|Piper PA-46 Malibu|
|National origin||United States of America|
|First flight||30 November 1979|
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, the Malibu Meridian, is also available.
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), 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 one month later. 404 aircraft with Continental TSIO-520 engines were built before this model was replaced in production by the 350P.
The PA-46-310P is powered by a Teledyne Continental Motors 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 nautical miles (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-powered Malibu was discontinued in 1986 following a series of incidents and accidents attributed to engine failures. One such accident resulted in a settlement in which Teledyne Continental Motors paid over US$32,000,000 to a pilot injured in the crash of a Malibu.
PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage
Production of the Malibu Mirage commenced in October 1988. New features included a more powerful Textron Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A 350 hp (260 kW) engine and a new wing. This model remains in production as of 2011. 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 the Mirage. 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. The base price for a 2013 Malibu Mirage is US$1,078,875.
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.
The Meridian's base price in 2013 was $2.18 million. The $2.26 million base price 2015 M500 model updated the G1000 system with an automatic level function and control overrides to prevent exceeding flight envelopes.
In October 2007 Piper announced the Matrix, an unpressurized version of the Mirage. It seats six and its base price is $819,000 (2010 USD). The new model has been designated as the PA-46R-350T, indicating retractable landing gear, 350 horsepower (260 kW), and turbocharging.
Major options on the Matrix are a de-ice system, an "Enhanced Situational Awareness Package", speed brakes, an avionics package featuring the Avidyne TAS610 dual antenna traffic advisory system, GWX-68 Weather Radar, and, beginning in 2010, the Garmin G1000 avionics system with twin 10" PFD's and a 15" MFD.
The Matrix's powerplant is a turbocharged Lycoming TI0-540-AE2A producing 350 hp (260 kW). The aircraft's performance includes a cruise speed of 215 knots at 25,000 feet (7,600 m), 215 knots (398 km/h) at 17,500 feet (5,300 m) and 188 knots (348 km/h) at 12,000 feet (3,700 m). Maximum takeoff weight is 4,340 lb (1,970 kg) and an empty weight of 2,937 lb (1,332 kg) giving a standard useful load of 1,421 lb (645 kg).
Matrix deliveries began in early 2008.
The JetPROP DLX is an aftermarket turbine engine conversion for the PA-46-310P Malibu and PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage. Originally certified in August 1998 with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34, conversions 90 and above used the P&W PT6A-35 when the -34 was discontinued. A lower cost JetPROP DL conversion became available in October 2003 utilizing the P&W PT6A-21. As of September 2008, 233 JetPROP conversions had been completed and delivered by Rocket Engineering of Spokane, WA. Twenty percent of the entire PA-46 fleet have been converted.
Specifications (PA-46-310P Malibu)
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89 
- Crew: one
- Capacity: five passengers
- Length: 28 ft 4 3⁄4 in (8.655 m)
- Wingspan: 43 ft 0 in (13.11 m)
- Height: 11 ft 3 1⁄2 in (3.442 m)
- Wing area: 175 sq ft (16.3 m2)
- Empty weight: 2,354 lb (1,068 kg)
- Gross weight: 4,100 lb (1,860 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 120 U.S. gallons (450 L; 100 imp gal)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental TSIO-520-BE 6-cylinder, turbocharged, fuel-injected, horizontally opposed aircraft engine, 310 hp (230 kW)
- Maximum speed: 234 kn (269 mph; 433 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 196 kn (226 mph; 363 km/h) at 55% power
- Stall speed: 58 kn (67 mph; 107 km/h)
- Range: 1,555 nmi (1,789 mi; 2,880 km)
- Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,143 ft/min (5.81 m/s)
- Wing loading: 24.3 lb/sq ft (119 kg/m2)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Federal Aviation Administration (October 2010). "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A25SO". Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- Aircraft Information: Piper PA-46 Malibu/Malibu Mirage | Airliners.net
- National Aeronautic Association "World and United States Aviation and Space Records and Annual Report" 1994 Edition, Pages 258, 260 and 270
- Paboojian v Teledyne Continental Motors, et al, Result: Settlement, $32,125,000
- Piper Aircraft, Mirage Price and Equipment, retrieved 22 May 2013]
- "Piper Aircraft, Inc. - Meridian Price & Standard Equipment". Piper.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- AOPA Pilot: 42. April 2015. Missing or empty
- Robert Goyer: Piper Matrix Flying Magazine March 2008, page 56. Hachette Filipacchi Media USA Inc.
- Flying Editors: Matrix: Cabin-Class Comfort for Less Flying Magazine January 2008, page 19. Hachette Filipacchi Media USA Inc.
- Piper Aircraft (n.d.). "Matrix Price & Standard Equipment". Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- JetPROP, LLC (2008). "About JetPROP". Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- Taylor 1988, pp. 458–459.
- Taylor, John W.R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Defence Data, 1988. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
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