Piper PA46 Aircraft Variants
The first example of the initial production version flew in August 1982, and FAA certification was obtained in September 1983. Deliveries started two months later. 404 aircraft with Continental TSIO-520 engines were built before this model was replaced in production by the PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage.
The PA-46-310P is powered by a Continental TSIO-520BE engine rated at 310 hp (230 kW). The PA-46-310P has lower fuel consumption, greater range, and the ability to cruise at “lean-of-peak.” The PA-46-310P has a maximum cruising range of 1,550 nmi (2,870 km) (with reserves), while the PA-46-350P initially had a maximum cruising range of only 1,055 nautical miles (1,954 km), although this is now increased to 1,345 nautical miles (2,491 km).
The PA-46-310P Malibu has set several world speed records: Seattle to New York set November 23, 1987 at 259.27 mph (417 km/h); Detroit to Washington, DC set January 4, 1989 at 395.96 mph (637 km/h); and Chicago to Toronto set on January 8, 1989, at 439.13 mph (707 km/h). All three records were set by Steve Stout in his 1986 Malibu N9114B.
The Continental TSIO-520-BE powered Malibu was discontinued in 1988 following a series of incidents and accidents attributed to engine failures. One such accident resulted in a settlement in which Teledyne Continental Motors paid $32,125,000 to a pilot injured in the crash of a Malibu.
PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage
PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage
Production of the Malibu Mirage commenced in October 1988 for the 1989 model year. New features included a more powerful Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A 350 hp (260 kW) engine and a new wing. Various changes have occurred over the model years. Earlier models had an all-King panel and later this became largely Garmin, the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit is now standard.
In 1995, the pilot’s windshield became a glass assembly (earlier it had been acrylic glass with a heat strip overlay). In 1996, numerous switches were moved to an overhead console. In 1999, the Mirage gained the strengthened wing designed for the turboprop Meridian.
PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian
Piper PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian
In 1997, Piper announced its intention to market a turboprop-powered version of the Malibu, and flew a prototype the following year powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A of 500 shp (370 kW). Certification was achieved in September 2000 and deliveries began in November that year. Changes made to allow for turboprop power include larger wings and tail surfaces. In 2009, Piper began offering the Meridian with a three-screen version of the Garmin G1000 including the Garmin GFC 700 autopilot as a replacement for the Avidyne Entegra system.
Piper added wing root filets to increase wing area and 342 lb (155 kg) of fuel capacity, a larger tailplane and reinforced wing spar and landing gear to raise MTOW to 4,850 lb (2,200 kg) then 5,092 lb (2,310 kg) from 2003. For a 1,000 nmi (1,900 km) trip, block fuel is 985 lb (447 kg) at 233 kn (432 km/h) block speed, while its maximum cruise speed is 260 kn (480 km/h).
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