TV Show Highlights Business Aviation’s Robust Manufacturing Sector

Jan. 20, 2016

Business aviation may live in the sky but it begins on the ground, where thousands of American manufacturing personnel build the planes that fly people across the world.

These expert craftsmen received their turn in the spotlight when the construction of a Piper Aircraft M-500 was featured on Discovery Science Channel’s hit show “How It’s Made.” The segment, “Channel Signs, Wetsuits, and Aluminum Aircraft,” highlighted the construction of an M-500 in Piper Aircraft’s Vero Beach, FL, headquarters.

“Piper is pleased to be featured as a prominent segment on ‘How It’s Made’,” said Simon Caldecott, president and CEO of Piper Aircraft. “We are proud to represent the future of aviation with high quality, versatile products that embody exceptional performance and enduring value.”

For Piper Aircraft, it was a unique opportunity to showcase the behind-the-scenes labor that has made the company one of the most successful general aviation manufacturers in the world.

“It’s very rare that we are able to show the craft people and the talent behind the design and the actual build of the product, so we were just over the moon that not only could we show that whole process and the people who are truly making things happen, but show sections of the factory that we don’t typically show to the public,” said Piper Aircraft Spokeswoman Jackie Carlon.

The segment gave audiences a glimpse into the world of manufacturing personnel who are the foundation of the business aviation industry.

“Those people are the unsung heroes of our product,” Carlon said. “The ones who are really making things happen in terms of making an airplane.”

Making airplanes is one of the few remaining manufacturing sectors in which the United States maintains an advantage over international competition. Business aviation contributes to the nation’s positive balance of trade and creates good manufacturing jobs that can be kept in the U.S.

With more than 300 employees – nearly half the company – Piper’s manufacturing division is an example of this kind of job creation that strengthens communities.

In Florida, where general aviation’s impact on the economy is estimated at $7.7 billion a year, Piper Aircraft is one of many business aviation manufacturers that serve as essential sources of economic growth for the region.

“A lot of our employees live in this area, so there’s the impact that their day-to-day lives have on our local economy, in terms of buying homes and goods and shopping and all those kinds of things,” Carlon said.

Learn more about Piper Aircraft.