Piaggio Aero is celebrating after securing the first major contract for its new Avanti EVO in a deal that could eventually be worth as much as $370 million at list prices.

Hong Kong-headquartered investment and advisory firm Bravia Capital plans to acquire up to 50 of the twin-engined turbprops - a commitment comprising 10 firm orders and 40 options - with deliveries scheduled to begin early next year.

The third-generation Avanti will be used for passenger transportation in the US. “The EVO will service the east coast, west coast and numerous other areas that encompass a large percentage of the ‘up to 3h sector’ of the market,” says Bravia Capital chief executive Bharat Bhise.

The $7.4 million EVO was launched in May and incorporates a host of improvements and upgrades over its Avanti II predecessor, including a revamped and quieter interior, enhanced safety features and increased performance, thanks to winglets, redesigned engine nacelles, a reshaped front wing and five-blade composite scimitar propellers.

Flight testing of the EVO began in February, and the test aircraft has so far clocked up around 100h, says Piaggio.

Certification and service entry of the seven-seat, twin-pusher are scheduled for the fourth quarter.

Source: Flight Daily News