreover, the expected level of pitch trim change with power applications was minimal and easy to overcome."Read the full version of this article at AviationWeek.com