Essentially a re-engined and upgraded Piper Mirage, the New Piper Meridian 500T was announced at the NBAA convention in September 1997 and was slated to enter the market in mid-2000. The primary benefit of the turbine-powered Meridian 500T over its predecessor the piston-powered Mirage, is additional speed with a high-speed cruise of 262 kts. The Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A turboprop engine is generously flat-rated with 500shp available for takeoff at sea level to +55 degrees C. The older Mirage was designed as Piper’s first pressurized, cabin-class piston single to compete against Cessna’s P210 Centurion and older light twins. It first flew in 1980 and was certified in 1983. The improved Malibu Mirage was its replacement in 1983 with a 350hp Lycoming engine substituting for the older 310hp Continental engine. Approximately 650 piston-engined PA-46s were delivered before the line was transitioned to its latest version, the the turbine-powered Meridian. The Meridian 500T was certified in 2000 with 18 aircraft delivered through the end of the year. As of 2008, 380 aircraft have been produced.
The New Piper Meridian PA-500T is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney of Canada PT6A-42A turboprop engine flat-rated at 500shp at ISA +55C. driving a constant speed, reversable Hartzell four-bladed propeller. Inspection interval on the engine is 3,600 hours.
The Meridian is equipped with dual installations of the Garmin GNS 530 nav/comm system with each unit incorporating a 12-channel GPS and full-color large screen moving map. The Garmin comm component includes a 8.33kHz spaced transceiver with 2,280 channel capability with integrated VOR, localizer and glideslope indicators. An S-TEC System 530 autopilot is fully coupled to the GNS 530. Two Meggit LCD engine display units are also standard. Optional is a Meggit dual Electronic Flight Display System including an LCD AHRS, Primary Flight display and Nav display. The new Meridian comes standard with the Avidyne Flight Max Entegra Integrated Flight Deck.
The Meridian PA-500T is a pressurized, single-engine turboprop-powered business aircraft whose airframe is primarily of aluminum construction. It is designed as a cantilever low-wing monoplane configuration with a retractable tricycle landing gear with a single wheel on each unit. The aircraft features a long, relatively high aspect-ratio wing, a roomy cabin with seating for a pilot and four or five passengers and a rear airstair-style door. The improved Meridian design incorporates a longer nose than the Mirage to accommodate the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A turboprop powerplant. Also distinguishing the Meridian from its predecessor the Mirage is its larger horizontal stabilizer, which improves stability at altitude and aids in airfield performance. Flaps on the Meridian are electric, the flight controls are manual and the control system is identical to the Mirage.
The Meridian cabin layout is configured to seat four or five passengers comfortably in a pressurized environment. Cabin dimensions are 12.3ft in length, 4.1ft in width and 3.9ft in height. A rear airstair-style entry door is aft of the port wing.
|Years Aircraft Manufactured||2001 – current|
|Serial Number Range||7003-(up)|
|Retail High Price||$1,710,000.00 / 1,341,837.00€|
|Retail Low Price||$680,000.00 / 533,596.00€|
|External Dimensions (ft)||Meridian, PA-46-500T|
|Internal Dimensions (ft)||Meridian, PA-46-500T|
|Internal Length (Overall/Net Height)||12.3|
|Internal Width (Max/Floor)||4.1|
|Output (lbs ea.)/Flat Rating||500shp/ISA+55|
|Data based on latest manufactured year|