Piper Makes History with the New Malibu Meridian

The New Piper Aircraft made history in August, 1998, with the first flight of its new single-engine turboprop the Malibu Meridian, marking Piper's return to the realm of turboprop-powered aircraft.

Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A turboprop, the Meridian relies upon one of the most revered and reliable powerplants in the world. It can deliver speeds topping 300 mph at an altitude of 30,000 feet and a maximum cruise range exceeding 1,000 nautical miles with a useful load that exceeds 1,500 pounds. It is equipped with a 4-bladed Hartzell prop.

"Glass" cockpit like none other

Working as a design team with GARMIN International, Meggitt Avionics, Inc., and S-TEC Corporation, Piper has developed a leading edge "glass cockpit" for the Meridian.

Each Meridian is equipped with dual installations of the GARMIN GNS 530, a complete navigation and communications system, designed to improve a pilot's situational awareness through all stages of operation. Each unit includes a 12-channel GPS and a full-color, highly detailed, large-screen moving map to help keep pilots aware of not only where they are and where they're headed, but also their relationship to critical navigation elements such as airports, airspace designations and NAV aids. It also provides a detailed presentation of topographical features like lakes, rivers, highways, political boundaries, railroads and coastlines.

The GARMIN communications component includes a transceiver with 8.33 kHz spacing - providing 2280 channels as compared to today's receivers with capacity for fewer than 800 channels - as well as VOR, Localizer and Glideslope receivers.

This system has been approved for IFR approaches and be Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) certified to TSO C146.

The S-Tec System 550 autopilot, with it's Flight Guidance Computer technology, provides smooth, precise and dependable performance, and is fully coupled to the GNS 530. It provides excellent course interception and tracking, relying on VOR, Localizer/Glideslope and GPS guidance.

The Malibu Meridian