Piper Matrix: Cabin-Class Comfort for Less

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Piper has introduced a new cabin-class member of its lineup, the Matrix, an unpressurized spin-off of the popular six-place pressurized Mirage single. Price point is the main message of the Matrix. The airplane starts at $757,000 well equipped, and for an extra $90,000 owners can add flight into known icing capability, a heated prop, speed brakes and avionics upgrades, including Avidyne's TAS610 traffic system. The performance of the Matrix will be impressive. With its 350 hp turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540 engine, the airplane will be fast, about 215 knots at 25,000 feet, 202 knots at 17,500 feet and a very respectable 188 knots at 12,000 feet. Standard equipment on the airplane will include built-in oxygen, a two "tube" Avidyne Entegra glass-panel avionics system with the S-Tec 55X autopilot, air conditioning and more. But the big selling point of the Matrix is the airplane's big cabin. In fact, Piper has positioned the airplane to be a step-up model-not so much for its own piston singles, but for pilots looking to move up from Columbias and SR22s to a true cabin-class airplane, and at a price point that's much closer to the $500,000 to $600,000 price tags that premium models of four-seat piston singles command. Piper has orders for 100 Matrix airplanes from its dealers, which will cover the planned first year production. Piper planned to start making deliveries in the first part of 2008. For more information, visit piper.com.