Piaggio P180 Avanti

The Piaggio P180 Avanti is an exceptional example of effective innovation. It combines elegant Italian styling and craftsmanship, the quietness and comfort of an enormous, comfortable cabin, and remarkable performance that makes it the fastest aircraft in its class outpacing the most widely sold turbojet aircraft on the market.

Aircraft Data

  • ICAO Code: P180
  • Manufacture: PIAGGIO
  • Class: Turboprop
  • Model Types: P180 Avanti
  • Crew: 1-2
  • Passengers: up to 9
  • Engines: 2
  • Max Speed: 737 km/h (398 kn, 458 mph)
  • MTOW: 5,239 kg (11,550 lb)
  • Max Range: 2,795 km (1,509 NM)
  • Max Flight Level: 410

Interior

Piaggio started by building a comfortable, large cabin, and then building rest of the jet around it. The results were very good news for private jet travellers: a cabin that is 6 feet wide and 5.8 feet tall. Compare those dimensions to the average light jet cabin: width, 4.9 feet, height, 4.8 feet, or the average mid-sized jet cabin: width, 5.6 feet, height, 5.7 feet.  In other words, the cabin of the Piaggio is over a foot longer and wider than other jets in its class.

The spacious cabin seats seven passengers in full-sized seats. There is almost no vibration and the noise levels are low. There is baggage space available for about six suitcases and a few golf bags, a total of 44 cubic feet. And, true to Italian form, it is extremely stylish. The custom-design silk carpet complements the Lightweight Tapis Ultraleather used on parts of the interior. Spinneybeck Espana leather covers the seat cushions, and plenty of light streams in through the windows and from the subtle overhead LEDs to give the cabin an open feel.

Exterior

The most noticeable feature of the Piaggio is its wings. These three sets effectively distribute flight loads and provide three lifting surfaces. The sets of smaller wings total a smaller amount of wing area than is usually distributed over a single wing, but manage to cut down on the Piaggio’s structure weight, drag, and increase lift. The engineers of Piaggio Aero designed the P180’s structure with the help of NASA software and perfected it with over 4,600 hours of wind tunnel testing.

The upper and lower portions of the main wing were machined by a computer-controlled mill from a single piece of aluminium. Forty percent of the aircraft’s structure is made from composites (Kevlar, Nomex, or graphite epoxy), and the other sixty percent is made from pure aluminium. The exterior skin varies by no more than 1/100 th of an inch.

Performance

The Piaggio takes off quickly (in less than 3,000 feet) and climbs to its flight level of 41,000 feet with a speed of up to 400 knots. It can fly more than 2,000 miles (1,800 nautical miles) – San Francisco to New York or Seattle to Orlando – which far surpasses the average high-speed cruise distance of competing jets.

The Piaggio’s six-blade turboprops are powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66 engines, flat rated to 850 shp for improved efficiency. The heavy wing loading of the Piaggio provides for smooth handling in turbulence and solid, high flight level handling. The cabin is rated to 9.0 psi, meaning it can maintain a sea-level cabin at up to 24,000 feet.

Avionics

The P180 uses the Rockwell Collins Avionics suite in the cockpit. The system is quite intuitive – switches and controls are grouped by function, and five sleek screens display systems information. WXR-840 solid-state weather radar and Universal UNS-1kFMS systems come standard for enhance situational awareness. A Rockwell Collins TWR-850 Doppler turbulence detection radar can be included if requested.

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