Piper Aircraft has launched a new airplane in its single-engine M-class series called the M500. An upgraded Meridian turboprop model, the M500 brings Garmin G1000 avionics along with other new technologies to the six-seat airplane, which was first introduced in the early 1980s.
In addition to the well-known benefits of the G1000 system, such as dual 10-inch PFDs with all the basic instruments and a centrally located 12-inch MFD with a moving map display, electronic charts, real time weather and more, the M500 has the automatic level mode, allowing the pilot to bring the airplane to a neutral position simply by pushing a blue button.
The M500 avionics system also includes Garmin’s Electronic Stability Protection (ESP), which serves to prevent stalls and loss of control accidents by discouraging flight outside of the normal flight envelope when the autopilot is disengaged. When the autopilot is engaged a function called Underspeed Protection (USP) maintains the airspeed at or above the stall. A PFD annunciation shows when the USP is active. The G1000 also integrates the M500’s new digital pressurization system as well as master caution, master warning, gear position and gear warning annunciations.
In addition to the G1000, new upgrades in the M500 include an Aspen EFD-1000 standby instrument, dual USB ports, electroluminescent placards, a GTX 33 Extended Squitter Transponder, and an optional GTS 825 Traffic Advisory System, providing ADS-B In and Out capability.
The new M500 Meridian is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A engine bringing the airplane to cruise speeds up to 260 ktas. The new model is priced at $2.26 million.
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