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Treasure Coast Essay

Piper Aircraft turns 75

Hey, Piper Aircraft.  Happy 75th anniversary!  For more than 50 of those years, you have been in Vero Beach.  In November 1937, Taylor Aircraft in Pennsylvania was re-incorporated as Piper Aircraft under William T. Piper.  Known as the Henry Ford of aviation, Piper developed a small aircraft within the financial reach of many private pilots.  That plane evolved into the late, great Piper Cub.  In 1957, Piper Aircraft, which by now was making both single- and twin-engine airplanes, opened an engineering center next to the Vero Beach airport.  In 1985, the company consolidated all its operations in Vero.  Piper Aircraft has had its ups and downs.  Taken over by various companies.  Went bankrupt for four years.  Employment levels fluctuated.  It is now owned by the government of Brunei, a small, oil-rich country on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia.  Deliveries and revenues are up over last year.  Employment is at 755, which is less than what was projected when the company received incentive money from the state and Indian River County.  That is to be resolved.  Hey, Piper Aircraft, let’s hope you keep flying out of Vero Beach for years to come!  For 888.9 FM, this is Paul