Piper Unveils The Piper Matrix



Piper Unveils The Piper Matrix

HARTFORD, Conn., AOPA EXPO 2007, October 4, 2007 – Piper Aircraft, Inc. unveiled the Piper Matrix, a cabin-class, six-seat aircraft based on the world-renowned Malibu Mirage and operating with the economy of an unpressurized aircraft, making it the perfect blend of luxury, performance and value. In making the announcement here today, Piper executives underscored that the Matrix delivers unsurpassed luxury in a niche currently unfilled in general aviation – cabin-class, high performance aircraft, with standard air-conditioning, at a price well below anything comparable.

"Many of our customers and prospective buyers told us that they wanted an airplane that provided the best in luxury, elegance and performance at a price that is hundreds of thousands of dollars below what has been available," said Piper President & CEO James K. Bass. "The Piper Matrix fills those requirements, and it does it on the finest, most proven, airframe coupled with the most advanced technology available in General Aviation."


Piper has already received over 100 domestic orders for 2008 production and anticipates expansion of its production operation to satisfy demand. The Matrix is Piper’s next generation cabin-class aircraft, featuring the very latest in advanced glass avionics, the sophistication that comes with a retractable gear aircraft, and the benefits of unpressurized simplicity at a cost-beating price of $757,000.

With more space, more range and more power than any aircraft in its class, the Matrix and its 350 horsepower piston engine deliver a maximum cruise speed of 215 knots and a full-fuel range of more than 1,345 nautical miles at the aircraft’s maximum operating altitude of 25,000 feet. Carrying an 800-pound payload at 17,500 feet – close to the maximum altitude where oxygen cannula can be used – the Matrix achieves a maximum cruise speed of 202 knots and a range of more than 868 nautical miles. At a typical non-oxygen altitude of 12,000 feet, again carrying an 800-pound payload, the Matrix delivers a maximum cruise speed of 188 knots and a range of 831 nautical miles. At 17,500 feet and 12,000 feet, the Matrix could increase its range by approximately 160 nautical miles by reducing cabin payload by 120 pounds and filling the tanks with an extra 20 gallons of fuel.

Featuring the very latest in advanced glass avionics, the Matrix deploys with the Avidyne Entegra integrated flight deck as standard equipment and is the first aircraft to offer Avidyne’s new MLB700 Datalink Receiver for WSI InFlight® weather service and SIRIUS Satellite Radio as standard equipment. Those features are part of a rich set of standard Matrix features that also includes Avidyne’s exclusive MultiLink™ two-way datalink service, EMax™ Electronic Engine Instrumentation System and CMax™ Jeppesen JeppView® electronic chart display. In addition, the TAS610 active traffic system and the TWX670 Tactical Weather Sensor are available as options. "Piper is setting a new benchmark for performance, value and available safety systems with the Matrix," said Avidyne President Dan Schwinn. "In addition to the proven situational awareness of Entegra across the Piper fleet, the WSI InFlight® weather and SIRIUS audio entertainment of the MLB700, the active traffic capabilities of the TAS610, and powerful new tactical weather avoidance features of the TWX670 give Matrix owners more capabilities than many business jets. The Matrix already looks like a winner."

Entegra for the Matrix includes a 10.4-inch diagonal Avidyne PFD with standard flight instrumentation and pilot-selectable moving-map flight plan data, horizontal situation indicator (EHSI), a Bearing pointer, digital RMI readouts and integrated flight director command bars. The PFD is integrated with a solid-state air data and attitude/heading reference system (ADAHRS) providing full redundancy as well as much higher reliability than traditional "spinning-mass" gyros. The PFD may be coupled with the autopilot for altitude pre-select, vertical speed select and heading select without the need for an external control panel. Entegra also delivers complete WAAS LPV approach capability with integrated lateral and vertical guidance and annunciations. Luxury is the hallmark of the Piper Matrix, from its air stair door with remarkable ramp appeal to its rich interior styling and amenities. Moreover, the Matrix draws on Piper’s deep heritage and the legacy of the Malibu family of aircraft, currently represented by the Piper Meridian and Piper Mirage – models that continue unchallenged in their respective segments.

When the Malibu was first designed, it was not intended to be an enhanced version of an existing model, but rather a totally new airplane. The primary goals were passenger comfort and supreme performance. It was also the first Piper model to be made with flush riveting and metal bonding to provide a sleek, smooth exterior body. In a variation on theme, the Matrix essentially extends the Malibu line by offering a new, unpressurized model for those who want the economy that feature offers without sacrificing performance and luxury. The original Malibu created its market – from which all its descendents come, including the Matrix – by being the first pressurized, single-engine, six-place aircraft to provide volume production of a clamshell entrance in the rear for passengers and seating equal in size and comfort previously found in much more expensive aircraft.

"The Piper Malibu was a revolutionary, clean-sheet design with a long, thin wing, giving a high cruising speed and great fuel efficiency," said Roger W. Peperell, internationally renowned Piper Aircraft historian and author of Piper Aircraft: The Development and History of Piper Designs. "For the first time, pilot and passengers experienced luxury and space in a pressurized, single-engine airplane. This was the beginning of a whole new family of sleek airplanes for Piper." Peperell said that "it took three years of study and dedication to get the first Malibu into the air, but this … six-place, single-engine aircraft provides the creature comforts and amenities of many small business jets, but for a fraction of the price and operating cost."  That is a tradition the Matrix continues.

Bob Kromer, Piper’s Vice President of Sales, said that the decision to bring the Matrix to market came after extensive study. "The Matrix is the end result of listening closely to our customers," he said. "We conducted a comprehensive market research study second to none, talking with thousands of people, from existing and prospective customers to dealers, suppliers and pilots. The niche that the Matrix fills is one that people we interviewed identified as a vital, unfilled niche in general aviation."

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