OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Stephanie Gehman

    The P. 180 Avanti II – Serenity in Flying

    Piaggio Aero understood that the sky was not the limit when they introduced the P. 180 Avanti II to the flying market after obtaining U.S. and European certification in 2005. This sleek airplane has not only found but created its own niche by being a turboprop that features the best attributes of jet aircraft, without actually being one. For being an almost entirely sheet metal plane, the Avanti II is fuel efficient and has an extensive range.

    It boasts a full stand-up cabin, which is essentially uncommon in this size of aircraft. The craft’s cabin is sixty-nine inches tall and seventy-three inches wide, the largest in its class. As gorgeous as the spacious interior is, the exterior is as singular. The configuration of the three wings (located at the forefront of the cockpit is not a canard, but indeed a third wing), and rear-facing turboprop engines open up the fuselage and extend the space available to the cabin and dampens the engine-noise experienced in the plane’s interior.

    John M. Bingham, president and CEO of Piaggio America, Inc., explains, “The design of the aircraft ensures serenity on board for the occupants as the engines are set to the rear of the aircraft with the props pointing backwards so the cabin is whisper quiet.”

    The Avanti II is capable of achieving a top speed of 463 miles per hour (402 knots).

    Equally incredible is its fuel performance, operating at up to forty percent less than that of mid-size jets, yet the P. 180 does not compromise speed or range and offers low-operating costs. With its standard fuel capacity, the plane can accomplish a range of 1470 nautical miles. Piaggio Aero has recently announced that extended range fuel tanks are now an option on the Avanti II, facilitating a longer range of 1700 nautical miles.

    This fun turboprop has appealed to many because of its versatility and panache and, of course, for its speed. The P. 180 Avanti II is the fastest turboprop in the world.

    Capable of holding a crew of two and up to nine passengers, the aircraft is not only popular with forward-thinking private owners, but with air transport and small regional air carriers as well.

    What is on the horizon for Piaggio Aero and the P. 180 Avanti II? Bingham, looking to the future, explains, “We are constantly looking to improve the already excellent industry-leading design of the aircraft, and it will naturally evolve and improve in terms of product offering and improvements for many years to come.”

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