Piaggio Avanti EVO: Buyer’s and Investor’s guide

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Pros:

A fast and stylish turboprop, with great ramp presence.

Cons:

The EVO cannot fly as far as its competitors.

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Any potential buyers of an Avanti EVO do not have to worry about their aircraft not making a good first impression. The unique rear mounted turboprop engines makes the Avanti instantly recognisable. The Piaggio Avanti EVO is the third generation model of Piaggio’s flagship model. The Avanti is has been around since 1990, providing the luxury of a jet with the versatility of a turbo prop. The EVO is the latest variant, which hosts a variety of new features and changes to make it the best Avanti yet.

Flying

The latest edition of the Avanti, in true Italian style, is the fastest turboprop on the market. A cruising speed of 402 KTAS places it far ahead of its competitors such as the King Air 350i, which cruises at 312 KTAS. A more fair comparison then is against light jets, with the Avanti EVO only cruising at 11 KTAS slower than the Citation CJ2+.

The EVO however is let down by its range. The range for the normal configuration is 1470nm and 1720nm with the increased range configuration. The increased range is still outperformed by the competition. Both the King Air 350i and 250 have ranges of 1806nm and 1720nm respectively, a huge difference when compared to the normal configuration of the EVO. The EVO does have a longer range than the Phenom 100 – the only close competitor that it does beat.

Owning

The EVO has been extensively revised from previous models, making this the Avanti to buy.

“EVO is an aircraft with increased efficiency, reduced fuel burn, greater range and faster climb. We’ve also reached a milestone in exterior noise reduction”

Noise reduction comes from the new counter rotating 5-blade scimitar propellers and a reduction of maximum RPM from 2000 to 1800, reducing noise by 68% over previous models. This has also resolved the exterior high-pitch whine issue experienced by the Avanti II, a resolution that Piaggio COO Giuliano Felton felt had elevated the new Avanti. New body panels such as the reshaped forward wing have created a lower drag profile, meaning a 3% drop in fuel consumption. This makes it one of the most cost effective aircraft to run in its sector. Anti-skid brakes and digital steering are new additions, finally bringing the Avanti up to date and in line with competitors.

Piaggio Aerospace launched ‘Parts Total Care’ alongside the EVO – a bespoke package allowing owners to cover their spare parts needs through a per flight-hour rate. Although customer support programmes are common, it is a positive step for Piaggio Aerospace and EVO customers.

The EVO’s first delivery was in 2015, a year after the programme was launched. Coming into 2016 there was a backlog of 10 EVO’s, with up to eight of these being delivered throughout the year. The list price for the Avanti EVO is $7.4 million, which sits closely in the market next to the King Air 350i ($7.5 million list price). The Phenom 100 however is listed for $4.2 million – significantly cheaper than the EVO, but not as capable.

Travelling

The EVO’s cabin does not disappoint. Due to the unique fuselage shape, the interior is far more spacious than other turboprops on the market. With a cabin height of 5ft 9inches and a width of 6ft 1inch, the cabin is more comparable to a Learjet 85 which has the same width, but is 2inches higher. In comparison to the King Air 350i, the EVO’s cabin is far more spacious, being a whole 1 foot taller, and 1ft 5inches wide – however the EVO can only carry nine passengers – three less than the 350i. In terms of overall cabin room however, the EVO is unrivalled.

Italian style is found within the cabin, with the VIP seats being designed by Icaobucci HF with Poltrona Frau leather. Other comforts include full air conditioning and ventilation systems. Cabin pressure altitude is only 6600ft, increasing passenger comfort.

The EVO boasts one of the largest cabins in the turboprop market.

The EVO boasts one of the largest cabins in the turboprop market.

In terms of baggage space, the EVO has a useful load of 4100lb/1860kg in standard configuration (50lb/23kg less in increased range configuration). Whilst the Evo can store more than the Phenom 100 (useful load of 3406lbs/1545kg), compared to turboprops such as the King Air 350i the EVO is dwarfed. The 350i’s useful load is around 5000lbs/2267kg, a significant difference in comparison to the EVO. The Avanti EVO is pitched more towards luxury than rugged usability which accounts for the disparity.

The EVO now places Piaggio firmly into the turboprop market, delivering a blend of sophistication and ruggedness in true Italian style.


Hard facts

Range: Normal configuration: 1691mi/2722km/1470nm
Increased range configuration: 1979mi/3185km/1720nm
Maximum speed: 462mph/745km/402KTAS
Typical passengers: 4
Typical crew: 2
List price for new aircraft: $7.4 million

Pre-owned price: $6.5 million


 

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