20th-Anniversary Malibu Meridian

 - February 1, 2007, 10:04 AM

Piper Aircraft has announced 20th-anniversary models of its Malibu Mirage piston single and Malibu Meridian turboprop-single. Besides a commemorative logo and paint scheme, the milestone also includes some special pricing packages. The original piston-powered Malibu first hit the market in 1984 as Piper’s first pressurized, cabin-class single. After some service difficulties with its Continental engine, it was reconfigured with a 350-hp Lycoming powerplant and rechristened the Malibu Mirage. The 500-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-powered Meridian was introduced in 2000, bringing Piper back to the turbine market following the demise of the Cheyenne line of twins in the late-1980s.

The 20th-anniversary Mirage and Meridian feature all-new standard and optional paint schemes designed by Scheme Designers of Cresskill, N.J., as did the first Meridians four years ago. Piper is also tempting buyers with what it describes as “significant discounts” on both aircraft.

Piper marketing and sales director Molly Martin Pearce said the Vero Beach, Fla. manufacturer has bundled specific option packages for the U.S. and international markets with “substantial savings” offered. One such package includes the Meggitt Magic EFIS system (standard on the Meridian) with Honeywell’s integrated hazard avoidance system (IHAS 8000), a weather datalink and a second transponder. Piper offers ADF and DME for international customers.

The Meridian features a single-lever power control, and its performance specifications include a 260-ktas cruise speed at 30,000 feet. Piper president Chuck Suma said, “In 1984, the PA-46 series offered the best value for the dollar, and the tradition continues with the 20th-anniversary editions of the Meridian and Mirage.”