Page 14 - Jan21T&T
P. 14

 I get calls from this pilot fre- quently. As an active instructor in the owner-flown market, I am able to fly a lot of cool airplanes and of- fer no shortage of opinions. In fact, helping this type of pilot is one of the most satisfying aspects of my scope of work. Most of these pilots have already done a lot of homework, scouring Trade-a-Plane and talking with their local pilot community. But, when you are ready to stroke a three-quarter-million dollar check, you don’t want to make a mistake. Hence, I get lots of phone calls about this particular move up.
Interestingly, when pilots come to me seeking advice on their next airplane, they often have two very different airplanes on their radar: the Piper Meridian and the Cirrus SR22T. Very different but commonly con- trasted by potential buyers. I’ve also received an unusually high number of email requests from readers of this magazine to compare the two airplanes. By the way, I really do love getting feedback from readers of my articles! This article is proof that Twin & Turbine will respond to their readers’ requests.
The Piper Meridian is a six-place, aluminum construction, turbine, pressurized, retractable gear air- plane. The Cirrus SR22T is a four- place, composite construction, pis- ton, non-pressurized, fixed-gear airplane. You’d think these two air- planes would never end up on the
12 • TWIN & TURBINE / January 2021
same want list, but they do. Why? They are both super cross-country machines that attract buyers who want the latest and greatest avionics, who will not compromise on safety, and who want something newer. They both accomplish the same mission, albeit with a few differences.
Piper Meridian
The Meridian first came out in 2001 as the first turbine ever cre- ated by Piper Aircraft. Based on the successful Malibu/Mirage airframe, which was built explicitly with pres- surization in mind, the Meridian was a natural progression upward for the piston pilot who wanted to go higher and faster. With cabin-class seating,
Meridian shipped from the factory with an admittedly inferior panel. These original panels are nearly ob- solete today as they are not WAAS functional or ADS-B compliant, and factory support is nearly non-exis- tent. But, the Meridian is such a good airframe that many of the avionics manufacturers have targeted the Meridian as an airframe to devote their research dollars. Many of these airframes have had their entire panel torn out and refitted with some spec- tacular boxes. Several are upgraded to the “Dual G500TXi/Dual G750” panel which has tremendous functionality and appeal.
The new Engine Information Sys- tem (EIS) from Garmin was recently
a huge panel for all the latest gadgets and the bulletproof PT6 turbine engine up front, the Meridian is a fabulous airplane. The Meridian will cruise at FL280 at an average of 265 KTAS and burn 39 gallons of jet fuel each hour. The no-wind range of a Meridian with full fuel tanks is about 750 nm (with reserves). It is comfortable, quiet and a real performer.
Today, the earlier Meridians are reg- ularly trading at an average of about $750k. An early 2001 Meridian with no upgrades, original avionics and average airframe/engine times will trade for just under $650k. As you add upgrades, paint, updated interior and new avionics, the trading price will go up. The original

   12   13   14   15   16