NEW PIPER AIRCRAFT plans to build 186 aircraft in 1996, compared with 177 in 1995 and 134 in 1994. The modest increase planned disguises a dramatic rise in production of the Malibu Mirage six-seat, high-performance, piston single, to 56 aircraft from 40 in 1995.

Piper cites increased demand for the $755,000 Malibu, particularly internationally, and says that it has commitments already from distributors for all the aircraft planned for production in 1996.

The pressurised Malibu is Piper's most expensive aircraft, and higher production is projected to boost the company's 1996 revenues to $84 million, from $70 million in 1995.

Six models account for the remainder of the production planned for 1996: the Warrior III, Archer III, Arrow and Saratoga IIHP piston singles, and the Seminole and Seneca IV piston twins.

After the Malibu, the six-seat Saratoga, will be Piper's most numerous product in 1996, with 42 aircraft planned.

Piper's fixed-gear Archer and Warrior will account for 36 and 20 aircraft, respectively.

Source: Flight International