Piper partners with CAE to electrify Piper Archer aircraft

By Dayna Fedy-MacDonald | July 25, 2022

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 36 seconds.

At this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Piper Aircraft announced a partnership with flight training company CAE to develop a conversion kit via a supplemental type certificate for in-service Piper Archer (PA-28-181) aircraft, that will bring an electric variant option of the training aircraft to market.

Piper and CAE intend to work together on the development of an electrical conversion kit for third parties, and intend to develop the training and support services required for the operation of electrified Piper Archer aircraft.

The Piper PA-28 Archer in flight. Piper Aircraft Photo

Once the kit is developed, CAE plans to convert two-thirds of its Piper Archer training fleet over a three-year period, “and expects to be the first to develop a curriculum for new pilots to train on the operation of electric aircraft,” said Piper CEO John Calcagno during a press conference.

In addition to preparing pilots to operate electric aircraft, the initiative to integrate an electric propulsion system on the Piper Archer will “significantly” reduce carbon emissions and noise levels at CAE’s flight schools.

“The development of this technology is a first for CAE,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s president and CEO. “As an engineering powerhouse and one of the largest Piper Archer operators, CAE is uniquely positioned to make electric-powered flight a reality at our flight schools and beyond.”

CAE’s recent partnership with the governments of Canada and Quebec for R&D investments has helped enable the company to “prepare our electric aircraft for take-off,” added Parent.

There are currently 28,000 PA-28 aircraft in service around the globe. The OEM believes the aircraft is the ideal platform for real-world flight training curriculums and professional pilot training programs like CAE. 

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