As Piper Aircraft commemorates its 75th anniversary this year, the company on Thursday had another event to celebrate: the 500th delivery of its popular turboprop Piper Meridian to its new Florida-based owner.
The Meridian has been a strong seller since Piper announced the pressurized single-engine model in 1997 as a follow-on to the piston-powered PA-46 Malibu Mirage. Certification and initial deliveries started in late 2000 and continue today with a long list of improvements, including Garmin G1000 avionics, which were added in 2009. Base price for a new Meridian is $2.13 million.
Last year, orders for the pressurized single jumped from 25 in 2010 to 32 in 2011, helping the company reach higher overall revenue levels.
Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine, the Piper Meridian cruises at 260 knots and tops out at a range of 1,000 nm.