Newly built Piper Meridian turboprops will be more “useful” than their predecessors after FAA approval of modifications that will increase useful load by 235 lb, a 15-percent increase, New Piper Aircraft announced at the NBAA show yesterday. The modifications, expected to be certified by the end of the year, consist of aerodynamic and structural changes.
Piper is working on boosting the max takeoff weight for its Meridian turboprop single to create a 15-percent increase in useful load. By the end of the year, Piper said it will receive certification of aerodynamic and structural changes to its Meridian that will allow a 242-lb increase in mtow from 4,850 lb to 5,092 lb.
When Piper introduced the Meridian in 2001, it marked the return of the Vero Beach, Fla.-based manufacturer to the turboprop market and the end of a nine-year hiatus since the Cheyenne production line went quiet in 1992.
When customers start receiving their Citation Sovereigns, they might notice the tail area has more vortex generators than it did when the super-midsize business jet received FAA type certification in June.