In 2007, the Piper Matrix (PA-46R-350T) was unveiled as an unpressurized variation of the Piper Meridian Mirage, which later became the M350. Piper presented the Piper Matrix as a low-cost alternative to the pressurized Mirage. It is a six-seater, low-wing, unpressurized single piston-engine airplane.
I remember thinking to myself when I first heard about the Matrix, “OK, but why?” Why would you want to convert a pressurized plane to an unpressurized model? The cause is financial. Piper removed the pressurization system as well as the nonstructural components of the system. The goal was to develop a more affordable six-seat aircraft with comparable performance.
Another notable difference is the aviation kit, which has two Avidyne 10.4-inch monitors as opposed to three on the Mirage. The autopilot was also downgraded, which was done by providing Matrix with the S-Tex 55X. Piper, on the other hand, began offering the Matrix with the G1000 flat-glass avionics system, as it had done with other models.
Returning to the original inquiry concerning the rationale. As a result of these adjustments, the empty weight was reduced by 150 pounds, and the price was reduced by $385,000. This also demonstrates where Piper attempted to market this aircraft. This is a cabin-class 6-seater designed as an upgrade for owners of 4-seater piston singles. Although it is unpressurized, it retains the Mirage’s engine and performance.
Matrix is suited for owners who are alright with no pressurization but want a cabin-class inexpensive single with big boy performance. It sold over 100 in its first year to a market that many else had missed.
Piper Matrix Specifications
Piper Matrix, as previously stated, is an unpressurized single with low wings and retractable gear, making it a part of the PA-46 family. When flying over 12,000 feet MSL, each pilot should use oxygen continuously since it is unpressurized.
When it comes to the occupants, they will require supplementary oxygen above the 14 CFR’s requirement of 15,000 feet. This is the most significant distinction from Mirage.
Cabins, on the other hand, are almost identical. When traveling in the Matrix, six occupants may carry as much as they need as luggage with a typical useable load of 1,355 pounds, making it ideal for families or large groups. When compared to other aircraft, Matrix’s payload is higher than the Mirage with equipment downgrades.
Makes it favorable against aircrafts such as the Cirrus SR22, the Cessna 400, or the six-seater Beechcraft Bonanza. With six seats in a club arrangement and an airstair for access, the Matrix features a large and comfortable cabin.
In the cockpit, the Matrix has a conventional 15-inch multi-function display as well as dual 10.4-inch main flight displays. Due to two high-resolution main flight displays, the flying instruments are visible from both the left and right seats without any distracting parallax.
On the other hand, Multi-Function Flight Display may display engine statistics, charts, traffic, weather, flight plans, menus, and more. The aircraft is outfitted with Garmin G1000 avionics, which is commonly seen on high-end aircraft.
Flight automation is provided by the Garmin GFC 700 fully integrated flight control system, which includes a dual AHRS-based system. The technology effortlessly integrates a flight director, autopilot, automated trim, and yaw damper into the G100 suite, providing top safety features and unrivaled performance.
Table 1: Piper Matrix Specs – Source: AOPA
|Height||11 ft 4 in||Cabin height||3 ft 11 in|
|Length||28.11 ft 11 in||Empty weight||2,960 lb|
|Wingspan||43 ft||Useful load||1,398 lb|
|Wing Area||175 sq ft||Useful load, as tested||1,305 lb|
|Wing loading||24.8 lb/sq ft||Payload w/full fuel||678 lb|
|Power loading||12.4 lb/hp||Max takeoff weight||4,340 lb|
|Seats||6||Max landing weight||4,123 lb|
|Cabin length||12 ft 4 in||Fuel capacity, std||122 gal (120 gal usable)
732 lb (720 lb usable)
|Cabin width||4 ft 1.5 in||Baggage capacity||Forward 100 lb, 13 cu ft
Aft 100 lb, 20 cu ft
Piper Matrix Performance and Handling
The Piper Matrix is powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A single turbocharged piston engine with six cylinders. The 350-horsepower engine is the same as the one found in the Mirage. The Hartzell 3-Blade, composite, constant speed propeller is employed. When equipped with this engine, the Piper Matrix can cruise at a speed of 213 ktas (395 mph).
The maximum range is 1,343 nautical miles (2,487 kilometers) with a 45-minute reserve, and the highest point is 25,00 feet above sea level (7,620 m).
Even though Matrix is a simple plane to control, keep an eye out for planes with large wings so you don’t crash into them when taxiing. The taxi is made simpler by the presence of nosewheel steering and strong brakes. The Matrix is a better performer than other four-seat high-performance singles, with a takeoff weight of 4,340 pounds.
Matrix has a similar takeoff performance as Mirage. When compared to other singles, this aircraft is big and strong, yet caution is required when handling the controls so as not to over-control the aircraft. It takes 2,090 feet to takeoff over a 50-foot barrier (637 m). At maximum throttle, you can ascend at a rate of roughly 1,300 feet per minute (fpm), although 125 knots are the ideal cruising climb speed.
The standard Matrix can transport 680 pounds of people and stuff with its full 120 gallons of fuel, equivalent to four 170-pound passengers and no luggage. According to the official data, the plane can fly for 988 miles with a 45-minute reserve at 17,500 feet and a high-speed cruising setting of 202 ktas.
The landing distance is 1,968-ft (600-meter) distance over a 50-ft barrier. An abrupt pressure drop in an unpressurized airplane might be uncomfortable for passengers. As a result, careful thought should go into the landing strategy.
If you check the official data, you will see the Piper Matrix has the same performance data as Piper M350, which is very natural since they are siblings. Therefore, Matrix is an excellent deal for a single, providing additional value in the shape of cabin-class seats and rock-solid controls.
For a plane that can reach FL250, unpressurized trips imply you require supplemental oxygen, which may be insufficient because the pressure is not solely dependent on how much oxygen you receive. For those looking for more space than 4-seater singles, the pricing for this level of performance and interior still makes sense.
Table 2: Piper Matrix Performance – Source: Official Brochure
|Engine||Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A – 6 cylinders||Ground Roll (Takeoff)||1,087 ft (331 m)|
|Horsepower||350 hp||Total Over 50 ft Obstacle (Takeoff)||2,090 ft (637 m)|
|Propeller||Hartzell 3-Blade Constant Speed||Ground Roll (Landing)||1,020 ft (311 m)|
|Max Cruise Speed||213 ktas (395 km/h)||Total Over 50 ft Obstacle (Landing)||1,968 ft (600 m)|
|Range with 45 min Reserve||1,343 nm (2,487 km)||Cabin Pressurization||Not Pressurized|
|Max Approved Altitude||15,000 ft (7,620 m)||FIKI Certified||Optional|
Piper Matrix Modifications and Upgrades
The Garmin 1000 avionics package given by the Piper was one of the key modifications to the first production Piper Matrix. Upgrade packages are also available from Piper, and the things in these packages can be purchased separately. Piper is one of the few firms that is open about the features and improvements of their aircraft.
There are avionics improvement packages available, as well as interior enhancements from Piper. The information below is taken from the Matrix Brochure, however, because the Piper M350 has upgrades available for better versions of these items, you can contact Piper for more up-to-date listings.
Table 3: Piper Matrix Upgrader Package Options – Source: Piper Brochure
|Garmin G1000 Avionics Suite with Autopilot: Dual 10-inch PFDs, Single 15-inch MFD, Dual GIA 63W NAV/COM/GPS, GFC 700 Autopilot with GMC 710 AP Controller and Yaw Damper System, Dual GRS 77 AHRS Computers, GCU 476 Keypad, Garmin FliteCharts, Garmin SafeTaxi, GMA 347 Audio Panel, Dual GDC 74A Air Data Computers, GTX 33 ES Mode S Transponder and Standby Flight Instruments.
Other Equipment: PiperAire Air Conditioning, Hardwired Cockpit Bose A20 Headsets, Supplemental Oxygen System, 110 Volt Ac Power Outlet
|Awareness Package Upgrade|
|Jeppesen ChartView, TAWS-B (Terrain Awareness and Warning System), KTA 870 Traffic Advisory System|
|GWX 68 Weather Radar, GDL 69A XM WX Satellite Weather, Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI), L3 WX-500 Stormscope|
|SVT-Garmin Synthetic Vision, Speed Brakes, AMSAFE Pilot & Co-Pilot Air Bag Seatbelts|
|ADF – BendixKing KR 87, DME – BendixKig Kn63|
Piper Matrix Prices
It cost $757,000 to purchase the Piper Matrix in 2008 when it was configured with the factory-installed standard configuration. The pre-owned price of the airplane today, in 2021, is in the region of $400,000 to $600,000. The cost of an airplane varies greatly depending on the avionics package and the number of flying hours logged.
The Piper website provides pricing information for avionics equipment as well as premium package options for anyone interested in upgrading their aircraft. They also include a breakdown of the costs of interior upgrades.
Piper Matrix Maintenance Schedule
Use the Piper Matrix Maintenance Manual to discover when and under what conditions your airplane should be serviced.
According to the Pilots Operating Handbook, every owner should maintain close contact with an authorized Piper Service Center or Piper’s Customer Services Department to obtain the most up-to-date information on their aircraft and to take advantage of Piper’s support services. The Lycoming engine has a 2,000-hour overhaul interval.
Piper Matrix Common Problems
The FAA announced an Airworthiness Directive in April 2021 that mandates finding and fixing nonconforming stall warning heat control systems, which also applies to Piper Matrix. The identification of several planes with wing assemblies that did not have the required stall warning heater modification design led to this AD.
Ice can form on the stall vane during flights into icing conditions with the landing gear down if the appropriate stall warning heat control modification kit isn’t installed. This might lead to the stall warning system failing altogether.
Piper Matrix Where to Find Replacement Parts
According to Piper, it offers its clients the support they need to maintain and operate their aircraft effectively. Customers may use an interactive map on the Piper website to find service locations and parts wholesalers. Parts catalogs and other relevant information may be found on the Piper website.
You can also consult websites that provide a list of Matrix parts, such as Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co., for replacement parts. Aside from that, you can resort to private service centers around the country.
Piper Matrix Insurance Options
Because it is a non-pressurized aircraft, it has an advantage in terms of both maintenance and insurance. This is since cabin pressure systems frequently require repair, which may be costly. When it comes to insurance costs, this makes Matrix superior to Mirage.
There are two types of aviation insurance for the Piper Matrix. The first is Liability Coverage, which is standard in all aircraft insurance policies. Hull Coverage, on the other hand, is an optional add-on that protects the structure of the aircraft from damage.
Aviation liability insurance protects the aircraft owner or policyholder against claims originating from damage caused by the aircraft outside the aircraft, such as property damage and bodily injuries. The cost of insurance will be determined by the pilot’s expertise and the condition of the aircraft.
Piper Matrix Resale Value
By looking at used aircraft available, the resale value of an aircraft is greatly determined by the aircraft’s options and packages, the number of hours it has flown, and the general condition of the aircraft, among other considerations.
As previously said, a Piper Matrix aircraft with a range of options and good maintenance is now selling for around $500,000 on the market today. While buying the Matrix, you should consider the new M-Class getting into the used aircraft market.
Piper Matrix Owner Reviews
Owners say it is a worthwhile enhancement in terms of cabin size and practical load while still maintaining a pleasant single-engine flight in an economically priced range.
However, while some feel that a secondhand Piper Malibu may be purchased at this price point, others argue that having an unpressurized aircraft is preferable due to the cheaper maintenance costs and reduced stress on the engines.
Based on the remarks and the quantity of aircraft sold, we can conclude that the Piper Matrix is a wonderful aircraft for those who utilized it as a bridge between 4-seat unpressurized singles and cabin class singles with 6-seat.
Piper Matrix Similar Aircraft
The Piper Matrix is frequently compared to single-engine planes, which are the SR22 and Cessna 400, and the Mooney Acclaim. That is because their costs are slightly cheaper than the Piper Matrix. In comparison, the Beechcraft Bonanza G36 is one of the most comparable aircraft.
Piper Matrix Clubs You Can Join
It will be easier to meet other Matrix owners and benefit from their experiences if you join an organization such as the “Piper Flyer Association” or the “Piper Owner Society.” As an additional option, you can adhere to the Piper for Owners’ formal system of conduct.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How Much Does a Piper Matrix Cost?
Answer: When it was just out of the market in 2008 it was around $800,000. Nowadays you can find pre-owned models in the range of $400,000 to $600,000 based on flight hours and configuration of avionics and upgrades.
Question: How Fast is the Piper Matrix?
Answer: With an altitude of 25,000 feet, it can cruise at a maximum speed of 213 knots (394.5 kilometers per hour), while at 15,500 feet, the maximum speed is 198 knots (366.5 kilometers per hour).
Question: Is the Piper Matrix Pressurized?
Answer: No, the Piper Matrix is not a pressurized aircraft. At elevations above 12,000 feet, oxygen masks are required.
Question: What is the Range of a Piper Matrix?
Answer: It has a range of 1,343 nautical miles (2,487 kilometers) with a reserve of 45 minutes.
Question: What is the Difference Between Piper Mirage and Piper Matrix?
Answer: The Piper Matrix, in contrast to the Piper Mirage, does not feature a pressurization mechanism, as does the Piper Mirage. While this is the most significant difference, early Matrix aircrafts also featured inferior avionics, such as the S-Tec 55X; however, this was eventually corrected when Piper supplied the same Garmin G1000 to Matrix as well as other aircraft.
Aside from that, they are very identical, except for the Matrix having some more usable load capacity due to the elimination of some sections of the pressure system.
- Piper Mirage Guide and Specs: All You Need To Know
- Piper M350 Guide and Specs: Is It Easy To Fly?
- Piper Lance Guide and Specs: Is The Piper PA-32R Worth It?
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