Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft began fine-tuning a more aerodynamic aircraft design in the early 1920s. Made popular by the Spirit of St. Louis, their initial monoplane made the first successful non-stop transatlantic flight. After seeing it capable of flying from New York to Paris across the Atlantic, everyone wanted to try and copy its design to garner the same success. Gordon and C. Gilbert Taylor teamed up to create their own version under Taylor Brothers Aircraft Company.

However, after testing its version of the Spirit of St. Louis, the plane known as “Chummy” killed Gilbert’s brother, Gordon, in an accident. Following the loss of his brother, Gilbert went on to revamp the Taylor Brothers Aircraft Company — refinancing it with local money. This change also inspired a new move to Bradford, Pennsylvania,  to rebuild the aviation corporation. Even so, the Great Depression hit and caused the business to fail. Gilbert eventually filed for bankruptcy. William T. Piper saw the opportunity to take over the business. And so he did by purchasing all of its remaining assets for $761.

After reorganizing the company in its Bradford factory, it was renamed Taylor Aircraft Company. However, a factory fire caused the warehouse to burn down in 1937. This prompted Piper to relocate to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Combined with the new move, the company was once again renamed Piper Aircraft Corporation.

Piper Aircraft is known for naming aircraft after Native American groups like Cherokee and Apache. Furthermore, it’s known for producing private, business, and flight training aircraft. After Hurricane Agnes dumped 9 inches of rain on central Pennsylvania in 1972, floodwaters destroyed Piper’s Lock Haven location. The entire facility, several fully produced aircraft, and all design and engineering work were lost and well beyond repair. Current headquarters are located at Vero Beach Regional Airport in Florida.

Country of Origin: America

Developing The PA-46

Before the PA-46 could take off, the root of its design lies within the Piper Malibu. The Malibu took its first flight in August 1982. It received its FAA certification in September 1983. However, due to several incidents because of engine failure, Piper needed to make numerous improvements to the Mirage. After several modifications, the Mirage eventually gained the strengthened wing design needed to transform it into a turboprop Meridian. In total, the PA-46 has 3 variants:

  • PA-46-310P Malibu
  • PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage
  • PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian

Piper Meridian PA-46 500TP

The following are statistics for Piper’s 2015 Meridian PA-46 500TP.

  • Maximum Speed: 267 kts
  • Maximum Range: 920 nm
  • Maximum Occupants: 6
  • Range Of Years Manufactured: 2001-2015
  • Total Aircraft Build: 556
  • Current Operational Aircraft: Unknown
  • Useful Load: 1,659 lbs
  • Average Sale Value: $949,000
  • VREF Demand Rating: Join VREF Online

Operational Resources

Operations Manuals

Maintenance Document

Local Resources



Piper Meridian PA-46 500TP Details

Below are descriptions for Piper’s 2015 Piper Meridian PA-46 500TP.

Piper Meridian


Seating up to 6 individuals, 4 are in a club seating configuration. Seating comes with standard Premier Elegance color-coordinated leather seating, carpet, and 2 neutral-tone color schemes in Dune or Glacier. Interior technology features either Meggitt Magic or Garmin G1000 avionics.


A Piper Meridian features an all-metal frame, Hartzell HC-E4N-3Q 4-blade propeller, large tapered wings, and a larger tail surface than its predecessor. Two 500-horsepower Pratt & Whitney TBO 3600 PT6A-42A engines power this turboprop variant.


The Piper Meridian may or may not contain the following avionics:

  • Garmin G1000 Avionics Suite with Synthetic Vision
  • Dual 10″ Primary Flight Displays
  • Center 15″ Navigation and Multi-Function Display
  • Garmin GFC 700 Autopilot
  • Garmin GMC 710 Autopilot Controller
  • Garmin GCU Keypad
  • Dual Garmin GIA 63W NAV/COMM/GPS
  • Garmin Weather Radar with 12″ Wing Pod
  • Safe Taxi
  • Jeppesen Chart View
  • Dual Garmin 1347 Audio Panels
  • Dual Garmin GDC 74A Air Data Computers
  • Garmin GTX 335R Mode S Transponder with ADS-B
  • Garmin GTX 345R 2nd Mode S Transponder with ADS-B
  • XM Satellite Radio and Weather (Garmin GDL 69A Datalink)
  • KTA 870 Active Traffic Advisory System
  • WX-500 Stormscope
  • TAWS-B Terrain Awareness and Warning
  • Ground Clearance System
  • Stand-by Flight Instruments (Airspeed, Attitude, Altimeter)
  • Yaw Damper System
  • Bose A20 Headsets (Hard Wired)
  • Avionics Master Switch

Optional Features

  • Garmin Flite-Charts
  • SafeTaxi Jeppesen Electronic Chart-View
  • ADC (Air Data Computer): Dual GDC-74A
  • Audio Panels: Dual GMA-1347
  • Audio Panels: Dual GMA-1347
  • Standby HSI (Horizontal Speed Indicator) & Altimeter


  • Configuration: Single Engine, Turboprop, Pressurized
  • Max Seats: 6
  • Max Takeoff Weight: 5,092 lbs.
  • Cruise: 262 kts
  • Range: 920 nm
  • Takeoff (50 ft.): 2,545 ft.
  • Landing (50 ft.): 2,114 ft.
  • Wing Span: 43 ft.
  • Length: 29 ft. 7 in.
  • Height: 11 ft. 4 in.

Piper Meridian Models

PA-46-310P Malibu

The PA-46-310P is powered by a Continental TSIO-520BE engine with a maximum cruising range of 1,550 nmi. The PA-46-310P Malibu has set several world speed records:

  • Seattle to New York in 1987 at 259.27 mph
  • Detroit to Washington, DC in 1989 at 395.96 mph
  • Chicago to Toronto in 1989 at 439.13 mph

All 3 records are held by Steve Stout in his 1986 Malibu N9114B.

PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage

Production of the Malibu Mirage commenced in October 1988 for the 1989 model year. Features for this variant include a more powerful 350-horsepower Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A 3 engine and a new wing. Production for the Malibu Mirage includes a now standard glass cockpit.

PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian

The turboprop-powered version of the Malibu received its certification in September 2000. Deliveries began a few months later in November. Changes feature larger wing and tail surfaces and a 3-screen version of the Garmin G1000 including the Garmin GFC 700 autopilot to replace its previous system.


An updated version of the Mirage, the M350 is fit with the same 350-horsepower turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A engine and Hartzell 3-bladed propeller. Additional improvements include its Ametek digital fuel quantity system and improved Garmin G1000 NXi flight system. With this Garmin update, it can initiate emergency descent in the case that the pilot becomes incapacitated due to hypoxia.


The M500 is an updated version of the Meridian with an updated Garmin G1000 NXi flight system. This system improved the automatic wing-level function and offered control override to prevent the plane’s flight envelope from exceeding its limit. In the event of an incapacitated pilot due to hypoxia, this aircraft also features a safety system known as the Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) system. The M500 also has ADS-B, but no Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).


The M500 is an updated version of the Meridian with an updated Garmin G1000 NXi flight system. This system improved the automatic wing-level function and offered control override to prevent the plane’s flight envelope from exceeding its limit. In the event of an incapacitated pilot due to hypoxia, this aircraft also features a safety system known as the Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) system. The M500 also has ADS-B, but no Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).

PA-46R-350T Matrix

Piper Aircraft announced the Matrix’s unpressurized design in October 2007. This turbocharging 350-horsepower aircraft is equipped with a Lycoming TI0-540-AE2A engine, retractable landing gear, and standard equipment such as a built-in oxygen system, Avidyne Entegra glass cockpit, S-Tec 55X autopilot, and air conditioning system. Other major upgrades include a de-ice system, an Enhanced Situational Awareness Package, speed brakes, and an avionics package with Avidyne TAS610 dual antenna traffic advisory system (Garmin G1000 avionics for 2010+). Production for this aircraft ended in 2015.


The JetPROP is an aftermarket turbine engine conversion for the PA-46-310P Malibu and PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage offered by Rocket Engineering of Spokane, WA. Originally certified in 1998 as the JetPROP DLX with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 engine, conversions 90 and above used the P&W PT6A-35 after the -34 was discontinued. A lower-cost JetPROP DL version became available in October 2003 utilizing the P&W PT6A-21. As of September 2008, 233 JetPROP conversions had been delivered. Twenty percent of the entire PA-46 fleet has been converted.

Top Piper Meridian PA-46 500TP Questions

The following are answers to several FAQs regarding the Piper Meridian PA-46 500TP.

What Type Of Aircraft Is The ZeroAvia HyFlyer?

ZeroAvia is the creation of a Cranfield University partner and U.S./UK startup developing a Hydrogen fuel cell power train. The idea was that this type of modification would halve turbine operating costs. Developers test-flew a few 130 kW electric motors replacing the piston engine of a Piper Malibu Mirage in California. In September 2019, the UK government granted £2.7 million ($3.3 million) for its HyFlyer demonstrator. ZeroAvia’s prototype made its first hydrogen-powered flight at Cranfield Airport on September 24, 2020.

What Happened To The Piper Malibu?

The Continental TSIO-520-BE-powered Malibu was discontinued in 1988 following a series of incidents and accidents due to engine failures.

What Inspired Piper Aircraft Names?

According to Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), Army General Hamilton Howze chose the name Sioux in the 1940s “in honor of the Native Americans who fought Army soldiers in the Sioux Wars and defeated the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Little Bighorn”.

Later on, the Army asked for its AR 70-28 aircraft to be named after “Indian terms and names of American Indian tribes and chiefs.” Due to disagreements about the relationship between the U.S. military and Native Americans, the rule did not last according to a press release discussing the several American Indian Wars from 1609 to 1924. Now, the U.S. military needs formal permission from the tribes to use any similar names in the future.

The same press release says,

“But Native Americans also served as some of the fiercest fighters for the United States for more than 200 years…In fact, 32 Native Americans have earned the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.”

Using native tribe and warrior names might have been inspired by the headquarters’ surrounding area as it’s located within a quarter mile of several native villages. The first aircraft with a Native American name became the all-metal aircraft, the Piper Apache, manufactured from 1952 to 1981.

All of the following Piper aircraft names derive from Indigenous peoples:

  • Piper PA-23 Apache
  • Piper PA-23 Aztek
  • Piper PA-24 Comanche
  • Piper PA-25 Pawnee
  • Piper PA-28 Cherokee
  • Piper PA-28-236 Dakota
  • Piper PA-31 Navajo
  • Piper PA-31P-350 Mojave
  • Piper PA-31T Cheyenne
  • Piper PA-34 Seneca
  • Piper PA-44 Seminole

What Else Is Piper’s Meridian Known As?

Other names for the Meridian include the Malibu, Malibu Mirage, Malibu Meridian, and Matrix.

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