Piper PA-46

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PA-46 Malibu
Piper PA-46 Malibu.jpg
Piper PA-46 Malibu
Role Light aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Piper Aircraft
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.[1]

The PA-46 is the third single-engined piston aircraft with a pressurized cabin to reach the market, after the Mooney M22 and Cessna P210 Centurion. It is sold mainly to civilian customers.


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.


PA-46-310P Malibu[edit]

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 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 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).[2]

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.[3]

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 over US$32,000,000 to a pilot injured in the crash of a Malibu.[4]

PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage[edit]

PA-46 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. 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,[5] and $1.15 million in 2015, called M350. It has envelope-protection and anti-hypoxia tools.[6] Piper sells about 30 Mirages a year.[7]


The M350 is a development version of the Mirage introduced in 2015 and fitted with 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 quality system and an improved G1000 that will initiate an emergency descent in the case that the pilot becomes incapacitated as a result of hypoxia. It is capable of cruising at 245 mph (394 km/h) with a range of 1,545 mi (2,486 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).[8][9][10]

PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian[edit]

Piper 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.[11] Piper sells about 38 Meridians a year.[7]

Piper Meridian M500[edit]

The $2.26 million base price 2015 Piper Meridian M500 updated the G1000 system with an automatic level function and control overrides to prevent exceeding flight envelopes.[12] It has ADS-B, but no FADEC. Its tanks hold 170 U.S. gallons (640 L; 140 imp gal) and burns 37 U.S. gallons (140 L; 31 imp gal)[13] It may cruise at 260 kn (482 km/h) and 30,000 ft (9,144 m). It is a light plane at 5,092 lb (2,310 kg) MTOW, with few competitors, including the cheaper Mirage and Cirrus Vision SF50, and the $3M Epic E1000 and Eclipse 550.[14]

Piper Meridian M600[edit]

In 2015 Piper introduced the 600 hp $2.853 million M600 with the Garmin G3000, a new wing and more fuel capacity than the M500; giving it a higher range.[15] It has anti-hypoxia tools like in the M350.[7][16]

It received its FAA certification on June 18, 2016. Its NBAA IFR range is 1,484 nm, up from 1,000 nm for the M500, and max cruise speed is 274 kts up from the M500's 260 kts. The M600’s MTOW is 6,000 pounds, up from the M500’s 5,092 pounds, helping to accommodate a 260 gallons fuel capacity, greater than the M500's 170. The M600’s standard equipped weight is 200 pounds higher than the M500's. Full-fuel payload for the M600 is 645 pounds compared to 550 for the M500.[17]

PA-46R-350T Matrix[edit]

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.[18]

Piper Aircraft is marketing the Matrix as a cabin-class aircraft for Cirrus SR-22 and Cessna 400 owners to step up to.[18][19]

Standard equipment on the Matrix includes a built-in oxygen system, Avidyne Entegra glass cockpit, S-Tec 55X autopilot and air conditioning.[19]

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,[19] 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).[20] 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).[19] 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).[20]

Matrix deliveries began in early 2008.[19]


PA-46-310P converted to PT6 power by a JetPROP conversion

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.[21]

Specifications (PA-46-310P Malibu)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89 [22]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: five passengers
  • Length: 28 ft 4 34 in (8.655 m)
  • Wingspan: 43 ft 0 in (13.11 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 3 12 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)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (October 2010). "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A25SO" (PDF). Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Aircraft Information: Piper PA-46 Malibu/Malibu Mirage | Airliners.net
  3. ^ National Aeronautic Association "World and United States Aviation and Space Records and Annual Report" 1994 Edition, Pages 258, 260 and 270
  4. ^ Paboojian v Teledyne Continental Motors, et al, Result: Settlement, $32,125,000
  5. ^ Piper Aircraft, Mirage Price and Equipment, retrieved 22 May 2013]
  6. ^ "Piper Launches Three New M-Class Models, Including a New Turboprop". avweb.com. Aviation Publishing Group. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Bertorelli, Paul (13 April 2015). "Piper Bets Big On Envelope Protection". avweb.com. Aviation Publishing Group. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Specs & Performance - Piper". Piper.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Piper Launches M600 and M350". Flyingmag.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  10. ^ "PIPER M350, Used PIPER M350, PIPER M350 For Sale At Controller.com - 10 Listings - Page 1". Controller.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Piper Aircraft, Inc. - Meridian Price & Standard Equipment". Piper.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  12. ^ AOPA: 42. April 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Goyer, Robert (6 April 2015). "We Fly: Piper Meridian M500". Flying (magazine). Retrieved 12 April 2015.  Page 2
  14. ^ Goyer, Robert (April 2015). "Piper Meridian M500 Versus the World: Comparison Specs". Flying (magazine). Retrieved 12 April 2015.  M500 spec page
  15. ^ Whitfield, Bethany (14 April 2015). "Piper Launches M600 and M350". Flying (magazine). 
  16. ^ "Video: Piper's New M600 Shows at Sun 'n Fun". avweb. April 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ Matt Thurber (June 20, 2016). "Piper M600 Receives FAA Certification". Aviation International News. 
  18. ^ a b Robert Goyer: Piper Matrix Flying Magazine March 2008, page 56. Hachette Filipacchi Media USA Inc.
  19. ^ a b c d e Flying Editors: Matrix: Cabin-Class Comfort for Less Flying Magazine January 2008, page 19. Hachette Filipacchi Media USA Inc.
  20. ^ a b Piper Aircraft (n.d.). "Matrix Price & Standard Equipment". Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  21. ^ JetPROP, LLC (2008). "About JetPROP". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  22. ^ 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.

External links[edit]