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Going Direct: The Disruption Begins

At Sun ‘n Fun, Piper Aircraft announced the Piper Pilot 100 and 100i aircraft models. They are designed as lower-cost options for flight schools and university aviation programs. (photo courtesy: Piper Aircraft).

It was fitting that the first thing that happened at Sun ‘n Fun, opening day, 9 a.m., was an announcement from Piper Aircraft that it had done something at once sensible and spectacular. They introduced a trainer that costs less, a lot less. Piper president Simon Caldecott was straight up about the impetus for the introduction. Some schools just couldn’t afford the company’s standard trainer, the Archer, which is priced at around $360,000, a figure that not long ago prompted spontaneous expressions of disbelief but today mostly passes for, again, standard trainer pricing.

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