Piper Aircraft has pared down its list of potential sites for construction of the $2.2 million PiperJet single-engined business jet to five finalists. One contender is Vero Beach, Florida, where Piper now builds its product line of 11 aircraft models in 65,100m2 (700,000ft2) of manufacturing area on 32.4Ha (80 acres).

The other four are being kept secret, as are projected size of the plant and the timeframe for making a choice. "We're not making any immediate decisions," says the company. "We haven't put out a timeframe for a decision and we're not seeking to do this publicly."

Piper is reporting 180 contract orders for the all-metal, six-seat, Williams International FJ44-3AP-powered aircraft and plans to begin flight-test work in the latter half of 2008. First deliveries are scheduled for 2010.

Local media report that the other locations under consideration are Tallahassee in Florida Columbia in South Carolina Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, and Albuquerque in New Mexico.

Source: Flight International