Timeline

Piper History

1937 1938 1948 1954 1957 1972 1983 1994 2000 2008 2012 2013 2015 2017 2020 2022 2024

1937

William T. Piper established the Piper Aircraft Corporation and the Piper Cub is born.

The History of Piper Aircraft has been the subject of numerous books and research projects—with over 85 years of aviation industry leadership, the Piper Aircraft family and aircraft are legendary. Come with us on a trip through the generations of Piper Aircraft…

Piper Cub Factory

1938

Piper Aircraft establishes the Dealer Network.

Jake Miller becomes the Sales Manager and successfully expands the Dealer Network, increasing sales of aircraft for training, personal and business class users.

Jake Miller of Piper Aircraft

1948

PA-15 Vagabond

The PA-15 Vagabond is developed and enables the company to prosper during the late 1940s.

PA15 Vagabond from Piper Aircraft in black and white

1954

PA-23 Apache

The PA-23 Apache is born, becoming Piper’s first twin-engine, all-metal aircraft.

PA23 Apache from Piper Aircraft in black and white

1957

Fred Weick joins Piper Aircraft.

Fred Weick joins Piper Aircraft and establishes the development center and manufacturing plant in Vero Beach, Florida.

Fred Weick's contribution to Piper Aircraft

1972

PA-31T Cheyenne

Piper Aircraft certifies the Company’s first turbine aircraft, the PA-31T Cheyenne.

Cheyenne model from Piper Aircraft

1983

PA-46 Malibu

The piston-powered, pressurized, PA-46 Malibu, receives certification.

PA46-310P Malibu from Piper Aircraft

1994

PA-28 Archer III

The PA-28 Archer III is launched.

Archer III model from Piper Aircraft

2000

PA-46 Meridian

The turboprop PA-46, Meridian, the company’s first single-engine turbine powered aircraft, receives certification.

Meridian model from Piper Aircraft

2008

PA-46 Matrix

The unpressurized, piston-powered, PA-46 Matrix, is born.

Matrix model from Piper Aircraft

2012

75 Years of Piper

Piper Aircraft celebrates 75 years of the Piper Cub and manufacturing aircraft.

Piper 75th Logo

2013

Double Anniversary for Piper

60th Anniversary of Piper’s first twin-engine aircraft, the Apache, and the 30th Anniversary of the PA-46 Malibu.

Piper Aircraft plane model

2015

M-Class

Piper unveils the M-Class with three revolutionary aircraft—the M350, M500 and M600—at a historic launch event in Vero Beach, Florida.

Piper Aircraft M class model with a sunset

2017

80 Years of Piper

Piper celebrates its 80th Anniversary of aviation leadership.

Piper 80th Anniversary Logo

2020

HALO Safety System Certified

Piper M600/SLS received type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its new HALO safety system — making it the first Garmin Autoland equipped aircraft in the world to receive certification.

Man pressing Emergency Autoland button

2022

85 Years of Piper

Piper celebrates 85 years of aviation innovation.

2024

M700 Fury

Piper introduces the next generation of the M-Class. The M700 Fury, the fastest single engine ever produced in company history.

Piper Aircraft Headquarters

Factory Tours

You can’t see legendary aircraft being built just anywhere. At Piper Aircraft’s Vero Beach headquarters, you can experience the culmination of over 85 years of aircraft manufacturing and engineering expertise, innovation, technological advancement, and vision. Piper Aircraft is thrilled to welcome visitors to tour our factory in Vero Beach, Florida. These complimentary tours are available every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Prior reservations are required.

Learn More

Piper Factory Tours

Leadership

John Calcagno of Piper Aircraft

John Calcagno

President and Chief Executive Officer

John Calcagno was named Chief Executive Officer of Piper Aircraft, Inc in 2021. Calcagno is a seasoned and successful executive with extensive experience i...

John Calcagno of Piper Aircraft

John Calcagno

President and Chief Executive Officer

John Calcagno was named Chief Executive Officer of Piper Aircraft, Inc in 2021. Calcagno is a seasoned and successful executive with extensive experience in the finance, operations, distribution, and sales areas.  He has served as the long tenured Chief Financial Officer of Piper, having been on the Piper team for the past 11 years.  He has also had roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career at The Acerra Consortium, Alltel (Supply) Communications Products, Coca-Cola, and C.R. Bard.  Calcagno began his career in the audit practice of PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  Calcagno holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, with minor emphasis in Political Science from Southern Illinois University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.  Additionally, he is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Air Force.

Danny Markford

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Danny joined Piper Aircraft in 1998, and has held positions of increasing responsibility within Finance during his tenure. He was most recently appointed V...

Danny Markford

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Danny joined Piper Aircraft in 1998, and has held positions of increasing responsibility within Finance during his tenure. He was most recently appointed Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2022. Danny is responsible for leading the Finance, Information Technology, and Project Management departments.  In his position, he supervises all financial reporting, treasury, budgeting, payroll, and cost accounting functions. He is extensively involved in product pricing, contractual activities, employee benefit matters, and other administrative functions.

Danny entered public accounting in 1996, where worked with O’Haire, Kmetz and Company (currently Kmetz, Elwell, Graham & Associates). During his time in public accounting, he worked in both tax and assurance services within a variety of industries, including manufacturers, governments, and nonprofits.

Danny attended the University of Central Florida where he received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He went on to obtain his Florida fifth year education requirement from Rollins College.

Buddy Sessoms

Vice President, Chief Production Officer

Buddy Sessoms Vice President of Product & Government Affairs at Piper Aircraft.  Buddy joined Piper Aircraft in 1998 and has held product development ...

Buddy Sessoms

Vice President, Chief Production Officer

Buddy Sessoms Vice President of Product & Government Affairs at Piper Aircraft. 

Buddy joined Piper Aircraft in 1998 and has held product development positions of increasing responsibility in design, flight sciences, test operations, and certification. As Senior Director and Chief Engineer he was responsible for leading the conceptual design, flight sciences, and test operations for the M600.  He is currently responsible for our NTSB and FAA relationship as well as the product development strategy and innovation throughout Piper’s business. The application of technology in a manner that improves safety, manufacturability, ease of operation, and customer centered product development is his highest goal. In addition, he continues to provide guidance throughout the engineering process and is an active pilot of Piper’s complete product line.

Prior product development history includes contributions to Pratt & Whitney, Sensenich Propeller, and Eclipse Aviation.

Buddy holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in addition to the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.  He is also a former FAA Designated Engineering Representative and Piper Aircraft ODA Designee.

Ron Gunnarson of Piper Aircraft

Ron Gunnarson

Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support

Ron Gunnarson is the Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support at Piper Aircraft. Appointed to this position in January 2017, Gunnarson is r...

Ron Gunnarson of Piper Aircraft

Ron Gunnarson

Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support

Ron Gunnarson is the Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support at Piper Aircraft. Appointed to this position in January 2017, Gunnarson is responsible for developing and executing global sales and marketing strategies to continue Piper Aircraft’s growth, as well as contributing to Piper’s overall product and business strategic development. Ron also leads Piper’s global customer support team.

Ron brings 30 years of General Aviation Marketing experience to Piper Aircraft. Prior to joining the Piper team, Ron served as the Vice President of Marketing at Textron Aviation where he was responsible for strategic brand development, product positioning and tactical execution for all global marketing efforts. Ron also previously served as Vice President of Marketing for Beechcraft Corp. and Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Hawker Beechcraft Corp.

Ron is a former demonstration captain with over 2800 hours of flight time and type ratings in the Hawker 400XP and the Beechcraft King Air 350. Ron holds a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Studies as well as a bachelor’s degree in Communications/Public Relations from the University of North Dakota.

Greg Spadaro

Greg Spadaro

Vice President of Operations and Supply Chain

Greg Spadaro joined Piper Aircraft as Director of Materials in April 2010, responsible for Scheduling/Planning, Production Control, Purchasing, and Sourcin...

Greg Spadaro

Greg Spadaro

Vice President of Operations and Supply Chain

Greg Spadaro joined Piper Aircraft as Director of Materials in April 2010, responsible for Scheduling/Planning, Production Control, Purchasing, and Sourcing.  He was appointed Senior Director of Materials in 2011 expanding his responsibilities to include the implementation of a new ERP platform (Infor LN).  He brings over 24 years of Supply Chain management with a background in Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma experience to Piper’s senior leadership team.  Before joining Piper Aircraft, Greg was a Materials Director for fourteen years in the marine industry working for Pursuit Boats. Prior to that, he worked in an electronics manufacturing company with responsibilities in both scheduling and procurement.

Spadaro holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Management with a Minor in Computer Science from Central Connecticut State University in Bridgeport, CT.  He also attended a training program in Trust Administration and Estate Planning at Williams College in Williamstown, MA.  He has also taken numerous courses in Lean manufacturing, visited best practices companies in lean manufacturing for benchmarking, has completed his Green Belt in Six Sigma, and has certifications in APICS.

Marc Ouellet

Vice President, Engineering and Manufacturing

Marc Ouellet was appointed Vice President of Engineering in September 2022 but he has been part of the executive team since September 2019. In his new role...

Marc Ouellet

Vice President, Engineering and Manufacturing

Marc Ouellet was appointed Vice President of Engineering in September 2022 but he has been part of the executive team since September 2019. In his new role, Ouellet leads the Engineering and the Service Publications Teams. In addition, Ouellet is responsible for identifying and implementing best practices as well as ensuring that the correct engineering skill sets, processes and tools are in place for designing, integrating, building, testing, certifying, delivering and supporting Piper airplane products.

Ouellet brings over 30 years of General Aviation Engineering experience and has been with Piper since 1998. Ouellet started at Piper as a Systems Engineers working on the Meridian Fuel System design and has gradually increased his level of responsibility in Engineering up to his current role of Vice President.

Prior to joining the Piper Team, Ouellet worked as a Powerplant engineer for Bombardier in Montreal working on the CL-415 and for Boeing in Seattle working on the 747 Rolls-Royce engine certification.

Marc holds a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University Laval in Quebec City, Canada.

Joshua Gang

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Joshua Gang joined the Piper legal team in 2021 and was appointed as its General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in July 2022. Josh has over 15 years of ex...

Joshua Gang

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Joshua Gang joined the Piper legal team in 2021 and was appointed as its General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in July 2022. Josh has over 15 years of experience as a corporate counsel with a broad legal background. As General Counsel for Piper, he is responsible for all legal matters including litigation, corporate governance, labor and employment, contracts and records management, and manages its risk and insurance programs. Prior to joining Piper, Josh was the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, serving as in-house counsel and a member of its senior leadership. Prior to that role, he held positions as Associate General Counsel for Pinnacle Entertainment, a hotel-casino company in Las Vegas, NV, and VP & Corporate Counsel for Quadrant Information Services, a software and data analytics company in San Francisco. Josh received his Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kathleen Pagani

Director, Human Resources

Kathleen Pagani joined Piper Aircraft in May of 2022.  She is responsible for leading the human resources department, with a focus on developing and execu...

Kathleen Pagani

Director, Human Resources

Kathleen Pagani joined Piper Aircraft in May of 2022.  She is responsible for leading the human resources department, with a focus on developing and executing recruiting, talent acquisition and employee relations strategies that represent the organization’s culture and values. Kathleen is a seasoned HR Leader with extensive background in human resources. She joined Piper Aircraft from Garnet Health, where she was the Administrator of Employee & Labor Relations.

Kathleen is a certified HR professional holding a SHRM-CP from the Society in Human Resource Management and PHR from the HR Certification Institute.  Kathleen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in human resource management, including employee relations, employee talent development and strategic planning.

Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Administration from Empire State College and a Masters of Legal Studies from Trinity Law School.

Community Outreach

Community Outreach

We’re not just passionate about building great aircraft, the Piper Aircraft team is passionate about building a great community too. We’re committed to the active support of programs that serve humanitarian, environmental and educational purposes across the Space and Treasure Coasts. We’re always looking for ways to give back, provide positive and immediate local impact, as well as long-term and sustainable efforts.

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Piper Aircraft's "Wings for a Cure" Team in Indian River County
Piper Aircraft employees standing next to an aircraft
Think Pink decal on a Piper Aircraft for Breast Cancer Awareness
Piper Aircraft's "Wings for a Cure" Team in Indian River County
Piper Aircraft employees standing next to an aircraft
Think Pink decal on a Piper Aircraft for Breast Cancer Awareness

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