M Piper Biography & Facts
The Piper PA-46 Malibu and Matrix are a family of American light aircraft manufactured by Piper Aircraft of Vero Beach, Florida. The aircraft is powered by a single engine and has the capacity for one pilot and five passengers. Early Malibus were all piston-engined, but a turboprop version, introduced as the Malibu Meridian but now called the M500, is also available. Currently, Piper offers the M350, M500, and M600 in the PA-46 family.The PA-46 was the third single-engined piston aircraft with a pressurized cabin to reach the market, after the Mooney M22 and Cessna P210 Centurion, and the only one still in production.
Work on the PA-46 began in the late 1970s, with a prototype (the PA-46-300T) first flying on November 30, 1979. The type was announced in November 1982, apparently to compete with Cessna's newest creation of the era, the P210 Centurion. Like the Centurion, the Malibu was to feature cabin pressurization 5.5 psi (380 hPa), a feature not included on the prototype.
The first example of the initial production version flew in August 1982, and FAA certification was obtained in September 1983. Deliveries started two months later. 404 aircraft with Continental TSIO-520 engines were built before this model was replaced in production by the PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage.
The PA-46-310P is powered by a Continental TSIO-520BE engine rated at 310 hp (230 kW). The PA-46-310P has lower fuel consumption, greater range, and the ability to cruise at "lean-of-peak." The PA-46-310P has a maximum cruising range of 1,550 nmi (2,870 km) (with reserves), while the PA-46-350P initially had a maximum cruising range of only 1,055 nautical miles (1,954 km), although this is now increased to 1,345 nautical miles (2,491 km).The PA-46-310P Malibu has set several world speed records: Seattle to New York set November 23, 1987 at 259.27 mph (417 km/h); Detroit to Washington, DC set January 4, 1989 at 395.96 mph (637 km/h); and Chicago to Toronto set on January 8, 1989 at 439.13 mph (707 km/h). All three records were set by Steve Stout in his 1986 Malibu N9114B.The Continental TSIO-520-BE powered Malibu was discontinued in 1988 following a series of incidents and accidents attributed to engine failures. One such accident resulted in a settlement in which Teledyne Continental Motors paid $32,125,000 to a pilot injured in the crash of a Malibu.
PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage
Production of the Malibu Mirage commenced in October 1988 for the 1989 model year. New features included a more powerful Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A 350 hp (260 kW) engine and a new wing. Various changes have occurred over the model years. Earlier models had an all-King panel and later this became largely Garmin, the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit is now standard.
In 1995, the pilot's windshield became a glass assembly (earlier it had been acrylic glass with a heat strip overlay). In 1996, numerous switches were moved to an overhead console. In 1999, the Mirage gained the strengthened wing designed for the turboprop Meridian.
PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian
In 1997, Piper announced its intention to market a turboprop-powered version of the Malibu, and flew a prototype the following year powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A of 500 shp (370 kW). Certification was achieved in September 2000 and deliveries began in November that year. Changes made to allow for turboprop power include larger wings and tail surfaces. In 2009, Piper began offering the Meridian with a three-screen version of the Garmin G1000 including the Garmin GFC 700 autopilot as a replacement for the Avidyne Entegra system.
Piper added wing root filets to increase wing area and 342 lb (155 kg) of fuel capacity, a larger tailplane and reinforced wing spar and landing gear to raise MTOW to 4,850 lb (2,200 kg) then 5,092 lb (2,310 kg) from 2003.
For a 1,000 nmi (1,900 km) trip, block fuel is 985 lb (447 kg) at 233 kn (432 km/h) block speed, while its maximum cruise speed is 260 kn (480 km/h).
Piper Aircraft no longer refers to their top-of-the-line aircraft with the names Malibu, Malibu Mirage or Malibu Meridian. The PA-46 line of aircraft, as of 2015, is now referred to as the Piper M-Class. The M350, M500 and the newest M600 make up the entire M-Class line. The models range in price from the M350 at $1.478 million, to $2.3 million for the M500, to the flagship M600 whose pricing starts at over $3.3 million.
The M350 is an updated version of the Mirage. The M350 is fitted with the same 350 hp (261 kW) turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A engine and Hartzell three-bladed propeller as the Mirage. Improvements over the Mirage are an Ametek digital fuel quantity system and an improved Garmin G1000 NXi flight system. The new Garmin system has envelope-protection and anti-hypoxia tools. It will initiate an emergency descent in the case that the pilot becomes incapacitated as a result of hypoxia. The M350 is capable of cruising at 213 kn (394 km/h) with a range of 1,343 nmi (2,487 km). The plane has a service ceiling of 25,000 ft (7,620 m). No wind, standard day gross weight takeoff is achieved in 1,087 ft (331 m) and landing in 1,020 ft (311 m).
The M500 is an updated version of the Meridian. It also has the updated Garmin G1000 NXi flight system, like the M350. The G1000 NXi system includes an automatic wings-level function and control override to prevent exceeding the plane's flight envelope. Its purpose is to maintain a safe, stable flight condition in the case of pilot disorientation or incapacitation. The safety feature is called Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP).
The M500 also has ADS-B, but no FADEC. The M500's fuel tanks can carry 170 US gal (644 l) and its Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A engine burns 37 US gal/h (140 l/h).
It is a light plane with a maximum ramp weight of 5,135 lb (2,329 kg) and 5,092 lb (2,310 kg) MTOW. It cruises at 260 kn (482 km/h) at an altitude of 30,000 ft (9,144 m). The M500, at a price of $2.26M has few competitors, including the cheaper sister-ship, Piper M350, the $2.3M Cirrus Vision SF50, the $3M Epic E1000 and the $3M Eclipse 550.
In 2015, Piper introduced the M600, as an upgrade to the M500. The M600 has 600 hp (447 kW) and a price tag of $2.82 million. The new M600 is equipped with the Garmin G3000, a new wing and more fuel capacity. The aircraft is more capable than the M500, as the M600 has greater range and a slightly higher top speed. It has anti-hypoxia tools like in the M350.It received its FAA certification on June 18, 2016. Its NBAA Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) range is 1,484 nmi (2,748 km), up from 1,000 nmi (1,852 km) for the M500, and maximum cruise speed is 274 kn (507 km/h; 315 mph), up from the M500's 260 kn (480 km/h; 300 mph). The M600's MTOW is 6,000 lb (2,700 kg), up from the M500's 5,092 lb (2,310 kg), with a 260 US gal (980 L) fuel capacity, g.... Discover the M Piper popular books. Find the top 100 most popular M Piper books.