English name: Forward

TYPE: Business twin-turboprop.

PROGRAMME: Design studies began 1979; launched 1982; Gates Learjet became partner in 1983, but withdrew for economic reasons on 13 January 1986; all existing Learjet P.180 tooling and first three forward fuselages transferred to Piaggio; first flights of two prototypes I-PJAV 23 September 1986 and I-PJAR 14 May 1987; two static test fuselages; first Italian certification 7 March 1990; first flight full production P.180 (I-RAIH/N180BP), 30 May 1990; Italian and US certification 2 October 1990; first customer delivery (N180BP to Robert Pond) 30 September 1990; French certification March 1993. P.180 is certified to Italian RAI 223 and FAR Pt 23 including single pilot, night and day, VFR/IFR and flight into known icing. RVSM approval announced 24 July 2002.

CURRENT VERSIONS: Increased gross weight giving higher payload/range decided 1991 and early aircraft retrofitted with minor modifications to allow new weights; weights increased again in 1992. Modified version relaunched in 1997 incorporates changes including fin, rudder and foreplane of aluminium alloy construction and increased fuel capacity. Economy and deluxe interior versions in development in mid-1999.

CUSTOMERS: Total 30 (including prototypes) built by early 1995. 31st followed in early 1999; eight delivered in 2000, 12 in 2001, and 16 in 2002; production plans are 22 each in 2003 and 2004. Fiftieth aircraft (including prototypes) registered (in USA as N129PA) December 2001. Italian Air Force ordered six for communications; first delivery MM62159 14 May 1993; further five (three for Italian Army; two for SNPC civil protection service) ordered 1994, of which first, MM62167, handed over on 28 July 1997 and delivered 29 August 1997, and second and third delivered March-April 1998, with two SNPC aircraft following in late 1998 and mid-1999.
First new aircraft delivery since company reorganisation took place on 2 February 2000 to Aviation Services for Business Aircraft Inc, Portland, Oregon (N680JP). Recent customers include Italian car manufacturer Ferrari, which took delivery of the first of two aircraft (I-FXRB) on 18 May 2000 (these operated by Foxair); the Greek Ministry of Health, which ordered two in EMS configuration and, although built, these were not delivered; the Italian Air Force, which has ordered further nine (first of which completed in late 2001, followed by three more in 2002); Locafit (Italy); CIT Group Equipment Financing (Arizona, USA); two undisclosed customers in the UK; US charter broker Skyline Aviation, which ordered eight in 2002; Avia Aviation of Canada which has ordered six for delivery from early 2003; and Pan Europeenne Air Service of France, which ordered one for delivery in May 2003, plus one option.

COSTS: US$4.995 million (2002).

DESIGN FEATURES: Intended to provide jet-type speeds with turboprop economy. Three-surface control with foreplane and T tail to allow unobstructed cabin with maximum headroom to be placed forward of mid-mounted wing carry-through structure; pusher turboprops aft of cabin and wing reduce cabin noise and propeller vortices on wing, assisting in achievement of 50 per cent laminar flow; mid-wing avoids root bulges of low-set wings and spar does not pass through cabin; lift from foreplane allows horizontal tail to act as lifting surface and thereby reduce required wing area by 34 per cent.
Laminar flow wing section Piaggio PE 1491 G (mod) at root, PE 1332 G at tip; thickness/chord ratio 13 per cent at tip, 14.5 per cent at root; dihedral 2o; sweepback 1o 11' 24"; taper ratio 0.34; foreplane aerofoil Piaggio PE 1300 GN4 unswept; 5o anhedral on foreplane and tailplane; latter sweptback 29o 48' at 25 per cent chord. Tailplane swept 40o at 25 per cent chord.

FLYING CONTROLS: Manual. Aerodynamically and mass-balanced elevators; horn- and mass-balanced rudder. Variable incidence swept tailplane for trim; electrically actuated trim tab in starboard aileron and in rudder; two strakes under tail; electrically actuated outboard Fowler and inboard single-slotted flaps on wing synchronised with single-slotted flaps in foreplanes; three flap positions; dual control circuits; foreplane stalls before wing, providing pitch-down moment. All control surfaces have sealed gaps and are aerodynamically balanced. No dampers or stick-pusher.

STRUCTURE: Airframe 90 per cent aluminium alloy and 10 per cent composites. Fuselage precision stretch-formed in large seamless sections and inner structure matched to precise outer contour in innovative 'outside-in' construction technique; CFRP in high-stress areas; 'Working skin' wing main box, with machined spars and panels, plus integral stiffeners; two main spars; third spar runs from nacelle to fuselage centreline; aluminium leading-edges and aluminium and composites trailing-edges, both connected to main box. Similar construction of forward wing, which connected to lower fuselage at four points and has aluminium alloy leading-edges with electric de-icing blanket and full-depth honeycomb aluminium flaps. Tailplane has two-spar sandwich construction of graphite fabric on Nomex honeycomb core; elevators are single-spar and full-depth aluminium honeycomb with aluminium skins. Fin attached to tailcone bulkheads by four vertical aluminium machined spars; chemically milled aluminium sheet skins. Two-spar rudder, with aluminium alloy skin and carbon fibre and foam core.
Composites parts manufactured by Moreggio (nacelles) and Salver (horizontal stabiliser), wings and tail section and final assembly by Piaggio in Genoa.

LANDING GEAR: Dowty Aerospace hydraulically retractable tricycle type, with single-wheel main units and twin-wheel nose unit. Main units retract rearward into sides of fuselage; nose unit retracts forward. Emergency hand pump. Dowty hydraulic shock-absorbers. Electro-hydraulic nosewheel steering available through ±20o on take-off and ±50o for taxying. Tyre sizes 6.50-10 (main) and 5.00-5 (nose). Goodrich hydraulic, multidisc carbon brakes.

POWER PLANT: Two 1,107 kW (1,485 shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66 turboprops, flat rated at 634 kW (850 shp), each mounted above wing in all-composites nacelle and driving a Hartzell five-blade constant-speed fully feathering reversible-pitch pusher propeller; propellers handed to counterrotate. Fuel in two fuselage tanks and two wing tanks; total fuel capacity 1,597 litres (422 US gallons; 351 Imp gallons), of which 1,583 litres (418 US gallons; 348 Imp gallons) are usable. Tanks divided into left and right groups (plus primary and secondary collector tanks) which are independent, except during optional pressure refuelling via single point on starboard centre-fuselage. Gravity refuelling point in upper part of fuselage.

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of one or two on flight deck; certified for single-pilot operation. Seating in main cabin for up to nine passengers, with galley, fully enclosed lavatory and coat storage area; choice of nine-passenger high-density or five-seat VIP cabins. Club passenger seats are armchair type, which can be reclined, tracked and swivelled, and locked at any angle. Foldaway tables can be extended between facing club seats. Two-piece wraparound electrically heated windscreen. Rectangular cabin windows, including one emergency exit at front on starboard side. Indirect lighting behind each window ring, plus individual overhead lights. Airstair door at front on port side is horizontally split, upper part forward-opening. Baggage compartment aft of rear pressure bulkhead, with upward-opening door immediately aft of wing on port side. Entire cabin area pressurised and air conditioned. New interior by Sergio Pininfarina under development in mid-1999; total of 15 interior options available.

SYSTEMS: Hamilton Sundstrand R70-3WG three-wheel air-cycle bleed air ECS, with maximum pressure differential of 0.62 bar (9.0 lb/sq in) maintaining sea level cabin altitude to 7,315 m (24,000 ft) and 1,950 m (6,400 ft) cabin altitude at 12,500 m (41,000 ft). Single hydraulic system driven by electric motor, with hand pump for emergency back-up, for landing gear (up to 207 bar; 3,000 lb/sq in), brakes and steering (up to 83 bar; 1,200 lb/sq in). Electrical system powered by two 400 A 28 V starter/Lear Siegler generators and 25 V 38 Ah Ni/Cd battery, with triple-redundant essential bus. Two 250 VA static inverters for AC. External power receptacle above port mainwheel well. Scott 1.13 m³ (40 cu ft) oxygen system. Hot air anti-icing of main wing outer and inner leading-edges; electric anti-icing for foreplane and windscreen; rubber boot for engine intakes, with dynamic particle separator; propeller blades de-iced by engine exhaust.

AVIONICS: Comms: Dual Rockwell Collins VHF-22C transceivers; dual Rockwell Collins TDR-90 transponders.
Radar: Rockwell Collins WXR-840 weather radar standard, TWR-850 turbulence-detecting weather radar optional.
Flight: ADF-462, DME-42, ALT-55B radar altimeter, dual MCS-65 compasses, dual VIR-32 VOR/LOCGS/MCR, and dual RMI-36 (all Rockwell Collins); Goodrich Stormscope WX-1000E; dual Aeronetics RMI-3337 radio compasses. Rockwell Collins ADS-85 air data system and APS-65 autopilot with yaw damper. From c/n 1059 RVSM-compatible ADC-85A standard.
RVSM optional equipment replaces co-pilot's altimeter with ADDU including altitude encoding and preselect functions, and emergency power bus allowing operation of ADDU for minimum of 30 minutes in case of total electrical failure. ILS Cat. II kit optional, providing upgraded version of EFIS, autopilot and radio altimeter.
Instrumentation: Rockwell Collins EFIS-85B system, with two EFD-85 dual colour CRT MFDs for captain and central MFD-85B radar display; EHSI-74 colour display for co-pilot.
Mission: Optional Global/Wulfsberg Flitefone VI in-flight telephone.